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Tayyabs Kebab House - review

"Tayyabs has been open since 1974. I feel a little aggrieved. Why didn't I know? Why has no one told me sooner that a really good Pakistani Karahi café has been hiding in Fieldgate Street? The taxi driver had real doubts about its existence. He had to do two U-turn's and take a detour around a strangely placed mid street no entry sign to find it. Only a secret few must actually know its whereabouts - must be dead quiet I thought. We had to wait twenty minutes for a table. The place was like the casualty department of the London hospital next door. ''Please, I must see a doctor, I'm really hungry.'' ''Take a number and fill out this form.'' To irritate me even more, the front window had frosted into it. Once in, it was very noisy. Smug and in the know trendy types were crowding the isle, waiting for tables or takeaways. The smell was tantalisingly good though. The décor is bright and modern with twisty galvanised coloured wall lamps that matched the pattern of the serving counter. Cheap laminate wood tables were being wiped clean as soon as they were being vacated. The menu has unhelpful pictures of various dishes in colour. Which amounts to a bad combination of overpaying a printer while underpaying a photographer. We had Karahi Gosht, Karahi Bhindi, Tandoori Roti and a Nan. We had the large options and that was enough for the two of us. The Karahi Gosht was full of flavour and nicely spicy. Bindhi was tasty but a little sticky. The bread was fine but probably because of the rush they had neglected to put any gee on all of them, so they were a bit dry. It deserves a Monday visit not a Friday. I asked the waiter if it was quieter during the weekdays? ''Everyday's Christmas here, sir.'' Rakta Geno - 12/08/02

Tayyabs Kebab House
83-89 Fieldgate Street
London E1
tel: 020 7247 9543
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