Thursday, 14 January 2016

ATE AT: The Indian Tiffin Room, Cheadle

I love a local independent and the villages just outside of Stockport are FULL of them. I'm lucky that my bestest bud lives up there and we've stayed close since meeting at Uni so I manage a trip up there every couple of months throughout the year. The best bit? He loves discovering new restaurants as much as me (and burgers, we love burgers! And sausage dogs too!) My favourite thing about visiting him and knowing we're going for food is the door being opened and after cheesy grins and long, squeezy hugs, I'm giving several options of restaurants we can go to, usually with categories including cuisine, distance, casual/chilled/fancy and whether we need to ring for a table or not. I mean, perfect foodie friend or what?

Anyway, on this occasion I was given the options of Turkish, burgers, another option I forget and...wait for it...Indian street food that was kind of like tapas. Intrigued to say the least! We rang to ask for a table to be reserved but, unfortunately, fully booked. Then 10 minutes later, they phoned back about a cancellation. We were IN!

Upon arriving, I get why the table scenario was an issue. It's not the biggest of places, I reckon it could seat about 50 people maybe? It makes the dining experience feel more familiar and inviting though. Straight away we were seated by incredibly friendly staff that remained helpful and smiley throughout our visit.

The food they serve is a selection of the most popular dishes enjoyed in different parts of India. And the bit I love most - their food is healthy and rather than overpowering spicy food, it's authentically flavoured so you can taste every little flavour in there.

We were given our menus which were pretty big and we didn't really know where to start. Matt had been told about the lollypop chicken by a friend, but apart from that, we had a vast number of things to choose from so remained open minded. Our waiter came over and explained everything to us which was really welcome and made the decision making easier.

Obviously we picked the lollypop chicken and they're as they sound, lollypop shaped wings, coated in ITR marinade, fried and served with a hot garlic sauce. These were really tasty but I always find chicken on the bone a bit weird. As I don't eat that much meat, I don't really like to be reminded of the actual chicken and its bones. I wasn't too keen on the garlic sauce as it was a bit too hot for me but the marinade used on the chicken was delicious.

We then went for the Grazing Platter of bhel puri (crispy pastry, potatoes and puffed rice coated in a date chutney), dahi puri (puffed hollow pastry rounds filled with potato, yoghurt and tangy chutneys) and sev puri (pastry rounds topped with chopped onions, garnished with tamarind chutney and pastry vermicelli) as we couldn't choose which we wanted! Both this platter and the lollypop chicken were both from the grazing/starters menu.  I wasn't too keen on the bhel puri, I felt like something was missed but couldn't put my finger on what. On the menu, it said for the Dahi Puri that you needed to pop them whole in the mouth for a flavour explosion - do it, it's true. The davi puri I found to be nicer and more flavoursome but Matt wasn't too keen. The sev puri (the bowl in the middle) was delicious and my favourite, without a doubt.

We then moved onto the Tiffin meets ITR menu. From here we selected the Rava Masala Dosa, a thin, crispy crepe with potato masala filling. This was definitely my favourite starter - the crepe was incredible, thin and crispy as described a full of flavour. The potato masala filling was also spot on. Both sauces were good, I preferred the white cottage cheese one as it was a bit milder so perfect with the slightly spiced masala filling.

We both had a curry each for main - I opted for Paneer Masala, which was homemade cottage cheese (in cubes, like tofu but tastier and softer) in a tangy tomato sauce. This curry was probably one of the best I've EVER had (homemade or out at a restaurant). I could not get enough of the homemade cottage cheese. Like I said, the shape and consistency kind of reminded me of tofu but the taste and texture was softer and much nicer. The sauce was delicious and beautifully spiced without being overpowered.

Matt went for the ITR Chicken, chicken cooked in chef’s handpicked ITR speciality spices. I tried a little bit and it was so good! More spiced than mine but not spicy, just authentically flavoursome. I had a naan, Matt had a rice and we split the two sides - both great!

I was incredibly impressed by the quality of food and, although I haven't been to India yet, I can tell that the flavours were authentic. People say 'I love Indian food' but often mean the Korma they get from their local takeaway. THIS is Indian food at the ITR - authentic, traditional, full of flavour with no overpowering spiciness. An Indian curry is not meant to be so spicy you can't eat it! The service was incredible, every single member of staff was warm, friendly and incredibly welcoming. They really couldn't do enough to make our visit more comfortable and straight forward.


I'd 100% recommend booking at least a week in advance, especially if it's at a weekend but you may get lucky like us and there be a cancellation. But I'd hate for you to struggle getting a booking because the food really is too good to miss out on.

2A Chapel St, Cheadle SK8 1BR
0161 491 2020


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