The Diwali Vegetarian Experience at the Tiffin Room, Raffles Hotel

When we started 2020, little did we know what the year had in store for us.  As we have adjusted to the new normal, we have also learnt to be grateful for the things that we earlier took for granted, like good health and time spent with friends and family. With Diwali around the corner, we might not be able to gather with our loved ones and celebrate as we did in previous years but Tiffin Room at the Raffles Hotel wants to ensure we don’t miss out on the indulgent festival food, which is an integral part of the festival of lights. So now is the perfect time to bring back some of the festival cheer with Tiffin Room’s Diwali Vegetarian Experience.

A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, Tiffin Room continues to serve up delectable North Indian cuisine for lunch and dinner, offering authentic specialties served in tiffin boxes, presenting an interactive dining experience with tableside service by chefs, complete with freshly ground spices to enhance the occasion. The restored interior décor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in Tiffin Room to bring back features from the early 1900s based on research by their heritage consultants.

I recently had the pleasure of being a part of the preview tasting of the Diwali menu and it was a treat to the eyes and the palate. The instrumental music in the background was well chosen and a good accompaniment to the delicious food, making for a memorable evening.

Here are the top reasons why I thought this menu was top notch.

  1. Unique choice of ingredients (think lotus seeds and apricots) adding the oomph factor to traditional dishes
  2. Minimal use (almost none) use of potatoes, which is rare for a vegetarian menu
  3. Innovative plating and presentation of the menu taking the experience beyond food

Vegetarian Diwali Appetisers

The meal begins with a couple of appetizers and they set the tone excellently for the rest of the menu. Dahi Puri is light and crispy, filled with fresh crunchy sprouts and topped with a nice medley of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours from the chutneys. Subz Shikampuri Kabab is an interesting mix of asparagus, peas and lentils, with avocado; rich yet healthy. The kabab is very well balanced, I was surprised that none of the ingredients overpower the others, instead complementing each other beautifully.

Vegetarian Diwali Mains

The mains are served in Tiffin Room’s trademark style – copper tiffin boxes. The meal contains 3 main dishes that you can enjoy with a basket of Garlic Naan, Cheese Pepper Kulchas and Kesar Pulao.

Paneer Khumani is a beautiful dish of soft, succulent pieces of paneer stuffed with an apricot filling, on a bed of rich tomato gravy. This is a refreshing change from the usual forms of paneer that we are used to. Kadhai Gucchi is a dish of Morel, white mushroom in a bell pepper gravy that is pleasing both visually and on the taste buds. The pairing is just right, the mushrooms are well done and sit very well with gravy. My favourite dish from the mains was Nawabhi Hari Gobhi. Perfectly done florets of broccoli and cauliflower are topped with Makhana (lotus nuts or fox nuts) seeds in a cream cheese tomato gravy, making for an excellent accompaniment to both the breads and the Kesar Pulao.

Diwali Dessert

Dessert is Mango Ghevar with Mango Kulfi! Ghevar is a traditional Rajasthani sweet cake, Tiffin Room’s Diwali menu has the ghevar flavoured with fresh mango and accompanied by mango kulfi; a great finish to the meal.

Served along side the dessert is an assortment of specialty sweets of Kaju, Anjeer and Khajur Barfi. For those not in the know, barfis are a popular Indian dessert, milk cakes sweetened with sugar, cardamom and nuts. This platter offers fig, dates and cashew flavoured bite sized barfis.


Overall, it was an excellent experience in terms of the ambience, curated menu and the signature tiffin room taste. The vegetarian experience is priced at 68++ and available for both lunch and dinner from the 5th to 15th of November.

Tiffin Room:  Grand Lobby, Raffles Singapore 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673