Monday, 17 May 2010

Dining with Heston

You know you are in for a good dining experience when you walk into a restaurant and the first person you spot is Heston Blumenthal eating, smiling and joking around. Good times ahead.
I am really perplexed as to why we have not been to Tayyabs before. It ticks all the right boxes of everything I love about food. Its simple well cooked dishes are brimming with flavour and knock your socks off. The restaurant has a great atmosphere. Not so sure on the décor though, that water feature is a little odd. But the best thing is that the prices for such a place that has such cult status are pretty reasonable.
A restaurant like this on say Brick Lane would be charging a lot more. If it happened to be in Soho, then you’d be looking at an easy £15 for a main or more.
It’s the smell of spices that hits you as you draw closer to the entrance. The place is a lot bigger than I imagined. All talk of a simple Pakistani café has changed with a long shop front and a modern interior, but thankfully the food lived up to the hype. Now that hasn’t been happening a lot recently.
As I mentioned in the beginning, as we walked in, to our left was Heston, having a great time with some friends, one of which was Hardeep Singh Kohli, yes the comedian with the pink turban. I know Heston is opening a restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, maybe he’s planning a joint venture into the curry scene also. Watch out Atul Kochhar.

Jaw closed and excited about being in the same restaurant with one of the best chefs on the planet, we sat down and started to munch on the poppadoms and chutneys that were placed in front of us almost as soon as we sat down.
I’d already browsed the menu online, so I knew what was to have. We are very much like children in a sweet shop. We order too much and regret it afterwards. We did the same this time, but I didn’t regret it. Next time less.

We are still talking about how good those lamb chops were. The way the loin had been sliced in half and rubbed with garam masala and grilled to perfection. Since I have a temporary crown in at the moment, I am reluctant to gnaw at the bones, as I once did like a dog. Shame.

The spinach and potatoes of Saag Aloo was delish, as well as the super tender, super flavorsome karahi gohst. God I missed lamb curries.

We are kind predictable in Indian restaurants as I always order a keema naan and Lina always has to have rice. I like bread, she’s into rice. It’s a cultural thing you understand.
I’d forgotten it was a BYO, but I was happy I’d forgotten as we got to have the mango lassi. Wow, packs a punch of mango for sure.
I’m sure we are going to now become regulars at Tayyabs, but as there are a few more places to try in the area, I guess it may be at least a few more days before we get to return.

Whether Heston will be there is unlikely, but I know I will enjoy my meal none the less.
Tayyabs on Urbanspoon


Grumbling Gourmet said...

Part of me wishes I'd not been to Tayyabs, just so I could experience that first time joy again...

I used to go with a friend who, despite the fact his family owned two restaurants on Brick Lane at which he could eat like a king and pay nothing, would still demand we went to Tayyabs.


The London Foodie said...

What a coincidence to have those guys there at Tayyabs, love that place but loathe the queueing!

Luiz @ The London Foodie

Helen said...

One of my favourite restaurants in London. I go there once a month, at least. The whole leg of lamb is worth ordering if you have a party in and the tinda masala is a stunner of a vegetable dish. Oh and the dry meat - absolutely amazing. How something can sound so unappetising and be so the opposite never fails to astound me.

Mzungu said...

A lot of people have mentioned the queues there, we must have been lucky as we were seated right away. This may change as more visits are planned.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with your views about Tayyabs, its a really ppor restaurant.

Nice picture of Heston and pal though, although I did not ned to se pictures of them to make the restaurant authentic, I just wish the local people who used to eat there before the hipster tourists turned up could come back an get their seats back.