Tastin' With The Tramps: Babu Bombay Tiffin!

The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their increasingly outdated title of Curry Lovers Of The Year 2010. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps. So what spicy product is in the hot seat this time? Why, it's only the lunchtime tiffin delivery from Glasgow's own Babu Bombay Street Kitchen!

The Product: It was way back in March that TATTGOC first spotted an intriguing clustering of tiffin offerings in Glasgow (thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Pie In Soup blog, and with a little extra seasoning from Pierce Brosnan). Foremost among them was Babu Bombay Street Kitchen's lunchtime delivery service, a modernised version of the tiffin wallah tradition that still thrives in Mumbai. After reading the positive Pie In Soup review, the Tramps resolved to get some tiffin ordered for their next lunchtime Ultimate Fighting Championship/ Capcom videgaming/TATTGOC forward planning meeting. And it's testament to their in-demand status as Scotland's self-appointed creative elites that it took roughly three months for them to find a suitable space in the diary, which also happened to coincide with the big Jubilee celebrations the other week.

The Pitch: From the Babu Kitchen website: A tiffin is an Indian layered lunch box – each layer contains a different dish. Usually a meat or veg main, a dal and roti (chapati) or rice. We've taken this as our inspiration and packed our freshly made meals into microwavable containers which means you can simply heat and eat. Our menu will change week to week giving you the chance to sample lots of authentic Bombay cooking that you won't find anywhere else ...

(While all entirely accurate, this pitch doesn't quite give you a flavour of the cheery, witty tone of the twice-weekly emails that alert you to what's on offer. For example, the menus for Jubilee week came with the subject line "It Ain't Half Hot, Ma'am".)

The Packaging: We can all agree metal tiffins are awesome, but also impractical for a delivery service. Instead, Babu Bombay delivers three cute cute microwavable pots, stacked up and held together by a rubber band with a chilli tucked in at a jaunty angle. For the burlier gentleman, the first glance at these dainty pots might suggest that they might be lacking a little oomph in terms of curry volume. But such appearances turn out to be deceptive, as evidenced by this next pic, with the curry goodness plated up ...

The Process: Babu Bombay does tiffin deliveries on a Tuesday and Friday, predominantly to offices in Glasgow. If you're signed up to the mailing list, you'll get details of the veg and non-veg offerings for the following day, and you just email in your order. Each three-pot tiffin costs £4.50, and there are optional extras like chapati, yoghurt and extra rice (50p each) or cucumber raita, lightly pickled onion salad and South Indian carrot salad (£1 each). For variety, the Tramps ordered one non-veg tiffin – in this case, the colonially appropriate Country Captain Chicken – and a veg one – a Railway Curry – and both came with spinach raita and lemon rice. The dishes arrive chilled so all you gotta do is microblast them. So what did our expert tasting panel think to the Jubilee week curry offerings?

If this was Blade Runner, you could zoom in on that lamp and see The Tramp
Trampy says: "Years and years and years ago, I was in India for a month or so, and during a trip to the southernmost point of the country, I visited a beautiful park at lunchtime, and there were many families there with metal tiffins, spooning out the most incredible curries. This happy memory returned to me while I was chowing down on the Babu Bombay tiffin. Both curries tasted authentic rather than being in the soupier Glasgow style, and the whole thing was both tasty and filling. In fact ... I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to fit in all my tiffin."

The Tramp says: "Even before we did that blog post about tiffin, I was aware of Babu Bombay Street Kitchen because they have a very colourful stall at the Partick and Queen's Park farmers markets. I really liked the fact that even though the pots are plastic, it still looks like a proper tiffin. At first, I thought £4.50 was maybe a bit expensive for what you get, but since that includes delivery I think that's fair enough, you'd probably spend that or more during a trip to Pret. As for the curries themselves, I certainly liked the name of the County Captain Chicken curry ... it wasn't a particularly hot dish, but was very well-flavored. As for the veg offering, there was a lot of sweetness to the Railway Curry, which was very enjoyable. I also thought the raita was particularly good – sometimes it can just seem like a bit of an afterthought. It's a definite thumbs-up from me."

The Verdict: Clean plates all round, although there was still a spare pot of raita left over for the Tramps to dip their crisps in later in the afternoon. Both Tramps were impressed by the cooking – obviously the most important thing – but there's also a visual and verbal fizz to Babu Bombay that makes them an easy company to root for in. You can find them on Twitter and Facebook and like The Tramp says, you can see them in the flesh at the Partick and Queen's Park farmers markets. Tell 'em the Captain sent ya ...

Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from TATTGOC might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at trampyandthetramp@trampyandthetramp.com and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!

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