A fiery new addition to Hammersmith's dining scene is heating up tastebuds by bringing the flavours of Pakistan to the borough.
Taste of Lahore – opened by restaurateur Zohaib Malik earlier this year – specialises in traditional, homemade Pakistani food. The laid-back curry house can be found in Shepherds Bush Road, a short walk up the street from Brook Green.
“My family and I love the borough – but to get good Pakistani food, we used to have to travel out to Harrow, or Wembley, or Tooting,” Zohaib, 41, said.
“So we picked Hammersmith because there weren’t any local Pakistani restaurants where we could sit in and eat. Now, it’s available to anyone in the local area and my children are so excited. They come over every evening.”
The family-run restaurant is the newest in the Taste of Lahore franchise, started by Zohaib’s uncle in 2002. Before opening the Hammersmith eatery, he worked in the Harrow branch for four years.
“I like working in restaurants because you meet new people every day, when you’re serving your delicious food, and you become part of the local community.”
Tingling taste buds
The restaurant offers fresh, made-to-order food. Including vegetarian dishes, such as vegetable samosas and paneer tikka masala, and well-known classic meat recipes like tandoori lamb ribs and karahi chicken.
“Everything is prepared fresh on the day. So, if a customer wants to change a menu item or order something special, we can do that,” explained Zohaib.
Knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you and help you choose the perfect dish from the extensive menu. And, for the first time in the franchise’s history, photos have been added to the menu to help customers pick their plate of choice.
“There’s lots I’d recommend off the menu. The butter chicken, the peshwari naan, and the biryanis are all really good choices. And my children, they love the kebabs and the grilled chicken,” Zohaib said.
“Butter chicken is a fusion of Pakistani and Western tastes. It’s very mild and very creamy, and great for someone new to Pakistani cuisine,” explained Fatimah, Zohaib’s partner.
“My favourites from the menu are the saag paneer and the gosht. It reminds me of Pakistan and of my homeland. The taste and smell of the dish reminds me of my country,” she added.
The growing crowd of regulars also enjoy Taste of Lahore’s mixed grill, and the tandoori, biryani and paratha are becoming firm favourites.
Bang for your buck
Taste of Lahore has a new weekday lunch menu available from noon to 4pm. It’s full of favourites at reduced prices, including a large kebab roll for £6.50 and a chicken karahi for £9.99.
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