Tuesday, January 26, 2010

101 Things to Eat in London before you're tired of life: 2


Well, I figured I would see if my little series survived another outing. This instalment is akin to the first in that one, it's pretty much a shoo in and two, it's achieved almost legendary status and things have a habit of becoming skewed beyond all recognition when they become legends. Also, this little regular dispatch let's me go back to places long since consigned to the blogging man drawer and blog about them all over again and ignore the plain fact it would appear lazy and unadventurous to do so. Score!

You know Tayyabs. You know the lamb chops. The restaurant and the dish are Whitechapel staples. A Punjabi Pakistani restaurant so good and so popular they named it twice. New Tayyabs. Like the New Shmoo or the Real Ghostbusters only spicier. The restaurant has been going for 30 years and it's as rammed on a Monday night as it is on a Friday. The lamb chops are legendary, mentioned in virtually every review ever written about the place. I've always had a sneaking suspicion that the ones at the Mirch Masala in Tooting were better, but I think on tonight's evidence that suspicion may have to sneak behind the condiments in a huff. They are pretty stunning. In fact everything that comes out of the kitchen is pretty stunning from the salty lassi sprinkled with cumin seeds, to the roti, chicken tikka and, of course, the chops. They are long thin, pounded flat and jacked up with a spice mix that it's hard to describe. Firey, pungent and good. Just good old fashioned excellent. The menu is compact and perfectly formed, the wait staff numerous, efficient and gracious, the bustling crowds dealt with in good time with good grace. A true London classic and one to be treasured.

Postscript: I've been reliably informed that despite my enthusiasm, it's not as good as it used to be and  lunchtime is nightmare. 3 people have told me this in 4 hours so I feel honour bound to repeat it. Also, it's been pointed out that in a Timeout poll it was Londoners 10th favourite restaurant. I feel so populist.


Chris said...

Well, I go a LOT and have to disagree - it's every bit as good as it used to be. Never been at lunchtimes though!

Ben said...

Also yet to go at lunchtimes but I've always been told that the chops are better during the day.

I love this place.

Monkey Gland said...

i think it's just one of those things. "Oh, it used to be much better, it's got all popular now" like being popular is a character flaw.