Tamarind Tiger - Lunch Review
How many times a week do you decide to “treat” yourself to lunch and just end up getting another meal-deal? Or maybe you pay £9 for a food market burrito only to be left still feeling hungry?
We’ve all been there, but you deserve better! It’s time to break the monotony! And what better way than with a modern take on Indian cuisine, famous for its diverse range of flavours.
Head to Tamarind Tiger to treat your tastebuds to a cornucopia of tantalising flavours. Located on the southern end of Baker Street, this bright and airy eatery is just a 10-minute walk from Marble Arch, so if you want to chill in Hyde Park (Spring is on the horizon, apparently) with some healthy food then it’s a good option for your days off too!
My friend and I visited the Tamarind Tiger on a busy mid-week lunchtime. Despite all the customers, the queue moved quickly and the Manager (Zak) took the time to say hello and talk us through some of the options.
Although we both ordered veggie/vegan tiffin boxes, we tried to order different meals to give you a well-rounded idea of what’s on offer. Although, Zak was kind enough to offer us a little bit of everything – as the food piled up, we had to draw the line.
Let me run you through our tiffin boxes, in the same way you build them in-store.
Step 1 | The Base – Our Choices
Brown Berry Rice
This dish is made with Indian Sona Masoori brown rice (a premium, healthy & nutrient-packed medium-grain rice) along with organic ghee, which is kind of like butter (meaning it isn’t vegan). There’s a fine line between good and bad rice, sometimes it can be dry and dull, but this wasn’t either of those. It was soft and slightly creamy (probably thanks to the ghee) and very filling.
If you are vegan, or maybe just looking for a slightly healthier base to your lunch then the quinoa is also very tasty. It’s mixed with a touch of dried coconut and Indian herbs, making it beautifully fragrant.
The third and final option is baby salad leaves, and whilst I love a salad, I love carbs more!
Step 2 | The Protein – Our Choices
As well as carbs, I love chickpeas – and any chickpea product (falafel, hummus… you name it, I love it). These particular chickpeas had a lovely warm and distinctly Indian flavour. Their consistency and texture paired really well with the rest of my meal.
Rhys was kind enough to let me try a bit of this, and whilst I like tofu, I rarely choose to have it. However, tofu is really good at soaking up flavours, and Tamarind Tiger have clearly done a good job of marinating theirs.
Step 3 | Veggies – Our Choices
Dill Sweet Potato & Kale
A complimentary mix of sweet potato chunks and kale. It’s simple, tasty and nutritious – what more do you want?
These were a lovely addition to the dish. Consisting of crunchy baby carrots (which really added a new layer of texture) that had been mixed with coconut shavings, which gave them a subtle but noticeable flavour that you might not expect.
Step 4 | Signature Flavour Top Ups – Our Choices
To finish off your tiffin box you’re given the choice of flavours. Because there’s so many to choose from, I asked Zak to choose for me – and he chose well.
This was incredible and if it wasn’t for Zak’s suggestion I probably wouldn’t have ordered it (thank you Zak!). The jam, made of (you guessed it) mangoes, was pleasantly sweet, but not overbearing. Typically I prefer savoury flavours, but a generous dollop of this stuff brought a new dimension to the overall flavour. The way the sweetness complimented the savoury just blew me away.
Tomato & Date Chutney
Now I’m not keen on dates, and I’ve been put off foods that use them as an ingredient (I find the flavour overpowering to such an extent that I can’t taste anything else) so I was happy to find that this add on was more tomotoey than datey.
Baked Gunpowder Chips
Rhys and I both got a portion of these (because you can never have enough chips in your life). They were well seasoned without being spicy, so don’t be put off by their hot-looking orange tint.
Because both of us opted for their Tamarind Tiger’s own freshly-made drinks, I thought it would be worth giving them a quick mention as well.
This was my choice, I do love lemonade but I was hesitant to order because I find they’re usually just a little too sweet for my taste. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case and I reckon it would be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer’s day.
Rhys was conscious that he’s never had a Lassi and has nothing to compare it to. He said it’s not like anything else, but it was really creamy and had a lovely tang to it. I asked: “Would you recommend it to people, Rhys?” He said, “Yes, definitely.”
You heard it hear first.
Overall, the food and drinks were all really good. Tamarind Tiger have done a fantastic job of blending different flavours to create dishes (and drinks) that are well balanced and not at all overpowering. We both walked in famished and were absolutely stuffed by the time we were done (which was a shame because the desserts looked lovely too!)
When I caught up with Zak afterwards, he mentioned that they’re looking to launch Indian wraps and other exciting items to the menu in the coming months – so watch this space!
On a final note, I was impressed that Tamarind Tiger is trying to minimise its impact on the planet. As we were eating I said to Rhys: “The food is really good, but it’s shame about the plastic cutlery.” Which is when he pointed the little labels on the cutlery and food containers which said they consist of compostable materials made from plants.
I love to see a restaurant do its bit to reduce waste – particularly in London when lunchtime waste is second nature.