Sunday, November 29, 2015

An early taste of Tashan

Tiffin's Munish Narula and his two chefs are hammering out the menu for the upscale spot at 777 S. Broad.

An early taste of Tashan

Munish Narula (left) with Sanjay Shende and Sylva Senat.
Munish Narula (left) with Sanjay Shende and Sylva Senat.

Just about every day, Munish Narula stops into his flagship Girard Avenue location of Tiffin, his Indian empire, to see what his two chefs are up to.

Sylva Senat and Sanjay Shende are going back and forth at Tiffin's stove, engaged in a collegial give and take, refining the menu for Tashan, the upscale restaurant that Narula plans to open next month at 777 S. Broad St.

The affable, cheery Shende is an Indian master chef who has worked all over India and the U.K.

Senat, a French-speaking Haitian native, was chef de cuisine at Buddakan after working in New York for Andrew D'Amico (Sign of the Dove), Marcus Samuelsson (Aquavit), and Jean-George Vongerichten (66 Leonard Street and the Mercer Kitchen).

Shenda comes up with a dish, and Senat refines it. Globalizes it, if you will. They collaborate. Back and forth. Vice versa.

They also let me sit in on a tasting last week. The food is nothing like anything I've had at Tiffin, or anywhere else. They call it "modern Indian." Not fusion, they are quick to add. Beef will be offered on the menu.

Aloo tikki (above) were the familiar potato cakes, flavored with ginger and cumin seed and served with a chutney of yellow pea, and sweet and tangy tamarind, as well as a hot mint and cilantro pesto.

They seared plump diver scallops (above) and crusted them with anise seed, accompanying them with a green tomato chutney and moile sauce, a South Indian sauce with tomato, onion and coconut milk.

The "Hunters Quail," also known as Shikaari Quail, was served with a three-onion chutney and presented in a glass dome. As Senat raised the dome, apple-wood smoke escaped, filling the dining room.

And on and on until they hit me with a double whammy: Gulab Jamun Crème Brulee.

That is, the sweet dough balls of gulab jamun at the bottom, and good ol' creme brulee on top, complete with caramelized crust.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter