Detecting food trends is an art. Or maybe a science. In any case, one must be attuned to the rhythms of the street, parsing the shifting moods of both restaurateurs and diners. And in a fractured foodie world of pop-ins, pop-outs and pop-ups, it can sometimes seem harder than ever to discern a pattern or plan behind the swirling raw data. A good rule of thumb is: one instance of something could be an anomaly, two might be a fluke but three ... well, three's a goddamn trend. If it's good enough for mainstream features journalism, it's good enough for us! So when news reached TATTGOC Towers of not one but two new tiffin-based ventures in Glasgow, it was time to start looking for a third. And wouldn't you know, we found it inside ourselves. But first, here's what kicked the whole thing off ...
Babu Bombay Street Kitchen
It was fellow food blog Pie In Soup who tipped us off to this one. Apparently the Babu Bombay Street Kitchen has been spicing up farmer's markets in Queen's Park and Partick for many months now, and they also run a city centre tiffin lunchtime delivery service, very much in the manner of the legendary dabbawallas of Mumbai. Necessarily, the classic stackable metal tiffin is substituted for three plastic portion pots, from a rotating menu of delicious-sounding chicken and vegetable curries. All you have to do is blast 'em in the office microwave. This week's options included a rich chicken bhuna and a hot and spicy achari gobi, with the option of extra sundries on the side. Signing up to the mailing list gets you regular menu updates and all the necessary details of ordering. (You can also follw them on Twitter.) In fact, it sounds so delicious and charming, the Tramps are considering taking up a city centre short-term office position in the near future simply to justify trying Babu Bombay out: we'll call it Tempin' With The Tramps. But wait ... there's more!
(Click here to keep reading ...)
Mere days after becoming aware of Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, news reached us of a new lunchtime initiative from Cafe India. Since the start of this year, the restaurant formerly famous for all the Michael Jackson photos in its original (and now incinerated) North St vestibule has been resurgent: the interior has been considerably revamped, they've started doing Sunday cookery classes and a new tapas menu is ready to be unveiled. And the latest expansion to their comprehensive service is a lunchtime tiffin delivery within a half mile of their Merchant City base, where £4.99 will net you a starter plus one of nine curries with pilau rice, naan and a soft drink. It's just been launched, so it's unclear at this stage whether the "tiffin" descriptor applies to the packaging or just the overall concept of a lunchtime delivery, but the great news is that on Tuesday March 6, the restaurant is having an open lunch day between 12pm and 2pm where all the tiffin dishes will be on show. With free tasting! Rest assured, the Tramps have pledged to be there. But to keep up with developments, follow Cafe India on Facebook or Twitter.
Rasoi Indian Kitchen
So it seemed like tiffin was the hot new thing in Glasgow ... but while both of the above examples seemed intriguing, we've already established you really need a third to turn it into a bona fide trend. And after some listless Google searches, the Tramps suddenly remembered seeing some of the distinctive metal tiffins in a former TATTGOC-visited curryhouse. When the squad trekked en masse to the family-run Rasoi for a St Patrick's Day visit last year, they ended up plumping for the high-value buffet. But the menu included a Tiffin option, with four pre-determined loadouts of curry presented in the classic tin for an unusual dining experience. A quick check on their website confirms the tiffin option is still there, and has even been updated for 2012 (we particularly liked the vegetarian option being described as "not dull"). So three examples makes it official: tiffin is a food trend in Glasgow!
But all of this talk of tiffin inevitably makes us think of Pierce Brosnan. Why? Because of his astonishing turn in the 1988 thriller Taffin (opposite Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade star Alison Doody). Brosnan plays a strongarm debt collector who discovers a deeply-buried sense of community when a crooked company attempts to build a chemical plant in his town. And, as those merry pranksters Adam and Joe have noted, the film contains the GREATEST SINGLE MOVIE LINE READING OF ALL TIME. Take it away, Pierce ...
OK, can we try just one more take, Pierce? Ta.
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