*Revision – Tassili was awarded a one star score by the Food Standards Agency in November 2014, previously when we visited they had a three score. Original post below.
It’s not a glamorous location – sandwiched between a barbers and a Sri Lankan grocers, opposite the Skoda garage on Hoe Street, so there’s nothing from the outside of Tassili shouting “come in, give us a try!”. But if you’re feeling brave and venture in you’ll find a warm welcome and authentic Algerian dishes. This is our secret Saturday lunch place when we want quick, very cheap, home-cooked food.
There’s always a range of fresh fish, tagines and grilled meats. Everything comes served with either homemade chips or spicy rice, plus salad and a warm baguette.
The owner brings fresh fish with him every morning from Billingsgate Market, there’s often tuna steak, swordfish, mackerel and sardines. The portions aren’t enormous but this red snapper only cost us £5.50 and was freshly grilled and tasty.
We’ve had a meatball dish which is broken down and fried with an egg – I’ve forgotten the name but it was delicious.
Recently the ‘Loubia b’lham’ was an amazingly comforting white bean stew with lamb – cooked like his mother does, apparently! There’s no menu, just look in the counter and see what you like, and let the owner talk you through what’s cooking. Sometimes there’s some scary stuff – a tripe tagine or other offal offerings. Everything costs around £5.00 including sides and bread, so with drinks and coffees a lunch only ever costs us about £12-13.
It can be a bit of a ‘men’s place’ – we’ve never been brave enough to go in the evening when the football’s playing or try out the pool table in the newly opened back room. We’re often the only women and usually the only non-Algerian customers. But we’re always made welcome by the friendly owner and staff – when we’ve asked for a diet coke or mustard they’ve gone to the shop next door, and we’re left in peace to enjoy our lunch. They also do sandwiches and takeaway.
In August 2013 Tassili scored a ‘4 Good’ in the FSA hygiene ratings.
Open daily 9am – 11pm.
134 Hoe Street