Great Expectations

by Nancy Donovan; Photography Alison Dunlap | Apr 11, 2016
Great Expectations ...From the pages of South Jersey Magazine...

Tiffin Indian Cuisine
300 White Horse Road | Voorhees
(856) 888-2775
Our rating: 4 out of 5 forks

South Jersey had some pretty high hopes for Tiffin when it was announced that they would be opening up two locations in our neck of the woods. The Philadelphia-based Indian chain has become fairly famous for their curries and entrées, and new, more readily available spots were expected to take that service to the next level well before they even opened.

Of the two South Jersey locations, the Voorhees spot—which is much larger, with more space between tables creating a more intimate feel—fits the mold of a more traditional restaurant, while the Cherry Hill location seems perfect for takeout or a more casual meal. Either way, the menu remains the same at both spots, with a selection of appetizers, curry dishes, tandoor plates, breads for dipping and more.

If you’re new to Indian cuisine, there are some go-to favorites that are familiar but still a great introduction to Indian food. A starter of Tiffin’s onion bhaji is one of those examples: Picture an onion fritter, with shoestrings of crisp onion, mixed with fresh spinach battered and deep fried and served alongside a variety of house-made sauces. The onions provide their own distinct flavor, and create the perfect mix of crispy and soft bites.

Another appetizer, Lasooni tikka, marinated chunks of chicken breast in a garlic and yogurt sauce—also known as lasooni—before flash cooking the meat in a tandoor oven on kebab skewers and serving. The chunks of chicken were tender and packed with flavor, preserving their juices thanks to the fast cooking time and careful marinating. The bites of chicken were a homage to Indian tradition, and proof of what years of culinary exploration can create.

One of the many benefits to Indian food is the abundance of vegetarian options that pack plenty of flavor and can stand alone as an entrée. Paneer butter masala is just one of those options, which features cubes of paneer cheese in a buttery tomato-based sauce. The cheese is similar to a more mild mozzarella cheese, a cottage cheese base which retains its shape through cooking but still manages to be creamy and smooth with each bite. When spooned over basmati rice the entire dish is indulgent and mild, thanks to a tomato base that doesn’t provide much—or any—kick.

Though if you’re a fan of spice, there’s always an option. Waiters guide diners through their spice guide, and give you the opportunity to pick your level of spice with any entrée. The lamb chettinad, for example, was enhanced thanks to a medium spice level, which came with a few extra dried peppers tossed into the curry. Hearty chunks of lamb come stewed in a brown sauce, made richer and more flavorful with the addition of tamarind, fennel seed and just the right amount of cinnamon.

To really get the most out of your entrée, don’t miss out on the bread options. Of course there’s the classic naan, like a softer pita bread, but don’t overlook the lachha paratha, a wheat-based bread similar to a pancake that gets brought to life with layers upon layers of technique and a healthy dose of butter or animal fat. The butter—which gets grilled into the golden brown bread—adds just another layer of creamy flavor, made all the better when dipped into curries.

Cheese kulcha, another bread option, is very similar to traditional naan, but gets stuffed with both gruyere and mozzarella cheeses, then coated in garlic and oil and grilled. The cheese is subtle but still rich, and holds up, even when paired with more powerful spices.

Tiffin’s South Jersey locations have certainly held up to their reputation from across the bridge, and while Indian food continues to become more and more popular in South Jersey it’s nice to have options. In this case, the options all maintain their own level of satisfaction, and are ones worth returning to more than once.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 1 (April, 2016).

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Author: Nancy Donovan; Photography by Alison Dunlap


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