Sunday, November 13, 2011

One Day in London: Borough Market & Tayyabs

We had one day in London after flying red-eye out of Toronto - no better way to fight jet-lag than to head on out and keep busy. We basically kicked our friends out of bed (thanks Lis, JK and Simon) and headed for lunch at Borough Market. I loved it the first time I went and couldn't wait to taste (and smell!) that raclette cheese again, yummms! The market was busy as expected and we bee-lined our way to get some raclette and potatoes. It was scraped piping hot off the wheel, melted on our little bowl of potatoes. Amazing and every bit as good as I remember, maybe better! It was a good start to our eating. Next we made our way to get a duck confit sandwich (other end of the market) which was really good but the bread was more of a plate than anything for us :p. We also made a stop at Roast To Go and had a pork belly sandwich with apple sauce...highly recommend, it was so tender and tasty! I could have used more apple sauce on the meat though. So. Good. We made a pit stop at Monmouth for coffee and I happened to spy a little bakery next door: Konditor & Cook. After examining all they had to offer (mulled wine truffles were very tempting), I picked up a slice of raspberry hazelnut chocolate cake for the group, covered with chocolate fondant. It was every bit as good as that sounds, and very filling. You'd think dessert was the end of our eating, but we still made our way to the shellfish stall and had grilled scallops with bacon. Seriously, how can one resist?! We were temped by the giant wok of paella initially but were too full by the time we made it back and I had a taste of soup instead, minted asparagus which true to the name was very minty but a little too much for me. With happily stuffed tummies, we embarked on our day of walking along the bank to check out some sites.

After wandering from Tower Bridge to Millenium Bridge, exploring Tate Modern and some quick shopping at Selfridges, we made our way to the East end of London for some Pakistani food at Tayyabs. This place was packed, and is apparently always lined up outside but crowds were moderate when we arrived. It's BYOB at Tayyabs so we picked up some beer which helped us pass the wait for a table, which thankfully did not take that long. Upon entering, I discovered really how big the restaurant was, two floors packed with patrons! The food looked and smelled delicious, I was starving and couldn't wait to dig in. Our friend Vince took care of the ordering and we were treated to a feast of tandoori chicken and lamb chops on hot paltes, karahi gosht, a traditional Pakistani lamb curry dish, a delicious saag aloo (spinach) and some amazing nan, including a sweet nan with sesame that was fluffy and surprisingly really tasty - I had not imagined having sweet nan with my food but I wish I could have had more! Although we were fully stuffed from our abundant and flavorful meats, we could not turn down the chance to try Tayyabs's own yogurt pops that came in mango, pistachio and their original malai. My pistachio one was really good and the perfect way to cut down the spice flavours in my mouth. The most amazing part of the meal? Dinner was £15 a person, which was just a crazy deal! It was so delicious, came quickly and an unbelievable deal. No wonder there's always a line-up outside. Tayyabs was definitely a nice local secret to discover!

Can't complain about our quick jaunt in London, still managed to have some great food experiences! Borough Market is definitely an experience to be had and Tayyabs is a restaurant I'd love to visit again.

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