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  • 83-89 Fieldgate Street
    London E1 1JU
    Whitechapel
  • Transit information Circle District East London Hammersmith & City Get Directions
  • Phone number 020 7247 9543
  • Business website tayyabs.co.uk
  • 5.0 star rating
    17/4/2014

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  • 4.0 star rating
    17/4/2014

    Fantastic Punjabi food. Their lamb chops are amazing (just hope you don't mind burnt parts in your food). Their curries as also good but I end up going for the lamb chops as a main meal (you can have it as a starter).

    If you want to drink alcohol bring it with you as this place does not sell it.  

    Don't expect a fancy service or a quiet / romantic dinner though. And come prepared to wait for a long time, even if you booked in advance. Still totally worth it!

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/4/2014
    1 check-in here

    What a great place for a dinner. I'm not a fan of going to Indian restaurants, but this is the consequence of the lack of great restaurant where I live.

    I went there with a reservation, it was great idea because it so busy.

    The menu is large and offer a huge choice and daily specials. I was surprised about the low prices, quantity served is large. Great value for the money.

    I tried the Biryani which was really good and a bit too spicy for me. This place is swarming after 6pm!!
    A lot of waiters are going in and out, so I would recommended not to be seated next to the kitchen. The kitchen is open, you can smell the food from the adjacent tables, another reason not to go approach the kitchen.
    Naan was delicious too, go for the garlic naan.

    Service is nice but sometimes hard to catch. Bill remain low!

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/3/2014
    1 check-in here

    *You can bring your own liquor, no charge!

    London is supposed to have the best Indian food, next to India. Being Indian, I was ready to test out this theory, so on our last night in London Town, I was on a search for a good place. After Yelping, we decided on Tayyabs. It's in a sketchy part of town, but believe me, it's well worth it! Hold on to your bag, honey, and scurry yourself over to this place.

    Walking in, you'll be overwhelmed by the amount of people. When I say that, believe me, there are A LOT of people waiting for a table!  They have guys standing around wearing "Tayyabs Crowd Control" vests - not kidding!

    Really GOOD food without the hole in the wall atmosphere. The restaurant was actually really cute. They move people through surprisingly quick. The place is super loud, you can barely hear the person sitting across from you.

    Please do not forget to order a jug, yes a jug, of their Mango Lassi. It will shoot you straight up the heaven and back, it's that good! Everything we ordered was scrumptious. The Keema Naan was the best - so buttery and flavorful; I'm on the brink of drooling just thinking about it. Their Chutneys, Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Kabobs, Lamb Chops, Raita - all GOOD! The only thing that I don't recommend is the Samosas, they were definitely not authentic.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/4/2014

    This is our go to place for cheap food, but you MUST make a reservation in advance.

    Cheap eats. BYOB. Delicious food. What more could you ask for?

    Be prepared for really slow service. It's all part of the experience.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/3/2014

    Come here knowing with the expectation of waiting.... and waiting.... to be seated. But it's so worth the wait because their lamb chops are as good as people say they are.

    Bring your own booze, hang with friends, and your wait will seem a LOT shorter

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/3/2014 Updated review

    Tayyabs is an institution, that's for sure. The food - especially the lamb chops - is still incredibly delicious, and there are still long lines out the door, but I've taken away a star as I think the service has gone downhill. Yes, no one ever went to Tayyabs for service and ambience (let's face it, it's the Indian restaurant equivalent of the sadly lamented Wong Kei), but, still, there are certain standards, such as offering tap water - not charging for it - and trying not to injure your customers.

    On the latter, try your very best to gauge the direction from which the food will be served, and sit away from there. On a recent visit, I had sizzling bowls of food thrust right past my ear onto the table, causing me to jump in the process. There wasn't even a "careful, hot!" warning which came with it. I finally managed to save myself by piling up bowls and cutlery on my side of the table so that there was no more available space. That's right - I threw another friend at the table under the bus in order to save myself. So what?

    I will say one thing about the waitstaff though. They have incredible memories. Our waiter took our order (a table of six) without writing anything down and headed off to the next table (a table of ten) and took their orders before going to the kitchen. Nothing went awry with our orders, and, I believe, the other table got all of their food as well. It was a pretty amazing feat.

    5.0 star rating
    11/8/2009 Previous review
    I love Tayyabs! It's the one place in London I can name where you're practically guaranteed a… Read more
  • 4.0 star rating
    8/4/2014

    Food is amazing and reasonably priced. The fact that you can bring your own drink is a bonus. Be prepared to wait, even if you have booked a table and the service isn't brilliant. But the food is well worth it :)

  • 5.0 star rating
    14/4/2014

    Great grilled meats, fantastic grilled lamb chops and curries. We went on two different occasions, one being the Muslim Feast and it was absolutely packed but we got a table for five in less than twenty minutes. Second time was a late weekday and we were seated after five minutes. Their mango lassi is out of this world, papadoms are divine and the whole meal was so ridiculously cheap we asked the waiter to check the receipt. Although it's BYOB, the nearby Tesco's refused to sell us alcohol cause it was late.
    Nonetheless, Tayyab's comes highly recommended if you're a large group in need of some great grilled meats. By far their winning feature is their service; the waiters there were super accommodating and fast. We had our food on the table within ten minutes of ordering, and we got every order and request fulfilled in minutes. It's the little things that make a difference, and our entire table was impressed with their great service and cheap prices. Highly recommended.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1/4/2014

    My fav joint when I lived in London. Not too far from Canary Wharf and it's always busy! Enjoyed the garlic naan and chicken karahi the most. chicken tikka and popadoms as starters are great. Love the chicken biryani and always ordered a mango lassi to go along with my spicy meals. It's hands down East London's best Pakistani restaurant

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/3/2014

    Tayyab's came highly rated from our friend who lives in London. We walked there from Brick Lane so we really worked up an appetite. He made reservations prior to our arrival and I can see how busy they get, even at the time we went which was not really lunch or dinner time. The food here is not the Indian type of food I am familiar with eating. We got some grilled meats Seekh Kabob, Lamb Chops and Chicken Tikka. We also got a mixed vegetable dish and garlic naan. They gave us papadam with some tasty dips. The garlic naan was exceptional. The meats, we asked if they were spicy and they told us no, but my hubby was sweating bullets! Overall, the spices used on the meats were very similar and I did not notice much variation in taste of the different meats. The veggie dish was very oily and I almost forced myself to eat it. I know giving back your food is not acceptable and I did not want to waste any money! So I ate it.

    Their website says Punjabi food and you can reserve online before coming in. I am sure this will save you some time.

    I would say overall the food was good, but nothing I would go out of my way for again. It's pretty expensive in my opinion. Compared to food in London its comparable, but for me it was a lot for what it was.

    I would be more curious to try the curry houses that are just down half a mile from here.

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/2/2014

    What a pleasant surprise! My friend organised her birthday dinner there on a Saturday night - we were around 12 and it worked out very well. We were sitted not too long after we arrived in a long table upstairs.

    Looking around a lot of people were in the same situation as us - big tables, lots of joy and celebration. The place is noisy, there are tons of people but it is a fun atmosphere. The menu is big with plenty of naan, lassi, meat, rice, veggie options
    .
    When the waiter took our food and drinks order (for 12 people) and did not take any notes I started ohh no I see it coming it is going to be a disaster. But he surprisingly remembered it all. Impressive

    The salty lassi was perfect - not too cold. And the chicken and veggies were tasty as well, not too spicy and on the big portion side. Maybe a bit too oily for my taste.

    The food is very good value for the prices. It is a busy place (book in advance) so it was hard sometimes to get the waiter's attention

    FYI it is BYOB

    In a nutshell: I don't often go to that part of London so I am not sure I will get the chance to go back but if anyone asks me for Indian/Pakistani recommendation I will make sure to mention Tayyabs!

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/3/2014

    No clue why this place is as well reviewed as it is. It's not bad, but it's not excellent either.

    Lamb chops were mediocre. Chicken curry was oily and not really good. Naan was pretty good, and tarka daal was quite good. Mango lassi was way too sweet and kind of  gross.

    If this is one of London's best Indian places, I'm really clueless as to how the city gets a reputation for good Indian food.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/2/2014

    This place came highly recommended and deservedly so.  Quick service (although not overly polite) and excellent food, if you're looking for Indian/Pakistani food in London, this is the place to get it.

    Fair warning though: bring your own beer.

  • 3.0 star rating
    12/1/2014

    This felt like the equivalent of a busy dim sum house on a weekend.
    Everybody waiting was given a number.
    The restaurant is loud and bustling.

    We were eventually seated. Ordered some drinks (yes they charge for water) and our order was taken.

    The food was ok.
    We had chicken tikka masala, butter lamb and aloo ghobi.

    None of it really stood out as AMAZING.
    It came some highly rated on Yelp that I thought I should give it a try.

    I have no idea if this place is really any better than the millions of curry houses on Brick Lane.

    I still prefer Hot Stuff in Vauxhall to this place.

    P.S. Charging me for tap water? Big turn off.

  • 5.0 star rating
    31/12/2013

    Whenever someone asks me where to eat in London, this is the one place I always recommend. I have been here over a dozen times over 4 or 5 years. Two dozen? Quite likely. Three dozen? Certainly possible. And this place has been around for decades.

    You do not want to go to Brick Lane. You want to come here. And BYOB.

    You can read the other reviews that talk about the ambiance and whatnot.

    I'll cut straight to the point. Here is what you want to order:
    1. Chili lamb chops. They come out in a massive cloud of smoke spice. Eat all the grilled onions that accompany them.
    2. Dry meat. It is not dry at all. It is delicious. Where were you all my life, dry meat?
    3. Chana
    4. Urid dal
    5. Something else from the veggie list -- okra, baby pumpkin, change it up to spice up your life.

    Gluten free notes: I eat here all the time with no problems, though I have not attempted to verify what is or is not gluten free. Papadums are fine (rice & lentil). No naan for you!

  • 4.0 star rating
    18/2/2014

    This is Lahore's upscale cousin: equally well known, but dressed with nice decor and a place you would actually take your parents to (but maybe only early- there were a lot of big parties near us where it looked like things could get messy). You can make a reservation online, which is fairly simple, and it's BYOB as well, so you are not missing out on that aspect either. I am not an Indian food expert but everything we had was delicious. Will definitely return again soon.

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/3/2014

    This was the highlight of London food for me. Some of the best Indian food I've ever had, and my hometown boasts some pretty spectacular Indian cuisine. It's real Indian food, not that the bland knockoff crap you find all over London. The pumpkin curry is so amazing, I don't even know what all to say about it...the complexity of flavors and textures is probably what's most impressive. The service is pretty awful and the wait is absurd, but both of those would have to be a whole lot worse to keep me from going back here every chance I get. We were in London for just one week and ate here for 3 of our 5 dinners, and that still really wasn't enough times in my opinion.

  • 2.0 star rating
    18/1/2014

    The food was very good as many have said.  Now, onto why its a 2.   If you can't hear your companion, can't get up without moving the entire table, can't have a beer unless you bring it, or breathe due to the smoke....can you really rate it that high?

    How about this, it's a 4 if you get it to go and a 1 if you have to suffer in the restaurant.  By the way, the service was fairly lame too.

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/2/2014

    So, this is a long-overdue review. Really good place to eat w/ a group. Its BYOB and has tasty traditional Indian food.  I came to London last summer for only 48 hours for a party and Tayyabs was one of the places we ate before the night of the big to-do.  Very much looking forward to returning.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1/12/2013

    Food - I really enjoyed Tayyab's when I was in London last march. The dishes are not too heavy, and are very flavorful. My favorite dishes were the tikka marsala and the karami lamb. The naan and paratha were very good too. The sauces/jams add a lot of flavor.

    Service - great service with lots of helpful recommendations.

    Final thoughts - definitely worth a visit if you're in the area

  • 3.0 star rating
    5/2/2014

    I've been here a few times and the food has unfortunately been a bit inconsistent. When it's good, it's amazing. The stand outs have been the lamb chops, dry meat and sweet naan. They have turned out a bit dry and over cooked on occasion hence only a 3 star rating. Overall, it's good food at a reasonable price but inconsistent.

  • 1.0 star rating
    30/1/2014

    Very crowded place, we could not manage to get in on a saturday night, make sure you make a reservation before hand

  • 2.0 star rating
    22/1/2014

    DISCLAIMER: I DID NOT EAT ANY FOOD.

    However, I felt I should review the restaurant based on the experience that made me leave it before having a chance to order. Due to the nature of the food cooked there (in large metal pans, as seen in the pictures on yelp) it is a very smokey atmosphere. Add to that the fact that a lot of the spices associated with the cuisine are quite hot, and you have a recipe for disaster for anyone with asthma or breathing problems. While my friend and I tried to last it out, we both ended up having to ask to be relocated away from the cooking area. Our waiter told us we would have to talk to the manager, who came about ten minutes later. He said of course, and moved us around the corner. Unfortunately, it was still exceptionally smokey and we were both actively coughing. We told him this, and he tried to tell us we were wrong. So we pointed to the inches of smoke clinging to the ceiling. At this point, he offered us a table on the other side (one that we had originally asked for) but we felt put off by the whole experience, and the coughing, so we went back to a standby favorite on brick lane proper.

    As a second note, the table beside us also had to leave before they had eaten any food because the woman was allergic to onions. We heard their conversation with the manager (as the restaurant does put you in quite close quarters) and apparently, though the waiter had been informed, they were brought numerous dishes with onions, which they kept having to send back. At that point, no longer trusting that things would be cooked in an allergen-free way for customers with health issues, they chose to leave.

    All this being said, loads of people were there and seemed to be enjoying themselves and the food. Also, the dessert bar looks fantastic. BUT if you have asthma or food allergies, maybe you should reconsider.

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/11/2013

    1st time there on my 1 week long London sojourn from Cleveland. We showed up at 945 pm on Friday evening. There was 20 min wait. This place does not serve alcohol , we got some beer from a Store nearby. The turnover was quick and it was packed with patrons at 10 pm.

    For appetizers we ordered 'Lamb Chops' & seekh kebabs. Lamb Chops are simply out of this world. Excellently marinated perfectly grilled, just the right taste. We added another order of same. For the main course we got aloo meat, chicken curry, urad dal and ginger naan. They main course dishes were finger licking good as well. Ended the night by getting authentic pista kulfi.

    Definitely a gem and must visit if you are in London.

  • 3.0 star rating
    12/2/2014

    This place is WAY too loud to enjoy a meal. We found ourselves surrounded by groups of 6+ all competing for conversation and the volume was incredible. We ordered the lamb chops (very tasty, not much meat), saag paneer and chicken tikka masala. It was all a bit greasy and spicy for our taste. This was the only Pakistani/Indian restaurant that we tried in London. I would recommend trying somewhere else if you want any attempt at having a conversation.

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/2/2014

    Amazing, culinary experience just a little bit of the beaten truck of brick.lane. Great meet cuts from grill  (OMG - lamb chops - what a blast) and amazing thick sauces :-) very regional so ask waiter for advice and BYOB (no extra charge)

  • 2.0 star rating
    7/8/2013

    Oh dear, I feel like I'm going to write an obit for the Tayyab's I once knew and loved.  I've been coming here for at least 7 years.  Granted, it had been a while since my last visit but wow, what a miserable experience!

    To be fair, the food is still amazing.  The lamb chops are still finger lickin' good.  The table still falls silent once the food arrives - you can't get it in your mouth fast enough.

    But there were two major downfalls this time.  We were there on a Monday night.  It was not full.  There was no queue out the door.  There were empty tables.  The service was its usual surly self but it seemed worse than usual.  They couldn't be bothered to help us make space for the food that was coming out and instead was telling us, quite rudely, to move stuff around.  Really?  What's the freaking rush?

    But the worst was the bottle of water that they leave on the tables.  You think it's free but it's actually £2.50.  They won't bring you tap water.  It's the bottled water or nothing.  How cheap can you get that you won't even offer tap water?  

    A completely disappointing experience and I'm not sure I'll be going back, despite the delicious food.  They've become a victim of their own success!!

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/11/2013

    After all the reviews, I was expecting some great food and it turned out just ok.  I was here on a Sunday and ordered the Chef's special Chicken Biriyani.  For a dish that is the Chef's special, the presentation was poor and it looked like a heap of rice on a plate.  Digging into it, the flavors of the spices typical of a biriyani was almost non-existent, and the chicken pieces were some of the most bone-filled ones I have ever had.  That's simply poor for a chef's special.
    We also ordered the garlic naan as well as the keema naan and there are no complaints.  Very good naan.  The mango lassi was also great.  
    Overall, not terribly impressed, but will come back when my Indian food cravings return.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/9/2013
    1 check-in here

    Once again Taayabs delivers on taste, price and atmosphere.

    As usual people are queuing in every square inch of the lobby and pavement outside. I always wonder what these people are doing - if you're coming to Taayabs rule number 1 is to book a table. Rule number 2 is bring a bag of cold beers (it's BYO), and rule number 3 is to have the Karahi lamb chops for starter.

    I had the lamb gohst for main with a beautiful, buttery peshwari naan. As on all previous visits, the bill was greeted like a favourite uncle at Christmas. £12 per person for an enormous amount of great food.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/8/2013

    This is one of the best Indian/Pakistani places I've ever been.  I had a couple bits of chicken tikka and they were tender and juicy with great flavors.  I also had a chicken tikka saag dish that was appropriately spicy and really delicious.  I'm currently on a restrictive diet, so I didn't get to sample the pappadum and naan, but there were plenty on the table, and they looked fantastic.  

    The place was pretty busy for a weekday lunch, and I was told that by 4:30, it's packed with a line.  I can believe it.

  • 3.0 star rating
    16/9/2013

    Such a let-down. The only thing that this place has going for it is the food. Normally, that would suffice. But Tayyeb proves to be the exception to the rule.

    The wife and I booked a reservation here and after a long trip on the tube and a bit of self-induced (for Tayyeb) confusion about how to seat a bunch of parties that were queued up and raring to go, we sat down and had dishes, cutlery, and sauces plopped unceremoniously on our table. Having grown up with Cantonese waiters doing the same thing (but with much more insouciance), we weren't perturbed. Nor were we perturbed when we were told that they no longer did BYOB (great, another bottle of vino to pack for our trip back!). Nor were we perturbed when I asked for a fork and was given a knife (I ended up eating everything with a serving spoon).

    What did perturb me was the food. After such inept service and organization, I hoped fervently that every bite of the Karahi lamb chop masala, karahi gosht, garlic naan, and sikkh kebabs would be manna from heaven. Not so. They were all good- the garlic naan was soft, the kebabs were spicy and aromatic, and the main dishes were delightfully fragrant with a hint of heat. But they weren't that good. It certainly didn't warrant the long trip, the slack service, and the utterly self-induced chaos that marked the entire experience.

    Oh yes, that BYOB policy? Totally arbitrary. The table next to us pulled a bottle of vino out of their bag and was handed a corkscrew. Unfortunately for us, we had already finished eating. Psssht!

  • 5.0 star rating
    12/7/2013

    We ordered our food. I leave to use the restroom for around 2 minutes. When I return to the table my chicken tikka masala & mango lassi arrive at the table. What the flip? I seriously had never experienced that quick of preparation which made me 1/2 skeptical (uhh pre-made much?) and 1/2 happy (i couldn't deny that i was super hungry). Did they get the wrong table?

    well...the verdict came in when I bit into that tasty chicken with a spicy kick to it and later took a cool sip of the sweet mango lassi. I never thought I was a fan of Indian food in the USA, but Tayyab has me sold. I LOVED IT & I LOVE TAYYAB!  

    love,
    from an American yelper!

  • 2.0 star rating
    13/2/2014

    How the mighty have fallen. As the Vietnamese restaurant Song Que has shown, canteen-style, express food service is an art-form. Unfortunately Tayyabs is victim of its own success. Another one of these East London restaurants that's living off the fumes of a former accreditation of excellence but fails to deliver. I would say the average customer was not raised on a diet of Indian cuisine so experiencing curry is an irregular event (being half-Pakistani I had the stuff coming out of my ears from an early age) and perhaps hard to quantify - my own gf exclaimed how a lamb masala "nearly blew her head off" so there you have it. I had a chicken karahi which was bland (real curry houses offer chicken thigh as is the tradition in the Punjab), the meat rubbery and unbelievably luke warm. My naan was stone cold and my Nan could make better pilau in her sleep. The place is packed to the rafters making it uncomfortable to relax - at one point I had the jacket of a customer dangling in my curry as he was squeezed along an overflowing line. Ok compared to the crap on brick lane people think this is epic but If Tayyabs was in Southall it would be EMPTY. Time to look for a better local curry or just stick to my excellent take out from Samosa.

  • 3.0 star rating
    6/9/2013
    1 check-in here

    Tayyab is nothing special. The wait staff were a bit slow to serve me, had to wait about 10 minutes just to get a menu, even though the restaurant was almost empty. The food was average at best. I tried the Meat Samosa and one of the lamb curries with palao on the side. It's not bad, but expected something far better for London considering the hype around London indian food.  

    The price is one of the redeeming qualities of Tayyan, for about 20 pounds you can have a filling meal for 2, but if you're looking for a top indian place I'd recommend trying somewhere else.

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/9/2013

    Pretty good, but I'm not sure it's worth a tube ride across town to eat here. You'll get really solid lamb dishes here, which I enjoyed quite a lot, but other dishes here didn't impress all that much. Plus, everything was quite oily, as in there were pools of oil in everything, which is OK, but makes you feel like it could be healthier.

    Place gets packed but they keep things moving along.

    The mango lassi is good an enormous.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/1/2014

    I'm studying abroad in London and our professor took our class here! It was amazing and I'll definitely be going back (if I ever recover from the food coma). Our menu was fixed which was perfect and the servers were so kind and helpful. I loved the chickpea and lentil dishes and rice! The amount of food was a lot but all so delicious.

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/7/2013
    Listed in 2013 Centurion

    Delicious! After looking for a curry house online this seemed to be the place to go. We walked in around 7.15 and immediately got a seat for 2. It was pretty cramped, but at least we didn't have to queue.

    The servers brought salad and poppadoms. The mango chutney was really nice, not too sweet and the red sauce had a nice kick to it. We ordered quite a bit of food (as usual for an Indian) but the best was the house speciality lamb cops and the saag meat. The curries were full of flavour and there was a lot of meat in each dish. The naan was super light and fluffy and was perfect to mop up all the sauce. We polished off all the food and although I was super stuffed afterwards, it was worth it.

    The only niggling point I have is that the service was quite rushed and I definitely felt like they were trying to turn tables over. There was a queue on our way out, but I would have enjoyed a bit of a slower meal. For the quality of the food and the price I will defo be up for making an East end trek for their curries again.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/5/2013
    2 check-ins here

    I'm going to be the 100th plus person to talk about the deliciousness of Tayyabs. But please note... Tayyabs is delicious.

    This is such a strange place. It's decorated like a club (neon lights outside, bubbles and mood lighting inside) and tucked away on a side street. If you see the crazy throng of people outside, that's the right place. This spot is always packed, especially at night. Don't just walk in, always make a reservation. (They used to not take them, now they do online. Book it.)

    But it's the food where this place shines. Cheap, delicious, hot, spicy, mmm. The lamb chops are legendary, the chicken tika masala is delicious (and not overly creamy or sweet like other ones) and the complimentary flat bread, veggies and sauce they put down right as you sit is amazing.

    And each meal is about £7 for a small portion and £13 for a large portion. Get some rice and some bread and two small portions for two people and it's seriously enough.

    Plus, it's BYOB (or whatever drink you want.) There's a Tesco down the street (when walking out of Tayabs, turn left, you can't miss it)) and no cork fee. Drink wine, drink beer, drink cider, drink it all!

    If you can, sit away from the open kitchen. We were placed there last night and every time they cooked up a new dish, the spice hit that side of the room so hard everyone coughed. It was hard to breathe sometimes it was so thick. Still, a delicious sort of way to die and I woke up this morning still smelling like cooked meat. Mmm.

    We were there in the evening and they technically close at 11:30. They put down the bill but we weren't ready to go yet. We asked if we had to leave but they told us as long as we paid, we could sit there until Midnight. We paid and that's exactly what we did. Thanks Tayyabs.

  • 5.0 star rating
    20/1/2014

    Tayyab is an Pakistani/Indian restaurant in East London near the Whitechapel tube station. Having previously lived in London, I always make a special point to come back to Tayyab when I am in town. Tayyab is by far the best Pakistani/Indian food I have had and comes with a very only-locals-know-about-this-place vibe. Tayyab is BYOB (there are numerous Off-License stores along the walk from the Whitechapel station) and unless you call and make reservations the day before or early the day of, you will likely have to cue for a table (reservations are highly recommended). Poppadums with the three classic mango, mint, and chutney sauces begin the meal. The chicken tikka for an appetizer is wonderful and served on the hot plate with peppers and onions. The main dishes are all great (thought not diet friendly given the amount of oil used to prepare them), though I would recommend anything with lamb in it. Make sure to get a homemade naan to accompany the sauces of the main dishes. While I typically do not get dessert, there is a counter on the way out that has the classic desserts of the region.

    The prices are one of the key sellers of this place. Appetizers like chicken tikka are around £3.50, mains are around £7-12, and sides like rice and naan around £2.50-3. Even at my most hungry times, an appetizer, main, and one order of naan are overfilling. A full meal can easily be under £15 each. Just remember to pick up wine and beer on the way to the restaurant.

    The atmosphere has changed considerably from when I first came to Tayyab years ago. In the past, small rooms to the left and right of the entrance on the ground floor were the only spaces available for dinner. Now, a full upstairs is also available. The decor has also become significantly nicer. Unfortunately, this means a large number of diners are eating simultaneously, meaning that service is slower and sometimes inaccurate. While the staff always try to correct the errors, it is challenging to gain their attention most of the time (we had to get up a few times to grab a bottle opener or waiter for more water). The atmosphere of years ago had better service, but the quality of the food still outweighs the poorer service to keep me coming back.

    The dining atmosphere is quite packed and it can become difficult to hear your companions if not sitting close to one another (this is a side-effect of the upstairs expansion as well). If you are looking for a quiet or romantic location, this is probably not the place to meet. However, if you are looking for an informal, reasonable, and authentic Pakistani/Indian restaurant, Tayyab is a perfect choice.