Terry Durack gives Tayyabs, in a Whitechapel back street a 75% score after saying there are few things he would join a queue for but this is one of them. Although he says the Pakistani-Punjabi east London restaurant is more rough-and-tumble than refined, it has “something magical that makes it 10 times better than committing hurry-curry in Brick Lane. The smoke from one of the critics’ smoking sizzle platters, which had “a good mix of scorch, spice and chew”, sent the girl at the table next to him into a coughing fit. He said he would have apologised but not with his mouth full. He says the emphasis is not so much on prime quality, seasonal, local or organic ingredients as it is on getting a lot of people fed quickly without killing anyone. Jay Rayner also makes it to east London with a visit to Gourmet San, a Chinese restaurant and takeaway in Bethnal Green, and wants to return. He says it is a small, spartan eaterie on a rather unlovely stretch of Bethal Green Road but has probably the only menu of its kind available right now in Britain, with dishes such as pig’s trotters in sugar-sweetened soy and Gon Bao prawns, served with chillies and peanuts. Rachel Johnson visits Woods, in Dulverton, Somerset, for The Sunday Times’ Style magazine and give it three out of five stars. She says it is “unpretentious, wild, woolly and woody”. However, the pigeon terrine with liver parfait and duck reillette arrived without the advertised quail’s egg and she was told the only bread in the house was melba toast. But she gave a little groan of pleasure when she discovered the twice-baked Roquefort souffle tasted like burnt rugger socks – as she hoped it would. The Independent on Sunday (The New Review) 07/09/08 page 45 The Observer Magazine 07/09/08 page 65 The Sunday Times (Style) 07/09/08 page 70-71

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