Tayyabs, Whitechapel

Tayyabs business card

Tayyabs is one of those Indian restaurants (@HollowLegs rightly pointed out that it’s actually Pakistani!) that everyone raves about, mainly for the lamb chops, so I thought it was time I popped down a side street off the Whitechapel Road (a rarity for me) to try it out.


The place is staggeringly massive; there are dining rooms galore, all packed full with tables and punters. By 7:30pm the queue was huge. We were plonked next to two boisterous ladies and even though it’s BYOB, and they hadn’t, the words ‘pissed as farts’ sprang to mind.


The food was all of a pretty decent standard; not the best you’ll find in London but for the price, it would be hard to find fault really. The paneer tikka (£3.30) was buttery and bouncy, the peshwari nan (£2.75) sweet from its coconut filling. Chicken tikka (£3.30) saw huge chunks of juicy chicken and the sheekh kebab (£4) was moist with bags of flavour. Karahi king prawn curry (£13) had a lip tingling heat coming through which made it really moreish.

Paneer tikka


Chicken tikka and shish

Karahi curry

The lamb chops (£6.50), which arrived at the table sizzling and steaming (see my Vine here for proof), were particularly noteworthy. Cooked more well-done than medium-rare (all Indian lamb chops seem that way which is a shame), the flavour was spot on and the fat was super crispy. Be warned: they stain your fingers orange!

Lamb chops

I was less keen on the dry meat (£7.75). I assumed the ‘dry’ bit was referring to the lack of a sauce, not how dry the chunks of lamb would be. Not one for me really.

Dry meat

So yes, Tayyabs is one of those places you really should try. It’s all a bit rowdy and sticky but if it’s a cheap Indian you’re after, then it really is rather good. My advice is get there early and avoid the queue. And prepare to chat to a load of pissheads.


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