Tavah brings authentic Pakistani cuisine to St Albans
Located on the outskirts of north London, the historical city of St Albans is a vibrant place with plenty of diverse cultural influences which, of course, equate to plenty of exciting cuisines.
In fact, while St Albans as a whole has a plethora of Indian restaurants too, what it didn’t have, until very recently, was authentic Pakistani cuisine.
That was until Tavah opened last year, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving St Albans’ MP Daisy Cooper, who said at the time: “The food at Tavah is absolutely delicious and it’s great to see this new restaurant opening up in Fleetville.”
This brand was brought to fruition by three friends – Manny Nisar, Rehan Ul Haq and Aman Rahman – whose ambition it was to finally bring a restaurant that pays homage to Pakistan’s rich gastronomic traditions.
Having lived his whole life in St Albans, co-founder Nauman Nisar says he decided to leave his corporate background and join his colleagues in pursuing a dream they all shared, which was “to bring the authentic food we love to our fellow St Albans residents”.
Mani, as he’s affectionately known to friends in the area, added: “For years we have had to travel a long way from where we live to just to find this amazing cuisine so in the end, with the support and backing of our families, friends and the local community we decided to launch our own restaurant using the motto, ‘Pakistani food with passion,’ that could deliver the unique flavours of this incredible food.”
And the trio haven’t looked back since, having been “overwhelmed by the positive reactions and goodwill we have received from everyone”.
With the name of the brand taken from the large cast iron frying pans used by chefs throughout Pakistan, the 36-cover eatery is attractively decked-out, to the point where these tavahs have been innovatively used therein as actual light shades.
The interior’s focal point though is a large wall mural painted by talented local artist Jo Bird which depicts one of those colourfully ornate, traditional Pakistani buses.
A menu that truly represents ‘Pakistani food with passion’
With a 5-star hygiene rating, no stone has been left unturned in their pursuit to bring the very best this cuisine has to offer, including the hiring of an experienced Head Chef in Imran Khan.
Hailing from Kashmir, Chef Imran has put together a healthy balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes as part of an exciting menu of Starters, Curries, and Specials, as well as a Breakfast menu (Chana Curry is one to look out for) available on weekends only.
With plenty of Starters to consider, you’d want to begin with at least their Samosa Chaat – a big, hearty bowl of hot and cold goodness that mixes a handmade samosa with lashings of spicy yoghurt sauce.
But, to get an all-round experience, the Mixed Grill might be an option given that it’s served with a seekh kebab, chicken tikka, lamb tikka, chicken wings and lamb chops, with both rice and chicken shawarma to boot.
Tavah’s assortment of Curries range from Paneer or Sag Curry and Methi Aloo to lentil-based ones, such as the classic Tarka Daal and the slow-cooked Daal Makhni.
From the Specials, the restaurant’s pièce de résistance is most assuredly the Tavah Platter, whose 11 elements – chicken tikka, chicken wings, chicken karahi, lamb tikka, lamb chops, lamb karahi, seekh kebabs, chips, rice, naan and salad – are all literally served in a tavah!
One of their best sellers is the Chicken or Lamb Namak Mandi which, cooked minimally, allows the tender HMC-sourced meat, which Tavah has diligently procured for the whole menu, to be enjoyed for what it is.
There’s also a deliciously fried Masala Fish, which uses a quality piece of flaky cod that’s marinated in a “unique masala comprising of 36 different ingredients & spices”, before being served in a piping hot iron sizzler.
If you fancy rice, then it has to be their Lamb or Chicken-on-the-Bone Biryani, which is delicately spiced and comes expertly cooked ‘dum’-style.
And there’s no better way to round off a visit at Tavah than to sit back and relax over a beautifully brewed cup of Pakistani Karak Chai, with the aromatic fragrance of the cardamom coming through in soothing waves.
Since opening, the brand has also been busily involved in catering for local parties, weddings, and even St Albans Cricket Club below.
More importantly, FtLion has teamed up with Tavah to offer readers a generous 20% off (1x Starter, 1x Curry, 1x Side) every Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of September 2021.
187 Hatfield Rd, St Albans AL1 4LG.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00 | Sat-Sun 09:00-22:00