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[London, E1] Tayyabs

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There’s probably nothing new to say about Tayyabs. In fact, there’s probably nothing to say about Tayyabs that hasn’t been said many times before. At 9.30 on a midweek evening, it was packed. No, it was more than packed, it was absolutely heaving, with a queue of people waiting for tables. No wait for a two-top, though.

Shami kebab is usually a disappointment in high street curry houses. I don’t think I’ve ever had a decent one. So, I was interested to try one here as it’s such a speciality for them that it’s only on the menu on Wednesdays. And, so popular that, by 9.30, they’d run out. Which was a bit of a bugger. I settled on a seekh kebab instead. Good meat, not overcooked, zingy from the spicing and it was perked up even more by a drizzle of a mint & chilli raita. The other starter was a rather mundane vegetable samosa – not greasy and nicely spicy but a samosa is a samosa is a samosa.

The “dry meat” curry was as good as I remember it from the last time I was here a couple of years back. It was just cryng out to be eaten wrapped in bits of the lovely tandoori roti. The latter had a nice crisping round part of it, with areas of soft doughy bread – just how I like it.

The other main – korahi ghost – was also good. OK, a couple of the chunks of meat would have benefitted from more cooking but it’s a minor quibble.

We were in an out in about 30 minutes – the noise from the very full room means it’s not a place to chat and linger. Yes, the food is far better than your average curry house but it’s not really a destination restaurant. We’d eaten there because we were in the area that evening but I wouldn’t really travel very far to eat there again – might be different for folk who don’t have good south asian restaurants near their home.

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