'The Lamb Chops,' he said. 'The best lamb chops ever.' Well, yes. They were... really, really, really good. I wouldn't usually go for Indian and order lamb chops. But at Tayyabs, you must. They're delicious. With some secret Indian ingredient, they are succulent and spicy and you just have to forget your Western manners and gnaw every bit of the meat off the bone.
Located on Fieldgate Street in Whitechapel, this traditional Punjabi restaurant is a destination restaurant. Off the beaten track from tourists, the place is packed with businessmen, city boys and, most importantly, lots of 'locals' - Asian families. The staff are brusque and efficient, they have no time to be friendly and chatty, too busy dealing with hundreds of customers. After only a few minutes of queuing, we were seated and had ordered, and everything arrived as it was ready.
A great range of starters. The absence of onion bhajis had me wondering how to compare and contrast with all my other favourite Indian restaurants, but this meant I got to try five different starters, and I could have kept eating them all night. Chicken Tikka, lamb chops (of course), paneer Tikka, Samosas and Pakoras. Some of the mains arrived before the paneer, but we didn't mind, we were hungry.
|Spicy pappadoms, chicken Tikka, lamb chops.|
The main course selection was relatively limited, consisting of karahi dishes, different meat versions of this traditional Punjabi cooking method, so chicken, chicken keema, lamb (gosht), and Dhaal. But somehow they were all distinctive and all tasted delicious. A range of sides, vegetable dishes and sizzling dishes also caused much head-turning and 'mmmm, wish we'd ordered that too.' I loved the dishes they were served on, black shallow Balti-type dishes. Luckily for them, they didn't fit in my handbag...
The food at Tayyabs is fresh and delicately spiced, and seems to be as authentic as any Indian food I've tried in London. You can tell it's a family run business, who care about the food, and are just focussing on getting their food out to their customers who are all clamouring to eat it. Bring your own alcohol (and openers!) if you wish, as Tayyabs serve only soft drinks and complimentary water by the bottle.
|Fennel mixture, to aid digestion. And retain the flavour in your mouth for the rest of the evening.|
Excuse my rubbish photos, I was far too eager to eat...
83-89 Fieldgate Street
London E1 1JU
London E1 1JU
Tel: 020 7247 9543 /020 7247 6400 /020 7247 8521
Dinner for four, no alcohol: ~£65