Restaurants & Bars

Needoo, Whitechapel [London]

alexdz | Sep 3, 200903:54 AM     34

Following on from the Dos Hermanos blog post on Needoo, I went with a party of 10 to Needoo to test it against the glory of Tayyabs. Dos Hermanos have found a gem and, frankly, it's better.

Needoo is much smaller that Tayyabs (it boasts 80 seats but I think that would be a struggle), and yet the lack of rampant publicity means that for a party of 10 we were not rushed throughout the whole meal. In fact, the customer service was excellent and our young waiter remembered who ordered what with no prompting. He was also good at helping with orders/dishes, even to the extent that he was willing to tell us that 10 mixed grills was too much for us all.

In the end he was right, although I (and a few other ppl) persisted and ordered a whole mixed grill each (£10). It could be shared and was, but I reckon 2 sikh kebabs, 4 lamb chops and 5 pieces of chicken tikka is about right for a glutton. The sikh kebabs lacked the green chilli zing of tayyabs, and fell well short of the far superiour ones at lahore, but were still very tasty. The chicken tikka was much better than both lahore and tayyabs. Moist, well marinated chicken. Lamb kebabs had a good char, and I think held their own against Tayyabs. In my head Tayyabs lamb kebabs were better but i think this is because they were the first proper pakistani chops i ever ate, so I have an emotional attachement.

Better than both Lahore and Tayyabs were the side dishes. Following on from the Dos Hermanos review, I had a dish of the Aubergine Daal (£4ish). It was stunning. Beautifully cooked lentils in a sweet tomato and gently spiced sauce with smokey aubergine on top. The Paratha was a good wholemeal type version i think with a nice slick of ghee to lift its flavour. Peshwari (always a bit too sweet for me) and garlic naan beat the hell out of tayyabs offerings with proper raisens nuts and seeds covering the peshwari rather than just a filling of sweet paste, and a lovely spread of garlic over the other. The keema naan was good as well.

The one dish that didnt really do much was the lamb pilau. Essentially a large portion of rice with some lamb chunks in it, it didnt really excite me at all. Fine though, just dull.

Overall for ten of us, with 6 mixed grills, 7 side dishes, and 10 breads it came to a reasonable 112 quid plus a generous and well earned tip. BYOB. Bargain.

Go. Go now. Just don't let someone like Jay Raynor or Charles Campion review it or they will spoil it.

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