Lahore Kebab House on Streatham High Road is as far from the formica tables, high counter and rotating meat joint that the name possibly suggests. This huge restaurant (one of two) is a family concern run by the Siddiques; a true father and son(s) operation.
At a capacity of 250 seats you might think that getting a table wouldn’t be a problem but at times it's absolutely packed, and booking is suggested. Large windows at the front make for a light and airy feel. The décor is smart and modern.
Very much a restaurant for all-comers, the crowd at Lahore Kebab House is a mix of large families and young professionals. You get the excited chatter and the craning of necks as food is served, and as smells waft from the kitchens.
There are no great surprises in terms of the dishes on the menu, and nor should there be. The menu is full of those classics everyone wants to see such as chilli paneers, samosas and bhajis to start; jalfrezi, gosht, korma and tikka masala on the mains; and naan, roti and paratha of various kinds (butter, garlic, plain and chilli) to accompany. All are delicious but where Lahore comes into its own is on the cooked meats.
If you're in a group then there's nothing better than to start with a mixed selection from the tandoor. It’s served with a sizzle and will leave you eyeing your competition for the choice cuts. Moving onto the mains there are the excellent lamb chops. Tender and very well spiced, they're really very good, but do be careful of the bone as it can be sharp, having been cleavered. However, it’s the meat-eater's dream, and definitely on a par with the likes of Tayyabs in Whitechapel.
It’s always advisable to look out for the specials which are available only on set days. Wednesday to Sunday for instance, the lamb curry cooked on the bone is just £7. It’s this kind of value, in conjunction with quality, that really makes Lahore Kebab House a place to claim as your own. Per head the average price for starters, mains and soft drinks comes out at around £15.
The restaurant is unlicensed so no alcohol is served but you can bring your own and they are happy to provide you with glasses. Soft drinks and water are available as are traditional salty, sweet or mango lassi. A wide range of fresh fruit juices are also available (orange, apple, pineapple and passionfruit).
The Last Word
Every lover of curry should have a local restaurant that they call their own, but the Lahore is something beyond that. A destination restaurant that you’d happily travel for. On price, service and quality it’s up there with the best.