People thought it was an odd choice for Christmas dinner when we told them we were going to Tayyabs in Whitechapel. Of course we actually went at the end of January so it wasn't really a Christmas dinner afterall.
I've heard a lot about Tayyabs. It's very popular, particularly amongst the Muslim community because all of the food is halal. If you don't book a table at the weekend you could be queuing for ages before you get one. I'd also heard some famous faces had been seen eating there, the likes of Heston Blumenthal and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli. Ok so I'm impressed so far.
When we approached the restaurant which is located on a quiet side road, I was a little surprised. It looked quite quaint inside. I dont know what I was expecting, some big, shiny, sparkly palace but it was just a restaurant. The staff were very friendly and obliging, particularly when we asked if we could move tables (they had seated us very closely to some random people. I don't know about you but I don't like long joined up tables. Reminds me of primary school). We got a nice window table (albeit a little squashy) but it was nice enough.
In our team we have 2 experts when it comes to Indian food. They picked out what would be the best on the menu and we ordered enough to share.
The waiters brought us some poppadoms and dips to start with along with our drinks. The dips were gorgeous; mint, chilli and mango chutney. We weren't waiting for long before the food arrived and there seemed to be endless amounts of it. I didn't remember us ordering so much. We had lamb chops, chicken tikka, lamb tikka, biryani, pilau rice, garlic naan, chicken and lamb curries.
Everything was very well cooked and wonderfully presented. The lamb chops in particular were well seasoned and are in fact Tayyabs signature dish. I have to admit I preferred the meat dishes to the chicken simply because chicken can sometimes be dry. After we stuffed our faces with our main meal we ordered dessert. I went for my absolute favourite, keer, which is a rice puddingy, semolina-ey type pudding topped with crushed pistachios. It was yummy.
In summary I would say Tayyabs is a lovely place to eat. The food is very reasonably priced and the quality of food was excellent. A funny story though. Me and the girls from my team decided to pop in to a sari shop on the way home. Within minutes one of the employees opens the shop door and starts frantically spraying the shop with air freshner. Why? Because we absolutely wreaked of curry. We were mortified but we couldn't stop laughing. Take my advice, if you go to Tayyabs make sure you don't wear your best clothes. Most of the food is served on sizzling hot plates and as you can imagine with a restaurant full of people and those gorgeous aromas your bound to come out a bit wiffy. All in all it was a great dining experience and definitely recommended.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone