Review: Tayyabs (London)

We recently spent a long weekend in London. Now I quite like London & have been quite a few times & on this trip, my plan was to go to a lot of the foodie places I’ve heard of but never been to. Needless to say, it didn’t quite happen that way! However, I did get to go to a few amazing restaurants that naturally I want to share with you all. This was meant to be a post summarising those places but I have too much to say so I’m splitting it into 3 posts – enjoy!

My previous trip to London last year, I was introduced to the indian restaurant Tayyabs in Whitechapel. Tayyabs is a bit of an institution when it comes to Indian restaurants & I’ve seen Gizzi Erskine rave about their takeaway on instagram. When you enter the restaurant, there’s people everywhere. Literally, there’s queues of people – one queue for people who have a reservation & another for people who have turned up trying to get a table. We had a reservation as I remembered my previous visit at 8pm on a Friday night & the place was rammed full despite having 3 floors!

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The menu itself isn’t fancy or containing numerous dishes, just a select number of starters & mains. No matter where you sit, you will always be passed by waiters carrying dishes of sizzling grills or curry that smell amazing. As soon as you are seated, a selection of dips, salad & poppadoms are placed for you to munch on whilst picking from the menu. One point I should also mention is that it’s BYOB here, with no corkage charge. Yes that’s right, no extra £5 a bottle for the priviledge of drinking what you want. Bet you don’t find that in many places in London!

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We opted for 2 starters to share: masala fish & chicken tikka. Both dishes are shown on the menu as 2 pieces but are 2 pieces for a reason as they are quite large! The chicken tikka was on the bone thigh & leg which meant getting your hands dirty! The meat itself was so tender as it seemed like it had just been cooked & no more. The masala fish was just as soft, flaking away as we tried to take a piece each from the griddle. The masala fish went really well with the mango chutney that was on the table, the sweetness mixing well with the masala spices.

As Tayyabs is such a busy restaurant, the dishes arrive as soon as they are ready. This meant that whilst we were still eating our starters, our mains arrived. I don’t have an issue with this but it does mean that towards the end of the meal, the mains can be a bit cold.

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We again shared our mains: keema curry (spicy lamb mince) & dry meat. The only way to describe dry meat is tandoori beef with light marinade/sauce covering it with peppers & onions. It doesn’t sound like much I know but it is so moreish! The beef is lean, fragrant & not heavy like regular indian dishes. I also prefered the keema here to other places I have had it as it was not overpowered with any additions like lemon juice. It was just straight up spicy lamb mince. Although I was edging on full, I was determined to finish my meal as the dry meat was that tasty!

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Despite how busy Tayyabs is, we didn’t feel rushed at all during our meal, even when the mains were brought out whilst still munching our starters. I should probably mention the price – for our meal, along with a roti & a portion of pilau rice, it came to just over £30 for the lot!! If you love Indian food & are paying London a visit, not popping into Tayyabs for some food would just be wrong!

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Get Stuffed Chronicles – The Food of Love

Or should that be the love of food? It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the foodie front (I know I’ve skipped a week) that involved some good meals & more foodie fails!

Valentine’s day was definitely a day of foodie love that started out in BRGR in Glasgow’s West End thanks to some amazing Tarantino themed specials they had posted on Facebook that seemed too good to pass up. Ok, and there may have been a bit of overindulgence the night before that needed mopping up! We opted for one each of the special – A Royale with cheese (as it sounds) & The Big Kahuna burger. Both burgers were amazing as were the sweet potato fries & ‘slaw we munched with it.

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That night we went to Porter & Rye for the first time since it opened. I won’t mention too much about it but it’s a MUST visit for steak lovers. You can read my review here.

Living in the West End of Glasgow has its obvious perks & one of them is the farmer’s market in Mansfield Park every couple of weeks. There’s a good range of produce from fresh bread, meat & fish to Spanish & Indian dishes. We visited the market & picked up, what I would class as the best burgers I’ve ever eaten, Hairy Beast burgers from Cedar Country Foods. The burgers are made from Highland Cattle & are the leanest burgers I have ever eaten. I swear, they are so moreish, you’ll be looking for more once you’ve finished one! We also picked up some fresh Tarka Dhal which has quite the kick to it from Jaldikatessan (sp?) & a monster scotch egg from Aye Love Real Food.Market Wares

There was obvious foodie excitement last Tuesday with Shrove Tuesday making its annual appearance. It’s strange how most people only eat and make pancakes once a year even though they are so delicious! As I’m watching what I eat, I opted to try out some pumpkin pancakes using Libby’s Pumpkin Puree. What a mistake that turned out to be! Instead of the wonderful, fluffy pancakes the recipe promised, I ended up with squishy, soggy pancakes. Such a disappointment! However, it has made me determined to try & find a decent, healthy eating friendly pancake recipe soon so I can enjoy a better batch.

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At the weekend gone, I decided I would try to make kedgeree for breakfast whilst also whipping up a batc h of creme egg brownies (they are as amazing as they sound) & a loaf to take to lunch at our friends. Well, let’s just say sometimes you can take on too much & I very much so underestimated how much time I had! The kedgeree, made with oak smoked haddock from our fishbox,  was the only item I didn’t have an issue with! The brownies, which I made several times last year, were missing a vital ingredient – caster sugar! I completely forgot to put it in but thanks to the amount of sugar in the chocolate & the topping used, they still went down well with my taste testers. And looked quite good, even if I do say so myself! The bread did look like a nice loaf & was edible but because I didn’t have enough time to prove it & had to transport it whilst warm, it was quite doughy inside. Let’s just say I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to baking & I’m not happy unless it’s 100% right!

Weekend Cooking

Get Stuffed Chronicles – Improving Each Day

Every month, I get a wonderful fish box from Coast & Glen that always has a good variety of fish. This helps when trying to do meals plans & experimenting with new recipes as you have to get your thinking cap on. This month’s box contained some squid which was a no brainer what to do with it – salt & pepper squid.

Handily, I had been given Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food for my Christmas which featured a relatively simple recipe for salt & pepper squid. I have no idea what I did wrong but instead of lovely golden & aromatic squid, I was left with some chewy, anaemic squid. It was edible but let’s just say I won’t be in a rush to make this again!

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I had better success later in the week with Red Thai Pork that I made for the first time. It was a bit of a mish mash of a recipe as I had some red thai paste left. It all came together to make a lovely dinner, which I will post the recipe for later this week.

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This week coming is my sister’s birthday & she absolutely loves macarons. I had heard nothing but good things about Mademoiselle Macaron & her wonderful macarons. There was a slight problem with my plan of getting some for my sister in that I live in Glasgow & the shop is based in Edinburgh. A bit of a jaunt to go through just for some cakes. Then Billington’s in Lenzie came to my rescue as luck would have it, they started stocking the macarons last week!

Billington’s has been awarded best deli in Scotland by the BBC Good Food Show 2 years running & I met the lovely Mark & Sue at the show last year. When we entered the shop, I could see exactly why they had been awarded the prestige – it’s like an aladdin’s cave for foodies! They stock lots of small suppliers I have come across at shows but never seen their stock anywhere to buy. Aside from the macarons, I managed to contain myself & pick up some other goodies including Poporopo popcorn, some craft beers & possibly the best brownie I’ve ever tasted in my life from Woods. Honestly, this was a fudgey, salty, caramely piece of heaven (and I only had a couple of bites!!). I did state that I had to walk out with blinkers on so I didn’t buy more stuff! Definitely worth a trip out to Lenzie to see what they have in store.

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After my sunday dinner of goulash & tempranillo, the waffle maker broke its cherry & produced some half decent waffles! It was the first time I’ve ever made them so I knew they wouldn’t be up to belgian waffle standard but it is the goal!

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PS if you haven’t seen my foodie bucketlist post, then why not?! Check it out here.