After a six am start to the day and an eight mile running race, it is safe to say that I was pretty hungry. The breakfast of champions which consisted of eggs on toast was long forgotten and I found myself at nine pm with an insatiable hunger. I was cave woman kind of hungry, I was close to chewing my own leg off. After a few post race drinks, I needed something substantial to distract me from my aching bones (I don’t remember getting this old and feeble).
It was a cold and wet Sunday night and trying to find food in East London is harder than you would imagine. Luckily my friend knew just the place and on some backstreet in Whitechapel was the restaurant I had read so much about, especially since it was featured in the Observer food monthly awards a few weeks ago; Tayyabs. We stepped from the quiet street into a room that was positively jangling with life, there were people everywhere, a crowd were huddled around the entrance vying for a table. That and the diversity of punters seemed to be a good sign. The place seemed endless, tables were covering every available patch of floor space and there was certainly an atmosphere, one of joy. I know that seems a strange word to describe the ambience of a restaurant but everyone seemed to be having a good time, from the couples to the large families, smiles adorned the faces of the patrons and when I sat down to eat, I understood.
Due to my ridiculous hunger, I was up for a lot of food and that was exactly what we had. As my friend had been there before, I decided to let them do the ordering for me and I just sat back and waited for the food to appear. We ordered a lot of food and discussed taking home doggy bags and when the mountain of food arrived, I was a little intimidated. As soon as I had taken my first bite, I knew there would be no leftovers.
I think the first thing I ate was the chicken from the mixed grill, I’m not really a chicken breast kind of a girl but the smoky, spicy, sultry flavour that was having a party in my mouth elevated the chicken to another level. Now, they are famous for their mixed grill and in particular, their lamb chops and I can see why. It was really bloody good! What is more exciting than a plate, piled high with aromatic meat? Not much. We also chomped on a delicious lamb curry. To be honest, I can’t remember all of the details and descriptions because I was too busy having an awesome time. I also managed to only take one photo. That is when Little Chef knows she’s having a special food experience, when she forgets to take notes and photo’s!
Something to note, go to Tayyabs for the food, not for the brusque service. Enjoy the food, enjoy the company and make sure you over-order. I promise you’ll want leftovers so you can carry on the Tayyabs experience at home. Yum yum yum.