Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tayyabs in Whitechapel

Name Tayyabs
Address 83-89 Fieldgate St E1 1JUPhone 020 72476400
Web site
Main dish price range £5-15
Rating 5 Stars. The best restaurant in its genre in London.
Recommended dishes Lamb Kofte Kebabs, Meat with Bindhi
This is the best restaurant we have yet been to in London. It's is written up in literally every guidebook; which, given the competition, is not really that much of a feat -- what is startling is that despite the attention it is still turning out terrific meals.
On a Sunday night around 9pm the place was jumping, but our party of three managed to get squeezed into a table. The crowd was mostly South Asian, although the décor was the cheap-looking hip and colorful design scheme that appears to be standard issue for popular London places. The waiter called me "Boss" as he seated us and I knew I was in for a treat.
The food is Punjabi -- authentically Punjabi -- which means it’s a lot of grilled meats and fairly thick curries. It's the kind of North Indian food that most London curry shops have modified for English tastes, and it is terrifically refreshing to have in its cream- and sugar-free original. We ordered a set of kebabs (60p each!), and then moved on to a variety of curries, all of which were excellent. The "Bhindi with Meat" was particularly good. The only dish that missed the spot was a Chicken Biryani -- but I should have known better than to order that South Indian classic in a Punjabi joint.
Indeed, the food was so good that after we wolfed it down I seriously considered ordering another round for take-away to have for dinner the following night. The following day, I wish I had. After three months with no 5-star choices, now I've got two in a row! (the other being Ranoush Juice)
New Tayyab on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Biryani is not essentially a South Indian dish. It's a Persian word and that suggests something of its roots. Biryani was brought to the sub-continent by Muslim travellers and variations of it it exist throughout India and Pakistan but it is essentially seen as culturally Muslim. My particular favourites are Sindhi and Memon biryanis, perhaps because that is what I grew up with. In Pakistan, biryani is very popular in Karachi (home of the famous "student biryani" which is cheap and absolutely brilliant!) but is well liked in the Punjab too. BTW, Many of the staples you find at Tayyab's are not purely "Punjabi"; they have been integrated into home cuisine in other parts of Pakistan.