Where the nights are bright
And joy is complete
It's the start of the Party Season and there's always a quandary over what to wear. Judging by the stains all over my shirt this morning a big bib would have been advisable. Yes, I'd started my Christmas Festivities at New Tayyabs and it wasn't a pretty sight (for the other guests at least). It had been a while since my last visit to the only sub-continental restaurant I really like in London. A couple of friends who are also friends of the owner, Wasim, had arranged a meeting of twenty+ like-minded souls to join them for a meal there and what a meal it was. For those of you who haven't been to NT before (and if you haven't why not ?) the cooking is Pakistani and resolutely so - no pandering to whitey here. Flavours are robust, portions generous and prices are a bargain. Add the fact they operate a BYO policy, although drinking their lovely mango lassi is no chore, and you have the recipe for a great night out. As usual we left the ordering to our friends and they came up with something quite different compared to my previous visits.
We started with big platters of sizzling Tandoored Lamb chops and spicy
Sheekh kebabs (oh those Sheekh kebabs) accompanied by Keema Naan and an interesting milky raita with small dumplings in it. I ordered an extra naan as well which came hot and shiny with ghee. The way I like to eat these starters is by taking a little bit of lamb chop and a little bit of kebab and wrap it up in some naan with a sprinkling of chilli sauce and raitas, then pop the whole lot in my mouth. Excellent.
After a short wait, enough to catch up with old friends and drink some more wine the main courses arrived. Several waiters entered our private dining area bearing platters of Raan (Leg of Lamb marinated in a sort of yoghurt-based masala and slow cooked until meltingly tender), beef curry slow-cooked on the bone with all sorts of secret spices, big piles of roti and bowls of dhal and bitter gourd. Fantastic. For the first time in the evening silence reigned as people got down to the serious business of eating. Given how tasty the food was and the fact the cooking was greaseless it wasn't surprising that there wasn't much left for the doggy bags. And I still managed to wolf down some of those sub-continental sweets (mercifully they came in form of small petit fours, all nice and bite size).
All too soon it was over and we were cast out into the cold of the night. Stomachs full, heady with wine and beer and big smiles all around.