Lamb chops are beautiful things. Fat ones, thin ones, sizzling, or scorched. Lamb chops are practical. They don’t need utensils - those sometimes required, but often inhibiting, fiddly middlemen - they’ve got a rib-shaped one built in. Lamb chops are versatile. Cover them in olive oil and salt and squeeze some lemon on top. Rub them in a Kashmiri marinade. Just stick them under the grill. Lamb chops, they’re beautiful things. And this is where you should be eating them in London.
You know the butterflies you get when someone you like texts you? They’re absolutely nothing on the pure, unbridled, stomach-clenching excitement you’ll feel as Brigadiers’ sizzling tandoori lamb chops approach your table. Less of a chop and more of a - what’s the technical term? - fuck off hunk of meat, they are undoubtedly the best lamb chops in London. Soft, charred, pink, and thick with a garam masala-heavy rub, you’ll savour every juicy mouthful.
In the manner of large cats and the Dolmio man, we are extremely motivated by food. That being said, we wouldn’t go toe-to-toe with Anthony Joshua or lowkey scale a mountain for any old chunk of grilled meat. But Meraki’s lamb chops? We’d climb Everest if we had to, alert the sherpas, we’re on our way. Luckily for our calf muscles, you don’t have to ascend anything to have access to these truly glorious chops, you just have to make your way to this buzzing Greek restaurant in Soho. The chops are oh-so-tender and come with a little portions of hummus for peak dipping potential. Yes they’re just under 30 quid but this is their signature dish, and when they’re this perfectly charred it’s worth every penny.
In our office we don’t have debates about Oasis or Blur or The Fast and the Furious vs Furious 7. We debate Gunpowder’s kashmiri lamb chops vs Brigadiers’ tandoori lamb chops. Back and forth, to and fro, all roads leading to one place: hunger. At the end of the day, they’re both really, really, head-noddingly delicious. The Gunpowder ones above, Kashmiri style, are magnificent specimens. Thick with a coat of spiced yoghurt marinade, the meat collapses into your mouth. It sort of succumbs to your salivation, blackened bits left on the bone, and all.
There’s something quite elegant about Morito’s lamb chop. All there, alone, sprinkled with paprika, on a tasteful terracotta plate. Can a lamb chop be chic? Can a lamb chop look like it belongs at the Met Gala? Does anyone want, or need, the answer to these questions? Yes. Yes to everything. And yes to one more Chic Chop © from Morito. Sometimes with cumin, sometimes with anchovy butter, sometimes with other stuff, it’s always good.
If you drink enough £5 cocktails and squint just the right amount, then Blacklock’s plate of chops looks like a glistening, tall, intricate, and beautifully rendered fat-covered crown. It would be a truly magnificent head adornment, if their skinny lamb chops weren’t going straight into your mouth. At £4 a pop these perfectly crisp and pink chops are up there with London’s best and best value, and make sure you get some green sauce on the side.
Lahore Kebab House is a certified legend of east London. The roomy Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel has been making tadka daal, karahi chicken, biryani, and of course, lamb chops for going on half a century. Call them skinny, call them slender, call them whatever you like - you’ll be able to put these away in large quantities. The rub is of the thick, yoghurt variety (our favourite kind) and full of garam masala, chilli, and lemon.
There’s no lack of chops being grilled over an ocakbasi around Stoke Newington and Dalston, but Mangal 1 have long been our go-tos when we’re craving straight sizzling meat. All things lamb are excellent here. The sweetbreads are rich and flavourful, while the chops are somewhere between thick and skinny - a medium chop, if you will - and are grilled to a perfect pinkness. It’s actually worth letting them sit for a second or two, just so you get maximum chop-soaked-flatbread for later.
If there was a museum of London’s lamb chops (why isn’t there a museum of London’s lamb chops?) then Tayyabs would surely be the equivalent to the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. But with far fewer bones, obviously. The sizzling lamb chops from this famous Punjabi establishment are so famous that one has even been sent into space. Taste-wise they’re not quite otherworldly but nor are they down to earth. Reddish with marinade and spices but always on the medium rather than the rare side of cooking, you’ll find yourself coming back for more and more.
The Guinea Grill treats its meat with the same focused affection that you treat a new pair of trainers for the first two weeks. In fact, it tends to treat everything with a fastidious kind of love. The Guinness is incomparably good versus almost any other tap in London. The chips are crisp, golden, and unmistakable potato-ey. And the chops are the kind you imagine caused Henry VIII to check out early. They’re the fat, plump sort that are scarred with grill marks, fat charred, leaking pink onto a pristine white plate.