In the hotly debated world of food lovers, there's one thing most Londoners hold as gospel - if you want some good lamb chops, go to Whitechapel.
Whitechapel boasts some of the oldest and most revered Pakistani restaurants in London. Many would cite Tayyabs as a favourite. These kinds of places are to the feasting Brit what good Thai and Vietnamese restaurants are to the gluttonous Aussie. And, although the Thai and Vietnamese flavours are still preferable to my Australian palate, I'm not one to knock back a good plate of lamb chops. Here, in London, go to the right places and they do them so well.
Last week, we took on a feast at Lahore Kebab House.
The first thing you notice is that it's massive and it's packed to the rafters. The whole upstairs floor was crowded with groups welcoming in the weekend with Cobra beers, spicy curries, grilled chops, and tandoori chicken to their hearts' content. At least one thing this place has over Tayyabs is that there's so much seating, you won't have to spend half your night in a queue.
We started with poppadoms, minted yoghurt and mango chutney (all fairly standard) and, the main draw card for me, platefuls of expertly grilled, marinated lamb chops (£7.50). The spicy marinade is intense, but delicious, and our first serve was moist, tender and juicy - perfect. Subsequent platefuls were, unfortunately, quite chewy.
There's a full range of curries (£5.50 each for vegie, £7.50 each for meaty) varied from mild to spicy - we sampled most of them. While nothing screamed out at me as being earth shattering, they were a cut above the curries I've sampled closer to home in the West End. Serving sizes are decent.
The huge stacks of plain naan we ordered to slurp them up were excellent.
And (halleluyah!) it's BYO, so take your booze (there's an off-licence next door) and for 15 quid per head you can feast til you burst. Just don't expect any frills - champagne glasses were provided for the red wine drinkers.
Service is brusque and not particularly personable, but when you're getting such good food at low prices, and given the number of covers, you can't expect too many pleasantries. The only hitch occurred when our waiter spilled red wine all over the shirt of one of the ladies at our table - however, they did deduct her share from the bill.
Perhaps not a location for a romantic special occassion (do NOT get any ideas TPG), but just brilliant for a big, noisy night out with a gang of like minded gluttons.
Lahore Kebab House, 2-10 Umberston Street, Whitechapel, London E1 1PY