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.
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.
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.
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.
Eat here too much and you can never ever expect Thai Abs like Tony Jaa, or I dunno, maybe you could.
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!
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.
Bang on solid simple fab food. Get something grilled with charcoal: Probably the lamb.
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.
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
Great environment, big place--definitely recommended! My friends and I were a group of 15 for dinner one evening, and the staff were friendly and got our entire order correct and delivered quickly. The paneer tikka was amazing, as was the fact that Tayyabs is BYOB! Excellent prices as well.
My only complaint--while the spices and flavours of the lamb chops were amazing, 3 of the 4 chops that I received were incredibly fatty, to the point where I got only 2-3 good-sized, non-chewy/fatty bites off of each piece. But again, I guess the fact that you're paying such low prices means that the quality has to take a hit somewhere!
Had to wait a good 20 minutes for a table. It was well worth the wait, to say the least!
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!
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...
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.
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.
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!
an institution but can the help feeling the vegetarian selection is not as great as the meat.
I Thought the food was wonderful, but i dont know too much about the service.
Our waitress was very spaced out and did not speak too much english at all. I dont know why they hired her.
Further more the food was fantastic we had mussels, eggs, fries, and bangers.
Decor was a little dark but the dim candle light helped a lot
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
After seeing this restaurant on many cheap eat lists as well as the excellent reviews on yelp-we decided to check this place out. We arrived around 10:30 pm and the place was very busy. We only waited about 10 minutes at this hour. This restaurant is huge and I believe it is four stories. The food is incredible. We started off with tandori paneer appetizer which was really good. Papadum and chutney in the evening were included. They were delicious -favorite chutney was mango. We ordered the Daal and also the spinach entrée both very tasty. Don't forget to go by the dessert area on the way out wow it's amazing. I wish I lived in London so I could eat here all the time!
Visiting London from NY, and omg, the best Indian food I ever had. The queue was a but long, a bit chaotic, but added to atmosphere of the place. Order the appetizer of lamb chops, chicken tikka, oh so good. For entrees, between the two of us, order the lamb massala and the best chicken keema I have ever had. Oh and the naan was delish!
The best indian food I had in London, it was part of a class field trip and we had a full five course meal. Everything was delicious, form the chicken to the pita bread everything was so yummy. I recommend it for anyone looking for great indian food.
This Indian restaurant is on my must-go list every time I visit London! Make a reservation, pick up some beer from the Tesco, and enjoy the delicious (and very reasonably-priced) food. The dishes I come back for are the tandoori lamb chops, mixed grill, and the naan!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.