Tayyab Curry, London
i can remember, sometime in seventh grade, going over to a girls house with some friends from school. It was all akward adolesence until, at one point during a game of pool in the basement, someone noticed that on the bookshelf her parents had a copy of The Satanic Verses. All the Mormons in the room made up lame excuses on the spot that they had to go home right then, with no delay. Rumors swirled shortly that the girls parents were actually satanists when in fact they were just well read. i had no idea what the book was actually about, but the title alone was enough to excite my imagination.
Perhaps five years later, still intrigued by the book but perhaps a little less…dumb i picked up the book. By that time i had a better understanding of what the book was about, but i was not ready for the main lesson i was going to take away from, that is to say i really, really wanted a curry in London.
So when i got stuck here i set out to find something special. i thought of Brick Lane, one of the settings of the book, but was quickly dissuaded by folks telling me it had become a tourist trap, and no place for serious curry. So when Pameladevi Govinda told me her brother was available to meet for a drink, i immediately asked him, where is the best place to get curry in London.
Turns out in his opinion it is Tayyabs which is a stones throw from the menu hawkers on Brick Lane. When we arrived the place was packed with a near perfect cross section of London’s populace. East end hipsters, Bangladeshi immigrants, and smartly dressed Germans wasting 400$ bottles of burgundy with spicy curry (the restaurant is BYOB only for alcohol, so remember to pack some beers, i can’t imagine any wine standing up to the spice levels here).
We started with the curried lambchops, which is apparently the house specialty and it shows, and then moved into a range of curries, both vegetarian and carnivore (the lentil dishes are the standout here, so vegetarians need not fear). We discussed, of all things, Salman Rushdie and the particular political situation involving the Brick Lane curriers (is this a word?) in the Satanic verses, we had too many beers. The curry was fantastic, the kind that stays with you for hours, forcing you out for more beers.
On a side note, RIP Guru