Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tayyabs vs. Lahore Kebab House: Battle of the best curry house in Bricklane

Chicken wings and Naans
If you're wandering along Brick Lane craving for some kebabs and a good curry, don't get lured into one of the many curry houses by the promise of free drinks and other shady offers. Anyone who's lived long enough in London has learned not give in to temptation but head straight to real deal - Tayyabs in Whitechapel or Lahore Kebab House on Commercial Road. There's been fierce debate on which restaurant does the best grilled kebabs or whose lamb chops are the most succulent. Having been to both, here's the lowdown:

Food

I'll cut straight to the most important point: by a very slight margin, Tayyabs wins on the food. Their trump card is their lamb chops - dry rubbed with spices and grilled to perfection,  were a shade better than Lahore, which were good but seemed more thinner and leaner. On the rest of the grilled food, I'd say they are both equal, you can't go wrong ordering a mixed grill platter of delicately spiced sheesh kebabs, the infamous lamb chops and fail safe chicken kebabs. 

If you go to Tayyabs, you must order the dry meat. I know its the strangest name for a dish but its essentially slow cooked lamb that is soft and tender and of course, indulge yourself and have a garlic butter naan. 


Lamb Chops
Atmosphere

I much prefer the airy, well- ventilated large space of Lahore Kebab House though it does feel like a school cafeteria. Tayyebs is much smaller and is always packed to the brim. There are queues outside, inside, people standing everywhere AND most important, you will smell of curry for the next two days if you eat at Tayyabs. I am utterly serious - unfortunately it's not very well-ventilated. After you wake up from your food coma from eating that amazing meal, your clothes and even your hair will still be smelling of that amazing meal as well. Both places are BYOB and take reservations for large groups - it's much easier to get reservation at Lahore's since its bigger.


Service

Well, given how popular and cheap both places are, don't expect a fine dining experience. However, the waiters are helpful  when you're asking for a recommendation. Oh and bring cash - Tayyabs had only 1 card machine for the entire restaurant which meant a bit of painful wait to pay. The bill came around to about 13£ in both places - so given amount of delicious food you eat, it's great value for money.

I guess you can tell which one I prefer - Lahore Kebab House, pretty much the same quality of food and more convenient. However, if you are brave of heart and don't mind smelling like curry for a day or just less fussy than me, definitely check out Tayyabs.

Either one you choose - you can't go wrong. It's quite an experience.

Feel free to leave a comment if you've been to either or let me know which one you prefer. I'd be interested to know what popular opinion is on Tayyabs vs. Lahore Kebab House.

Tayyabs

83-89 Fieldgate Street London E1 1JU
Tel: 020 7247 6400
Tube: Whitechapel


Tayyabs on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Lahore Kebab House

2-10 Umberston Street London E1 1pY
Tel: 020 7481 9737
Tube: Whitechapel / Aldgate East / Aldgate


Lahore Kebab House on Urbanspoon

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