Gone East

Well, I feel better than I have any right to and yes I had a lovely time, thankyouverymuchforasking. As I think I hinted earlier in the week, last night was the date for a sort-of freelance Christmas party at Whitechapel's legendary Tayyabs. And a very fine time it was.

The 'ringleader' was the nigh-legendary Simon Majmumdar, one half of the nigh-legendary Dos Hermanos. Also in attendance was the other nigh-legendary half of the nigh-legendary Dos Hermanos, Simon's nigh-legendary brother - and Pret Christmas Dinner sandwich lover - Robin, plus a number of others, including William Leigh, the always charming networking supremo that is Iqbal Wahhab of the marvellous Roast and Petra from Choc-Star. Unsurprisingly then, the conversation revolved around food, while stuffing our faces with the astonishingly cheap fare on offer at Tayyabs.

It was also interesting to hear Iqbal's take on the restaurant and I have to say I probably agree with his theory that Tayyabs could charge more, use better meat and not lose any of its reputation but, regardless, the spicing is incredible and the breads the best I've had anywhere. And having eaten like (a very fat) king for a good two, three hours for the not-very-kingly sum of £18 a head, it's possibly churlish to make any criticism whatsoever.

After that, a few of us retired to Hawksmoor for cocktails. We had a pretty good trawl on and off menu, although the standout for me - after an impeccable Algonquin - was a straight bourbon finish. Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon, to be exact, as recommended by Lucas. And it was good.

And the eating continues today with a return to Mon Plaisir for another pre-Christmas celebration. The diet - well the plot to drop 30lbs - starts on January 2nd... You read it here first, chaps.


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