The tiffins have invaded Naples, but don’t panic: They’re not fire-breathing dragons from Middle-earth.
Native to the cuisine of India, a tiffin is a series of circular, stainless-steel containers (usually four) that are stacked and used to deliver meals. They’re featured in the new menu additions at Mantra, the Pan-Asian restaurant at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Miami chef Niven Patel, a James Beard Award semi-finalist, developed the dishes inside the tins.
“The tiffin plays an important role in our culture’s roots of home-cooked meals,” says Patel. “It allows [for] bringing a meal to another home, a workplace, or really anywhere else.”
At Mantra, the layers of the tiffin begin with pumpkin seed naan, a leavened flatbread popular in many West Asian nations. This is followed by Persian cucumber salad with curry leaf dressing and a section devoted to cumin Basmati rice. The final level gives the diner a choice of chicken tikka masala, coconut shrimp curry, or paneer tikka masala, a vegetarian option made with a non-melting soft cheese.
Mantra, which opened in 2018 and is located inside the hotel’s lobby, also serves dishes from Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The open kitchen gives guests the chance to watch chefs at work while also sipping a local beer, craft cocktail, or selection from the sake list.
“As this partnership grows over the next few months, we’ll be surprising guests and locals with an ever-evolving menu,” says Patel. “Naples has a booming culinary scene, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my style of home cooking with a new audience.”