Tayyabs, a short walk away from the usual hubbub of Brick Lane, has built itself a bit of a reputation as the best Indian food in London. The prospect of the much famed queues has always put me off though, however when our team at work organised an early 5:30pm dinner, we managed to get a large table and off we went.
The place was largely deserted when we arrived, however it filled up at high speed. Clearly those in the know know to get here early. Tayyabs is famously BYO, contributing to a very low cost per head!
Free poppadoms and a selection of chutneys to tide us over as we debated the menu! Exceptional chutneys – far cry from the usual and so far so good.
After much debate, we opted for a large medley of food. The famous lamb chops had to be ordered and were everything they promised to be. The Kebabs, Tikkas and samosas were perfectly adequate but did not attract any special praise. In my view, they were a bit dry and just could not compare to the delectable lamb.
We seriously over ordered on the rice, Naans and Parathas as everybody appeared to grow eyes larger than their stomachs. Other dishes included the Dry Meat, Karahi Lamb and Chicken, Tarka Dhal & Dhal Baigun (With Aubergine). I asked for Raita (Yoghurt with cucumber) which they happily threw in despite not featuring on the menu.
My favourites of the night were the Dry Meat and both Dhal’s – and that is high praise from a non-dhal lover.
This isn’t really a place for a romantic night out – it’s a place to get together a large group of friends, some nice bottles of wine, make a lot of noise and prepare to eat an awful lot of very tasty food. It’s not a place to linger and by the time we were ready to end our meal, we were only too painfully conscious of the very long line (which comes all the way into the restaurant and who essentially watch you finishing up!).
One gripe I did have is that our waiter repeatedly tried to convince us that we hadn’t ordered enough food and we ended up then wasting a fair amount. Grrr.
We ended with a couple of Kulfi’s for the table – not what I’d expected and not a win. Skip the dessert and end on a high – Have some more lamb chops.