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‘Mood. Buzz. Atmosphere… It’s the one thing most likely to bring us all back’

Good cooking only gets you so far. The rest is down to the happy chatter and clatter of eating outIt is the late 1980s, and I am standing, long after dark, in an unlit alley behind the Strand; a place seemingly built to enable muggings and furtive snogging. There is a blank doorway here and next to it a small, polished brass plaque. It reads “Joe Allen”. I pause here for a moment, just to draw out my youthful anticipation. When I push through that door, I will be hit by an adrenaline rush of a noise. It’s a sound of which I want to become a part: a babble of happy voices deep into their theatrical anecdotage, overlaid by the clink of glass on glass, the rattle of the cocktail shaker, and all of it underscored by Jimmy Hardwick’s piano.Tayyabs is literally managed chaos. I wouldn’t want it any other way Continue reading…