“I went to London’s first ever ‘Itsu for Indian Food’ and it’s the perfect way to spice up your lunch with endless flavors” – Jessica Battison

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London is a haven for packed lunches, from office workers to students, you can expect daily queues as Itsus, Prets, Leons and many more roam the streets of the city. Although there seem to be plenty of options, I’ve never seen one of these types of restaurants serving Indian food – until now.

Hailed as London’s first, Tamarind Tiger is a takeaway Indian restaurant on Baker Street. They offer all kinds of customizable tiffin boxes and host their very own chai bar.

I was invited to have a fresh, nutritious and tasty Indian lunch for myself. Almost like service at Tortilla, my fresh meal really reminded me of some of Leon’s options.

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There are many different fillings to choose from

I strolled through the clean, airy West London space and admired the counter filled with rows of brightly colored food, shimmering like jewels under the bright lights. Along the wall is a huge mural that reads “a new Indian flavor” next to a large image of a tiger and there were certainly plenty of different flavors to choose from.

Tamarind Tiger offers a variety of Tiger Bowls priced between £5.95 and £7.50, but also offers a ‘make your own tiffin box’ option – which I obviously had to go with. I chose one of their most popular main courses, Mango Chicken, then filled my box with my base, vegan vegetables and added flavors, all for the price of £9.75 .

I opted for brown rice, kachumber salad, dilled sweet potato and kale with yogurt and cilantro chutney. It was a very generously filled box, I almost felt like everything was going to fall; a hearty breakfast indeed.

The mango chicken was superbly succulent, not sad little dry bits of meat that have been sitting in a fridge waiting to be picked up for a sad lunch. However, the mango flavor wasn’t as punchy and tart as I would have liked, instead it had a subtle sweetness, a slight sharpness that coated the juicy chicken.



My meal at Tamarind Tiger

The sweet potato chunks were soft and fresh with a delicious seasoning that was picked up perfectly by the coleslaw which gave a welcome light crunch to cut through the blend of flavors. Adding a real punch in the ring was this glorious chutney, beautifully spiced, it really took the food to the next level as I enjoyed a new sensation of textures and taste with every bite. Not a boring lunch at all.

I also sampled a lovely lamb samosa which they sell in bowls of three for £4.75. Crispy, flaky batter hugged the dry-spiced lamb that offered a warm, rich taste in a quick bite.

The gunpowder wedges add an extra level of carburation, though I was easily satisfied with the box alone. Priced at £3.95, the soft wedges are red with gunpowder masala dusting them every inch and giving them a wonderful spice kick – they taste great dipped in yoghurt and chutney! However, my favorite menu item has to be the Corn Chaat. For just £4.50, a large pot is filled with sweet corn crisps and topped with delicious creamy yoghurts, sweet and tangy tamarind chutney, that spicy coriander chutney and little pomegranate gems.

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Giving a master class in combining fresh flavors, all the sauces blend together beautifully to be picked up by the fresh corn to give that fantastic sweet, tart and tangy tang. I could have just eaten a jar of it for lunch.

I washed it all down with a delicious bottle of mango lassi. However, I would love to go back and have a cup in their awesome chai bar where they offer a range of drinks with chai for under £2.

Although I wasn’t blown away by the mango chicken, I really enjoyed this lunch – it’s tasty, it’s fresh and it’s a welcome change from the boring and average lunches we are all tired of choosing. However, I would say the tiffin box style of meats, vegetables and carbs is similar to the hot boxes I like from Leon – it’s just that Tamarind Tiger has an Indian accent.

Not the most special of places, but far from boring and disappointing, it’s a great place to literally spice up your lunches. Now I come need to try this chai.

You can find Tamarind Tiger at 13 Baker St, London W1U 3AH.

Do you have a favorite restaurant, pub or bar in London that you think we should know about? If so, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

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