Harley Young enjoys a fabulous fusion of fragrance and flavour

Having opened their fourth (and first Liverpool) site at the start of this year, cousins and established restaurateur duo, Suresh Rje Urs and Srini Sundaram, are no strangers to hard work when it comes to operating an independent Indian street food business. 

Over the past 11 years, the brand has rooted itself within the community of each of its four locations. 

Often you’ll see one, or both, of the cousins on site at one of the restaurants, overseeing everything and ensuring that the food being served across their Leeds, Cheadle, Manchester city centre and now Liverpool Duke Street site is all of the same high quality. 

The first of its kind in Liverpool city centre, Indian Tiffin Room’s menu pays homage to dishes created by roadside vendors of the subcontinent, designed to serve street food style authenticity but with all the quality and none of the rush. 

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Outside Indian Tiffin Room in Liverpool Image: Confidentials

Having already eaten at the Manchester city centre restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed it, I decided it was time to give the latest feather in their cap a try.  

The restaurant itself incorporates stylish wooden tables and furnishings with beautiful decorative murals and brightly dyed strings of pom poms hung from the ceilings that add playful splashes of colour. Spacious and inviting, there’s plenty of room inside for large groups and solo diners alike to enjoy their meal. 

As soon as I walked through the doors, I was greeted with a smile by a member of the team who took me over to one of the window seats. 

The tranquil music playing at a low volume over the speakers and gentle aromas of incense and spices really sets the mood for a pleasant meal ahead.

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Inside Indian Tiffin Room in Liverpool Image: Confidentials

Ruhan, the team member attending to my table, offered to assist with the menu, recommending a few different options when I asked for something that wasn’t overly spicy. Amongst the options was the butter chicken, a dish that Ruhan mentioned could be made as mild or as spicy as you like as all dishes are prepared to order. 

I went with Ruhan’s recommendation and ordered the butter chicken with a plain naan and a portion of gobi manchurian to start. Ruhan checked for allergies and swiftly placed my order with the chef. 

While waiting for my starter, I had another look over the menu and noticed how fairly priced each of the dishes are. Designed for social sharing, or enjoying on your own if you prefer smaller plates and a range of flavours, lots of the items on the menu are under a tenner and very few tip over £20. Incredible value for money if you ask me.

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The menu at Indian Tiffin Room Image: Confidentials

The glorious-looking gobi manchurian arrived; a sweet, sticky and slightly fiery portion of cauliflower cooked using Indo-Chinese methods and spices. 

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I often steer clear of. It’s never my first choice on a menu other than when made into gobi manchurian, and that’s something Indian Tiffin Room have absolutely nailed. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and well coated in a signature house-made sauce, this dish has sex appeal in abundance. It’s turned me into a cauliflower convert and I’ve craved the stuff ever since.

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Glorious gobi manchurian Image: Confidentials

While waiting on my main, Ruhan kept checking back to ensure I had what I needed and even took the time to tell me more about his favourite dishes on the menu. The friendly and attentive nature of ITR’s team meant that, even though I was dining on my own, I didn’t feel lonely. You don’t get this kind of hospitality just anywhere these days. 

I smelled the butter chicken before I saw it; a rich, tomatoey, slightly spiced and sweet scent wafted through the air. A dish that appeals to all the senses, ITR’s butter chicken was a sight to behold. I couldn’t wait to tuck in. 

Made with proper chunks of chicken breast (none of that dehydrated-rehydrated rubbish) and a thick and indulgent butter sauce with cream swirled through it, it was enough to bring a tear to my eye - which could be mopped up quite easily with the generous amount of homemade naan served on the side. Top tip: take advantage of the air bubbles in the bread by filling them with butter chicken sauce and popping it in your mouth. You won’t regret it. 

I’d argue that this is the best butter chicken in the north west - certainly the best I’ve ever had at least. 

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The best butter chicken around Image: Confidentials

Already on cloud nine, I browsed the dessert section of the menu to see if the meal could get even better than it already was. Ruhan recommended his personal favourite, kulfi - a traditional Indian ice cream that came in a beautiful little terracotta pot, decorated with pistachios and pomegranate seeds. 

This dish treads the line between savoury and sweet very well - kind of like a cup of masala chai that you just can’t get enough of - and kept surprising me with every mouthful with its varied textures and flavours created by crushing pistachios, cardamom and saffron into various pastes.

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Cool and comforting kulfi Image: Confidentials

As I finished my meal, I spotted head honchos Srini and Suresh over by the bar finishing their lunch. The pair thanked each member of the team individually for their service before leaving.

Indian Tiffin Room has firmly rooted itself on Duke Street and it wouldn’t surprise me if it has such great success that it’s looking to expand into a second Liverpool site in the not too distant future. The service here is second to none and the pride, love and care put into each dish by the chefs is evident. If you’re looking for authentic Indian food in a restaurant with atmosphere, get booking your table now. 

Indian Tiffin Room, 130 Duke St, Liverpool L1 5AG

Follow Harley Young on X @Harley__Young

Indian Tiffin Room Liverpool is on Confidential Guides

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The scores

All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, and ALWAYS paid for by Confidentials.com and completely independent of any commercial relationship. They are a first-person account of one visit by one, knowledgeable restaurant reviewer and don't represent the company as a whole.

If you want to see the receipt as proof this magazine paid for the meal then a copy will be available upon request. Or maybe ask the restaurant.

Venues are rated against the best examples of their type. What we mean by this is a restaurant which aspires to be fine dining is measured against other fine dining restaurants, a mid-range restaurant against other mid-range restaurants, a pizzeria against other pizzerias, a teashop against other teashops, a KFC against the contents of your bin. You get the message.

Given the above, this is how we score: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: sigh and shake your head, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: nothing's that good is it?

  • Food 8.5/10

    Gobi manchurian 8.5, butter chicken 9, kulfi 7.5

  • Service 4.5/5

  • Ambience 4/5