Any restaurant that not only opened in 1972 but has expanded its premises since then must clearly be doing something right. That there are often customers queuing (an hour’s wait is apparently not abnormal) is further testament to Tayyabs. Based on our recent week night visit – which fortuitously did not involve any queuing – the reason is very apparent. It has nothing to do with the insalubrious venue/ décor, and everything to do with the food: which was top-quality and delivered at compelling prices
Do you know your hopper from your dosa; your kothu from you kari, or your chutney from your sambol? What’s the correct number of all/any of these dishes to order? And should you combine these with some ‘short eats’ or maybe a ‘rice and roast?’ By now, readers have probably got the story: Hoppers has one of the least comprehensible and potentially most unwelcoming menus in London. That said, once you do eventually get to the food, it’s pretty damn good.
The Sheesh is a Leeds institution, established for over 20 years and run by the Chaudhry family throughout. When the place had to shut for at the end of 2015 owing to the nearby river flooding its premises, there was a local outcry. Jubilation then greeted the recent re-opening of the Sheesh and my recent visit there found the standards to be as high as ever.
My visits to Zayna stretch back over almost ten years and I can think of no occasion when I have been disappointed by this restaurant. It is a small, intimate setting on a side-street near Marble Arch that cooks up some of the most interesting and flavour-intense cuisine from the Indian sub-continent that can be found in London
The appetite for the new and the slightly different seems almost insatiable when it comes to restaurant openings. And so onto the scene comes Jikoni, which could arguably claim to be London’s first restaurant that is Swahili-influenced. Indeed, the restaurant takes its name from the local word used in the Great Lakes area of Africa for ‘kitchen.’
It was a rare and beautiful thing to be greeted warmly and recognised by the manager of a restaurant that neither my dining comrade nor I had visited in more than a year. This set the tone for the rest of the evening.