Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Lahore Kebab House, Whitechapel
I popped into this place last Wednesday evening because it's near to my new place of work and I'd heard positive feedback from various sources. It's tucked away on a particularly ugly stretch of Commercial Road but had a healthy number of diners when we arrived at 6pm so word has obviously gotten around.
I got the impression that this is slightly closer to a standard curry house than Tayyabs - for a start the poppadums were fully deep-fried and came with the traditional mango chutney and yoghurt sauce. However I did notice they were deep-fried very recently and still had a film of oil on the edges, which was nice, and the yoghurt sauce was slightly spiced, which added a bit of an edge to it.
Our starter really was exceptional - tikka lamb chops which were moist on the inside and covered in great tikka spiced just right. I would have been happy with plate after plate of these and was very sad to see them go - I half thought about ordering some more but decided against it.
The mains were more standard. Chicken Karahi was tasty enough but the meat was a bit dry; similarly the lamb curry was chewy and in both dishes there seemed to be a very mean amount of meat - just 5 or 6 pieces in a big bowl of sauce. Then again it was still a cut above your average curry house (and no more expensive) so no major complaints.
However, the crowning glory of the whole meal, the star of the show, was the garlic naan - unexpectedly lovely and with an amazing flavour. I don't know how they did it, but the toasted garlic tasted of almonds and were delightfully crunchy on the bite and melted in the mouth. We immediately ordered another once the first had gone.
I'd heard many negative reports of the service but we didn't notice anything too untoward ourselves, although we did have to ask for a mango lassie a few times before it arrived. If I'm paying less than £15 a head for a meal and the service is anything better than completely incompetent I don't think you have too much to moan about.
One final point of interest - despite calling itself a Kebab House, I'm not sure I noticed any kebab on the menu? Or maybe the greatness of the lamb tikka overshadowed all the other starters. Anyway, there you go - for a good cheap eat the Lahore ticks most of the right boxes, although I would still say Tayyabs is a more impressive experience overall.
P.S. I've just noticed how the pic of the main is slightly fuzzy whilst the courses I liked (the garlic naan and the chops) are again perfectly in focus. I honestly don't do this deliberately guys, I just appear to have a sentient cameraphone.