I came here with a friend based on the various rave reviews including its number one spot on a London curry house chart.
Quite easy to get to via the 'ammersmif n city line, the restaurant manages to be enormous and claustrophobic at the same time: it is on three sprawling levels yet the tables are crammed in à la Ryan Air. But don't let the large space fool you into thinking that seating will be a quick affair. We had a reservation and it is a good thing that we did because there was a line of people out of the door and inside, weaving around some of the tables. Fortunately we were not seated at any of those tables because that would have been rather annoying. Instead, we went downstairs into the bowels of Tayyabs where we were wedged in between two couples or maybe we were all at the same table - it was all that tight.
We had the lamb chops to start with. This was a big mistake because the couple next to us had some kind of mixed grill thing, which had lamb chops AND other stuff. Fortunately, the lamb chops were delicious but I really wanted the other stuff too... I had the dried meat, which was awesome if unappetizing sounding and my friend had the lamb karahi. We also split a karahi bhindi, which was great. The rice was just OK but the naan bread was excellent. All in all, it was a good thing that we didn't get the couple next door's appetizer because despite arriving ravenous, we left stuffed and our desire for spice fully sated.
Tayyabs is great, if you can get in. It is so popular that it is often hard to get a seat. The food there is fantastic, the atmosphere is somewhat chaotic and the seats are slightly packed in, but this is just because it is so popular.
I wouldnt say it was somewhere to go for a quiet romantic meal, but if you are looking for a lively place to eat some fantastic meat and curry then this is the place to go!
I believe there are 2 tayyabs, one is vegetarian and one isnt, the one that I have visited was the non vegetarian one.
I would by far recommend the lamb chops they are absolutely amazing and so so juicy. I think we paid around £25 per head and had SO much food we couldnt finish it. We took our own drinks too as it was BYOB.
Yum yum yum. Affordable, delish, and a BYOB.
We arrived at 7PM on a Sunday evening - so happy we did, there was a massive queue just after we arrived. They also take reservations online - definitely recommend you make one.
Service was a little slow (according to our friend who took us there), and they mixed up one of our orders by giving our starters to the wrong table. Aside from the mixups and having to wait, the food was really good and a decent price. The lamb chops are fabulous, as are the king prawns. Ended the massive meal by splitting a mango lassi and then walked home in a food coma.
When in France, eat French food.
When in Italy, eat Italian food.
When in Britain, eat Punjabi food.
And so it goes.
Place smelled amazing. Came here with a giganto group during infamous study abroad and were served delicious food. I had the Mango Lassi and some lamb dish, but tried bits of others' dishes and everything tasted very good. Super loud inside and some people can get pushy, but worth it for the atmosphere and food.
Great atmosphere. Great food. And it's BYOB!
Head there on Wednesday for Shami Kebab Day!
The curried lentils are outstanding and the lambchops are amazing as well. Don't neglect the Chicken Tikki and the Lassi popicles for Dessert!
If my calculations are correct, this will be the 400th review for Tayyabs. Surely it doesn't need more people reviewing it, but that's not how we roll here, because I'm going to tell you a secret... stay tuned.
A year or so ago Tayyabs changed their policy and started allowing reservations. Before you'd show up, wait an hour, and finally get to sit down, after spending all of that time staring at huge plates of grilled meat and luscious plates of curries delivered to other tables. Well, here's how to go to Tayyabs without needing a reservation, and you'll be able to just walk in and sit down. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, here's a tip: go for lunch on Sunday. I know, so simple why didn't anyone else think of it (to be fair people probably did). While all your other London friends are at the pub having a Sunday roast, you can go to Tayyabs and not have to wait! Do it. You know you want to. Maybe I'll see you there, on Sunday a little after noon.
The advice I got from a friend was: go with a big group, wear clothes you can throw in the washer and order the lamb chops, lots of them. And bring beers for your wait and dinner.
I got her text a bit too late and we didn't get the lamb but everything we ordered was awesome, all the grilled items fantastic. Full review on my blog.
Yelp! thinks I should add my review to the long list Tayyabs has already generated ... so here goes.
I actually can't believe how many years it has taken me to "discover" this institution for myself. Just a short walk from the more obvious Brick Lane eateries, Tayyabs has been pleasing the crowds for many years now. I particularly like the fact it is still unlicensed and you can bring your own booze (if you must - they have a good choice of lassi and other soft drinks) while on Brick Lane these days you are lured in with offers of free drinks.
Everything I've eaten here has been delicious, and the prices are very competitive. And for people like me who can never make up their mind if faced with an extensive menu, there's daily specials. A good deal alround while probably not the right setting for a romantic dinner date.
A very popular Indian/Pakistani restaurant out in grittier Whitechapel, but worth the trek out there. Lamb chops are the popular dish here but I liked the kahari chicken keema (ground chicken curry) and the dry meat (lamb cooked in curry sauce till the sauce is concentrated). The meats were juice and flavorful. Highly recommend those dishes. Also had the daal, mixed vegetables, and garlic naan, which were average but good. The only thing I didn't like was the burnt onion chips that topped most of the dishes.
It's a loud crowded restaurant but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to get seated on an early Friday evening.
When my parents came to visit, they wanted to get curry in the UK - heard it was better than the British food! We asked a friend and she recommended Tayyabs, so we headed there on a Wednesday evening. We phoned ahead and tried to reserve, but they said not to bother. Boy, was I annoyed when we arrived and saw a massive queue, and a crowded restaurant! I American-ly complained about this to the host, who then got us seated immediately, so perhaps it pays to be a bit of a whiny Yank sometimes. This place was PACKED with people - big groups, having a great time. It was quite hard to have conversation, we were shouting the whole time, but my mom said she didn't even mind - she just liked being around so many happy people!
We brought our own wine and beer, since they are BYOB which is great. We perused the menu which doesn't do much explanation, so consulted our phones a lot. We munched on poppadoms and chutney while we tried to figure out what to order. Then we waited for maybe 20 minutes before somebody took our order. We had asked a few servers to be attended to, and they said they'd get someone, then disappeared. Finally, someone who looked a bit managerial (different shirt) came and put his arms on the back of my parents chairs and was basically like "what do you want?" So we gave him our order, which he didn't write down, then he walked off. Fortunately he got it all right, but he was pretty rude - was it because we'd asked a few times to be served? He seemed pretty nice to everyone else. We didn't really appreciate his attitude that made it seem like we were bothering him.
Eventually, the food came out, and we forgot our annoyances about the service. We started with the lamb chops (which EVERYONE here orders) which were wonderful, great smoky grilled flavor. You get 4 in an order and we'd happily have eaten more. Then we shared a chicken with spinach, a prawn dish, and dahl gosht (lamb with lentils). Can't remember the names! Also pilau rice, tandoori roti and garlic naan. Everything was wonderful! I loved the garlic naan, and my boyfriend was raving about the roti. The prawn dish was the favorite, and know when they say it's spicy - it is! The lamb was very juicy, and the dishes weren't too greasy, which is always appreciated when eating this type of food.
Took about a million years to get the check. I don't know - I'd give them four stars for the food, but the service is so, so crap. They just rush you, don't walk you through the menu at all, and we were treated a bit rudely initially. And I can't believe they told us not to bother booking when they knew they'd have a queue out the door! That plus hardly being able to hear each other....I think next time I'll try another restaurant. BUT, the food is very good, and if you know about the service and the crowds going in, you can probably enjoy it a lot more!
Recommended to me by a colleague after I lamented that the hipsters have taken over Brick Lane.
(veg) samosa starter, karahi masala lamb chops for me, saag aloo for the wife and a garlic naan to share.
All were great and, while crowded, the place is huge and they seat people quickly (at least small parties).
Solid curry house but BYOB
There isn't much more to add, that hasn't been said already in the previous 396+ reviews.
Accept the ruckus, fast paced, fun nature of this extremely busy and popular restaurant. The service is prompt and the food is fast and full of flavour. Despite the hussle and bussle, which can feel a bit much at time, just embrace it. They do extremely well to cater for the large number of customers.
All in all, great fast, good food at affordable an affordable price.
This is always kind of a crazy experience but it's always a fun time. The wait tends to be pretty long from my experience (I've only been on Saturday nights but the queue gets long!), but I think it's worth it. It's definitely a no fuss place. You better know what you want when the waiter comes by...and no special orders! :) It's a bring-your-own-alcohol place which makes for a very cheap night out. Everything I've ordered here has been good. I keep coming back.
I was warned that Tayyabs would be quite the experience. I was also warned that all my clothes would smell like Indian/Pakistani food for a good while after.
We made reservations, but that didn't seem to matter as people just mobbed the front desk and they served whoever they saw, rather than who was there first. A sure sign of a popular restaurant! Note that this was on a Tuesday night as well!
There were four of us, and for starters, we ordered the lamb chops, tandoori chicken, and chicken tikka. Everything was good, but the lamb chops were pretty amazing.
For our mains, we ordered methi aloo gajar, karahi dhal gosht (lamb), karahi chicken keema, and the saag meat (spinach + lamb). The plates are a bit small, so plan accordingly. We asked for the karahi chicken keema to be extra spicy (since they said everything was basically mild), but they seemed to have forgotten. It was still good. My favorite was probably the karahi dhal gosht, which had lentils and lamb.
In a word, their naan is AMAZING. Huge, fluffy and so tasty. We ordered three different types (regular, keema and garlic). All were amazing, but I liked the keema since it had meat.
It's BYOB so stop by a deli somewhere beforehand to pick up some beers or wine.
Only got takeout from here, but the restaurant was packed and had a good lively vibe.
I got the karhai chicken and some daal. Both were pretty good but for me didn't live up to all the hype. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from going, but I wouldn't recommend it as THE place to go for desi food in London.
The best Pakistani food in the world is in London and this is the best of the best. The flavors are subtle and yet linger on the tongue. The smells of the restaurant you will want to bottle and take home. The lamb is spicy and yet flavorful. The tandoori lamb chops are not to be missed. Naan with lamb is better than any pizza.
Tayyabs gets a lot of rep for east london asian food.
It's certainly better than your average brick lane eatery, and the fact that it is constantly busy is an excellent indicator of its popularity.
BYOB policy is always welcome as well.
But in my opinion? Overated.
The food is good, but the service isn't (if its always rammed, why should the waiters care?). Yes, its better than brick lane: but in my eyes that isn't saying a lot.
Want real Indian/Pak/Bangla food?
Go to west london.
I do love a bit of Tayyabs. For London it's super affordable but you do have to make the following compromises:
1. Most things taste the same (tasty nonetheless)
2. Portions are on the small side
3. You get rushed because of the high turn over
4. The sizzling plates will send everyone (no exceptions) into a coughing fit
Hate to dwell on the bad points because I still heartily recommend it for a cheap and cheerful curry. Those lamb chops are delectable...
Fantastic restaurant. We went to a wedding celebration there a few years back. Great food. One of the best place for currys in London!
First meal in London, excluding the airport food. So much better than food in Italy...
Perfectly spicy, perfectly cooked, quality ingredients, very fast service!
It was packed but we were seated in a minute since we were a party of two. Loved everything! Just a tad bit oily. I recommend the naan and chicken appetizer!
Tayyabs, Tayyabs. You have pissed me off, royally.
We organised a joint going away dinner as my friend and I are leaving our jobs for the bigger and better in the great beyond that is the corporate world...but I digress! Tayyabs was our choice of a restaurant and from the beginning of our visit, it was an unsettling experience!
Tayyabs is PACKED. You need a reservation. What they don't tell you? All of your party NEEDS to be present in order for you to be seated. The attitude they give you immense - how DARE you show up to dinner with 99% of your party due to a friend being late? You have to wait in the limited seating area - with sticky floors beneath you - or outside, with heaps of trash (alluring aroma in the heat, let me tell you). Those are your choices. All this was fine - we kept quiet and waited for all our party to arrive and were seated.
Everything about this experience was sub-part. I am not someone who believes you should accept shit service for good food. To be honest - Tayyabs didn't blow my mind in terms of cuisine. I have eaten in some of the best Indian restaurants in the country - hell, the world, and this didn't stack up enough that I would ignore rude comments, menus being shoved into my hand, having to beg for drinks or even any attention. Dinner was rushed - the menu is limited for vegetarians and the options are standard for Indian restaurants. The hygiene (or lack thereof) in the downstairs area of the restaurant kind of put you off eating there, but you keep quiet and eat - and the food isn't bad. I ate dinner with people who work in fine dining and they weren't pleased by anything and it's not because they are picky. It was almost as if I was asking for the world when I asked where our missing items were - everything was a bother.
It reeked, the servers were rude and condescending, the food was so-so and the ambiance was non-existent. I'll skip Tayyabs - and the hassle - in the future.
Tayyabs is (to this culinarily uneducated person), perfect. A modest menu with a large number of options allows you to spend time chatting to the people you came with over that bottle of wine or beer you picked up en route (yes, it's exclusively bring your own).
I've lost count of the number of times I've been here over the last 3 years, and never been disappointed by the portion sizes, quality and price. Fine dining it may not be, but Tayyabs is well worthy of your custom.
Eat here too much and you can never ever expect Thai Abs like Tony Jaa, or I dunno, maybe you could.
Great food. Rice at £3 is a bit expensive.
This place has changed A LOT since the last time I was there about 5 years ago. Better? Well, a bit unsure as it's now more modern and a lot cleaner.
I had some sort of chicken dish. It was delicious and very filling :-)
I would suggest Tayyabs for groups of friends and not for business or for a date.
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!
Bang on solid simple fab food. Get something grilled with charcoal: Probably the lamb.
First time there yesterday for diner with my in-laws.
Lucky we had a table booked as the queue there was out of this world! I could not understand why all these people were waiting as I didn't thing that many people could fit into one singe restaurant. This was of course before the staff took us to the upstairs floor. That is when I realised this was not a restaurant but a manufacture. This place is soooo big! And who say big, says loud. Really loud!
No matter how good the food can be, I do not understand what can be attracting in eating food without being able to have a conversation with your friends. Everyone is shouting over everyone else.
What a disaster!
The process of waiting in line is an absolute cluster-capital-F, but the food is well worth it. There's a reason the line is so long, and that's because the food here is better than anything you'll find on Brick Lane.
Also BYOB which is a big plus.
*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.
I've been a long-time Tayyab's fan from back in the day when it wasn't so upmarket.
The food is always great, I've yet to had a bad meal. I always go for the lamb chops - they come out sizzling hot and are a real treat. You can't go wrong with any of the main dishes either and a mango lassi is a perfect companion. Do be warned that it can fill you up deceptively quickly.
It loses a star in my opinion as the service has gone downhill in my estimation. No sooner have you had your last bit of food the waiters seem overly-eager to get you out of the door to make way for other customers (which are usually are queuing out the door). I understand businesses want to make money, but I've not really been anywhere else where they seem so eager to take your money and get you out of the door.
Yummy Indian food. Big servings and you can bring your own alcohol... definitely a place you must try if you visit or live in London!
This place is as solid as it gets. Probably the best Sheesh Kebab I have ever had. Moist, flavorful and delicious. The Karahi Chicken was also extremely tasty. Other highlights include the papadoms, which I have never had a reason to recommend before. These includes a spicy papadom and the sauces were extremely fresh. It's BYOB which is great. There is a corner store on Whitechapel with a great selection of beer and some wine. But Tayyabs doesn't keep your beers cold, which is a bummer. Overall, great curry place.
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.
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.
This is an excellent restaurant providing good quality food at a very affordable price. I went with two vegetarians and they had more than enough to choose from.
The restaurant is itself vast (on 4 floors) but the service is attentive but not pushy. The only one thing to note is that this is a BYO but if that doesn't bother you then I would strongly recommend the Lassi's they are excellent!
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!
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
Veg is better then anywhere I have had including India. Lamb chops are decent. Chicken tikka is a miss.
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?
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!
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