Restaurants , Indian Whitechapel
Critics' choice
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(81 user reviews)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Ming Tang-Evans / Time Out

A huge, full-on and cheerfully cheap curry house that enjoys mythical status among Londoners and should be on the bucket list of everyone living in the capital.

We’ve featured Tayyabs every year since it opened in 1972, and every year it gets busier and busier. From its original premises in a small café, it has gradually swallowed up the pub next door. If you come here expecting a relaxing evening, cheery service or an intimate atmosphere, you’ll be disappointed: this is a full-on, massive, hectic, loud, in-and-out sort of place. Also, if you come here without booking, expect to wait up to an hour for a table. But we recommend this Punjabi stalwart wholeheartedly because of the cheapness and unreserved boldness of the food. Don’t even think about visiting without trying the fiery grilled lamb chops, which is still one of London’s best dishes. The rest of the menu is all about rich dahls and masala channa; unctuous, slow-cooked lamb curries; and good versions of North Indian staples – onion bhaji, spice-rubbed tikka, hot, buttery breads and juicy kebabs. Regulars look to the daily specials, such as Karahi lamb chop curry on Thursdays, or meat biryani on Fridays. The corkage-free BYO policy doesn’t do its popularity any harm either.


Venue name: Tayyabs
Address: 83-89 Fieldgate Street
E1 1JU
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: Aldgate East or Whitechapel tube
Price: Main courses £6.50-£25.80. Unlicensed. Corkage no charge
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:12
  • 1 star:35
1 person listening
Joshua S
1 of 1 found helpful

It was too busy and it seems they can't manage - the waiting time for the table is never realistic - I was told 5 mins on numerous occasions & ended up waiting 40 mins - staff were very rude throughout & the food was over cooked - used to be a great place but has gone downhill - won't be going back again

Shashi K
1 of 1 found helpful

One of the worst restaurant ever I visited. Went there after seeing the ratings from timeout website but very dissatisfied and gravely disappointed with service, quality of food, cleanliness and the treatment from management when I complained.

Staff were rude, grumpy, miserable. Do not care about customer service and when I asked for the manager to complain had shocker that he was the one who was rude to us when we entered but still voiced my opinion, however he thinks he wasn't and he feels he is get too many customers and believes they are doing very good and ny complain is baseless. By the way manager called me "Bro" when was complaining- is pathetic

Please think twice before go there

1 of 1 found helpful

Was so dissatisfied with the service, so much so that it has forced me to write a review and I am the kind of person that never writes a review.

The customer service was extremely poor, glasses set out on the table were dirty!! The waitor looked at us annoyed with our pushchairs, and says in a rude tone 'Where Am I suppose to put these?!' Then implies that we hurry up and order so that we can leave quickly.

My friends little toddler accidently dropped salad on the floor, when we in formed the waiter, he comes out with 'what do you want me to do about it?!'

Didn't even offer to replace the salad, and we didn't dare ask, as we didn't want to be rudely spoken to again. We felt like we had to rush our food and leave. Never going back there again. Definitely not worth it!! They have a reputation for their rude customer service.


1 of 1 found helpful


1 of 1 found helpful

The worst Indian restaurant ever Dirty, crowdy, noisy. Moreover, even if you booked a table you need to wait at least 30mn before being seated and 1h more before being served. TO AVOID!!!

1 of 1 found helpful

Front of house was in tatters. Place was rammed and the staff were rude and too busy. No one greeted you on the way in, I politely let the waiter know I'd like to get a table and was told to take a seat. After 25mins in the seated area, I asked another waiter how long it would be, he rudely replied that I should 'join the back of the queue'. I let him know that I had indeed been waiting for 25mins, as instructed, in the seating area. He replied that I hadn't been waiting for 25mins, and that I hadn't been in the seating area (effectively calling me a lier) ...?!?! To add insult to injury he then said 'join the back of the queue and pointed to huge standing queue. I felt pretty annoyed that I had been mis-directed to the wrong place to wait, then told I was a lier, and rudely waved off to join a queue. I pointed out that he was mistaken, that I had followed their instructions to wait in the seated area, and assured him we had been there for 25mins, did this not count as being in the queue etc. He said no, I had to join a standing queue to get a table and then re-iterated (very rudely) that I should 'join the back of the queue' and waved me off... The food smelt terrific, but we left after this treatment. They are sadly too popular to bother with the customers, who are just numbers to be rammed through the conveyor belt. Manners cost nothing.


I’d heard a lot about Tayyabs, mainly how it's pretty crazy to get a table but well worth it when you do.  The food didn’t disappoint, it’s a simple menu but perfectly executed and BYO keeps the costs down.  A winning combination of traditional indian cuisine with East London pukka.

Muyazzim K

SHASHI K you just said every thing I wanted to say word for word I agree !!! I don't think they deserve 1 star this Resturant owners are arrogant & img orang in every aspect of customer service skills, my only request is do not & I mean don't waste your money!! One more thing TIME OUT how can you recommend this Resturant ? Are you on TAYYABBS PAY BOOK. To do it 1 year is fine but to do it for 44 years I question your Resturant reviews!!


Horrible place to go out if you fancy have a nice time with your family. Staff were extremely rude and food was not tasty at all. I wouldn't ever want to go back.

Carlos M

Definitely one of the best Indian restaurants I've ever been to. The queue was huge, so I'd recommend making a reservation few days before. I wen't with a fairly big group of friends and we just ordered a bit of everything and shared. The food was amazing and we all end up being full without paying a crazy amount of money. If I had to say something against it, it's that they kind of mixed some of the dishes we oredered in a random way. Anyway, everything was delicious!

Isabelle Aron
Staff Writer

The service is chaotic and you'll have to wait ages for a table - but once you get over that, the food is ace, especially the lamb chops.


All I have to say about this restaurant is BEST LAMB CHOPS EVER! Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops, Lamb Chops … Lamb Chops.

Also, the Keema Nan and Aloo Meat are delicious but seriously L.A.M.B. C.H.O.P.S. The words have lost all meaning now.

Soyeb A

Delicious and authentic food, consistent quality, and a mango lassi to die for.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Definitely my favourite Indian restaurant in the East End, the food is delicious (the lamb chops are a must) and it's BYOB with no corkage charge. It's can get very busy, the atmosphere lends itself more to groups rather than a cosy dinner for two. Always book ahead as the queue can be a nightmare, expect to leave very full for less than £20.

Chesca R

Birthday Tayyabs, leaving party Tayyabs, Christmas Tayyabs, been a good Monday Tayyabs. Whatever the occasion myself and my team mates tend to end up here for dinner. A word of warning though the scent of the sizzling dishes make their way into the fibres of your clothes so don't be surprised if you get followed by hungry foxes on the way home. It is bring your own booze which I am always a fan of, there is a Sainsburys just down the road. I would highly recommend the lamb chops, Karahi chicken tikka masala and Dhal Gosht


Best Indian food in London, although service is probably the worst in London.

Robin P

My favourite restaurant in London! The starters set it apart from all the rest and the mains are fantastic.


First off - I don't understand why users haven't rated higher. Yes, it is an ordeal to actually eat here. You most likely have to queue for ages, it's crazy and loud and ridiculous. But food has always been amazing. The sizzling lamb chops are great as a starter and the the biryani is amazing, too. Also a plus: it's BYO. Don't wear your best clothes and ladies, your hair will smell of curry and chillies for a few days!

Ibir T

I have eaten here for 20 year, which is not bad considering it opened in 1972. Since then I have seen it grow from a small canteen like space to a giant increasingly popular venue. It was always a busy place, in/out hello/goodbye kind of place but since the manager left to set up next door something changed. It got bigger but the food went downhill as quickly as its popularity increased and the portions went down too. The first thing I noticed was the plates no longer sizzle like they used to, a few do, but mostly no they don't. The meat got tougher and the whole place just got worse. There are several better options around, you may have to travel also. I regret this place being 'discovered', it really disappoints and the customers who eat there generally know no better than the locals who ate there and knew instantly if something was wrong. There are some 1 star reviews here like this one and they are right. The 5 stars maybe from those lucky enough to have had a good time, but sadly these are now rarities and not the norm. Also what I notice is that the new crowd also arrive very drunk and get drunker as the night goes on, the waitstaff and manager seem to know this and they don't care therefore how bad the food gets its just poor. They should not have compromised. Curries with 3 pieces of chewy meat in it. Dhal that has lost its life. Bland bland curries for western taste buds no more how would you like your curry mild, medium spicy, just bland. Dry breads and no meat in the naans worth mentioning.

I am so sad to have lost this place, forever.

Chandni M

Went last night, yes its busy but who cares!! We made friends with all the tables around us and even ended up sharing drinks! Totally brilliant! You can't do that anywhere else!

The food is SO tasty. I have been to so many Pakistani places and I was surprised how good this actually was. Make sure you order the lamb chops. Eat quickly and get out.. There are other people waiting you know!!


Been a few times and liked the food but service was always a disaster. The last time I went my table was right next to the kitchen, halfway through my main a had a COCKROACH crawling 2 inches from my arm on the table!! I nearly threw up and told the waiter who try to play down the incident and offered to move table and new food. I said nothing, stood up and walked out NEVER to return. This dirty establishment should be shut down for good!

Kev Pesk


Amazing. Easily one of the best in London, need to book ahead and preferably sit upstairs as the queue can be so big it snakes around the restaurant, great portions and very reasonable, plus BYOB so win win!

Tamsin V
Staff Comp

I've eaten here on 3 occassions, and this place is highly overrated with regards to both service and food. BYOB is the biggest attraction, which is probably why you'll expect to dine alongside stag and hen party crowds. Even with a booking you can expect to wait 15 minutes longer for your table, and without a booking, expect to queue. The reason Tayyabs seems to be so successful is probably to do with their small menu, which allows them to focus on signature dishes such as their sizzling lamb chops, which even then aren't that amazing. I'm not denying the food isn't quality, but it's churned out at such a rate, and you're whisked in and out as if it's a race, you can't enjoy it as much as you'd like. Good for big groups looking for an easy curry crowd pleaser, but not worth the hype.

Lee S


The food is good. Not great, but good. Service was efficient but hurried. It was busy in the restaurant and that meant it wasn't a relaxing meal as we were basically pushed out of the door by the waiters.

Gustav C

Disastrous from the word go. Mixed starter as suggested by one of the sub literate staff included the so called 'famous' chops. Tough, stringy and chewy. Extremely dry chicken inedible. Mains had a slight improvement in texture meat wise. How Timeout could actually give this establishment a 5 star is unheard of. 


The chops are awesome, their Dry Meat can be deliciously sour. You can have a great feast just repeating rounds of starters - chops / masala fish / mutton balls / grilled paneer (even the most ardent carnivore will like these). 

Book in advance, know it will be mayhem in there, bring your mates and some beers. You don't go there for a couples anniversary meal. You don't go there if you're expecting fine indian dining. 

It will be packed, hot, really noisy, and depending on what floor you're on (and how near the grills you are), all your clothes may need drycleaning. 

It's a great night out, and the reviews below complaining just don't get it. Long may Tayyabs reign. 

Jamie F

It's Exactly as the review says - The fact the word FUCKING HECTIC is in this review means it's not fake as i was a little unsure from some peoples reviews below :D

Took 10 of my friends there and this review was all i was going on and they were very impressed. Thank You Time Out, big responsibility taking that many people to dinner.

It's also BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) Stop off at any off-licence on the way.

Spent about £10-20 each depending on how much you can put away.

The bill was £142 for 10 people.

Book a Table or you are well and truly Fucked like all the people waiting in the door.

Susie C

Very average Indian food accompanied by hostile service and chaotic atmosphere. Must be commended for managing to serve an order quickly in an insanely busy restaurant and byob will always win favour with me, but sadly the poor experience means it just doesn't live up to the hype.

Alistair S

Exactly as described. Wonderful food: bold but simple; quick service and energetic atmosphere. We did book and were seated upstairs so avoided the queues downstairs. Overall, no complaints.


Waiters rude, terrible food, left in a mood, felt we'd been screwed.


Tasty indian food, not so expensive. Large menu with many choice. Mango lassi is very good !


unfortunately i think the hype exceeds the quality of the service and average food on offer... Perhaps i came on the wrong day... But generally rather underwhelmed with the food.

unhappy customer

Chose this restaurant for a work diwali dinner - 6 people The food was salty, small portions in comparison to other indian restaurants, overall lack of customer service. The staff shouted at one of our guests for picking up a menu from the table next to us, when it was empty. The staff were more suited to one of them 99p stores rather than a restaurant, totally clueless When we were leaving, a member of staff was overheard telling his colleague to wait at the top of the stairs incase we leave without paying - we work for a city finance organisation, - we were well dressed. I do not intend to ever visit this place again!


Chose this restaurant for a work diwali dinner - 6 people The food was salty, small portions in comparison to other indian restaurants, overall lack of customer service. The staff shouted at one of our guests for picking up a menu from the table next to us, when it was empty. The staff were more suited to one of them 99p stores rather than a restaurant, totally clueless When we were leaving, a member of staff was overheard telling his colleague to wait at the top of the stairs incase we leave without paying - we work for a city finance organisation, - we were well dressed. I do not intend to ever visit this place again!

Unhappy Customer

Chose this restaurant for a work diwali dinner - 6 people The food was salty, small portions in comparison to other indian restaurants, overall lack of customer service. The staff shouted at one of our guests for picking up a menu from the table next to us, when it was empty. The staff were more suited to one of them 99p stores rather than a restaurant, totally clueless When we were leaving, a member of staff was overheard telling his colleague to wait at the top of the stairs incase we leave without paying - we work for a city finance organisation, - we were well dressed. I do not intend to ever visit this place again!


I booked to eat at Tayyabs for my birthday. Even though i had already heard about the poor service, I wanted to see for myself as well as taste the food which i had heard lots of good things about. As pakistani/curry restaurants go, this was probably one of the worst I've ever experienced. Reservations don't mean a thing to these people, because despite having one I was made to wait half hour for my table. They then tried to explain to me that Reservations don't guarantee the time of the booking only priority over non Reservations. The place was Dirty and uninviting! They have no concept of service and the staff have absolutely no listening or communication skills whatsoever. I ordered lamb chops for starter which were the worst I've ever had chewy and fatty. The paneer tikka bland and dry. The main course of chicken karahi was nothing to write home about. The peshwari nan was so disappointing I felt totally conned.. I couldn't believe how messy and chaotic the place was, full of students. An absolute buzz killer! I am a pakistani woman and have eaten in the best curry restaurants in England I can tell you this doesnt even come close. Will never go back here. People are duped about this place. I just didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Im totally baffled. I do not recommend it. I would never take my family here and we're not even posh.


Very poor quality standard of food and service. Despite it being established for so long. I was born and bred in that area, nothing like it used to be when I was growing up. I myself am in exactly the same catering trade so do know fresh and tinned food. Not good at all, will not go back or recommend it.


Went there today for lunch. Food was ok (can't say delicious), but a bit pricey when comparing with peer restaurants (understandable by the make up of the place). The most disappointing part is the way service is provided. When asked for some pepper powder in its keg, they say they don't have any more (well, there were empty tables, at least one of them would have had some, wasn't asking for a kilo). You expect vegetables to be cut decently well, and we find whole potatoes and large (yes, LARGE) peices of Cauliflower in a Karai vegetable dish. That summed it up for me....


Service at Tayyabs has always been... idiosyncratic now it is just terrible. Booking means nothing, waiters are extraordinarily rude, cutlery and plates dirty. The food is fine, no better or worse than many neighbourhood indians. That along with the service and the constant attempts to chisel a bit more money out of you... go somewhere else.


Went last night and the food was absolutely delicious, which is what we had expected from reading about the place. However a few things were not up to scratch: When we had been seated, having booked a table in advance, we were completely forgotten about and had to wait 30 minutes for someone to take our order. It was not particularly busy as we went early in the evening, with only half the restaurant filled up, so no reason why it should've taken so long. The service in general was absolutely appalling, horrendously unfriendly, not willing to help with explaining things on the menu, no smiles and received a begrudging look when we we asked for some more water, as if it was a massive bother to get it. In summary: The food is really good and I understand why it's a popular choice, but that's no excuse to treat your customers like dirt.


This place was absolutely appalling. First of all the waiters were not helpful at all when it came to ordering food. There was no advice on portion size and they were clueless about the ingredients in the curries. When the food arrived on the table we noticed that there was some cutlery missing. It took the staff 10 minutes to find the three missing forks all whilst our food was getting cold on the table. Additionally my friend swallowed a piece of glass that was in the water. We spoke t the waiter about this but it did not seem to bother him, he just took away the glass without replacing it or apologising. Yes the food was good and it was ridiculously cheap, it did not make up for the inexcusable service. Will never come back, there are so many good Indians in East London, this one is not all that...!


Rough and unwelcoming staff, awful atmosphere, below average food.


great food, great service, all the bad reviews are bullshit amazing food and i never do reviews and the hot towels at the end go tayyab you deserve your sucess

Gammo Girl

I'm giving a slightly harsh rating despite loving Tayyabs for years now, as I went tonight and took my parents for the first time, as part of our Christmas celebrations, and was sadly really disappointed. The atmosphere seemed a bit off - I don't know if its just that the people who work there are all really exhausted after another extremely busy year, but their energy levels were really low, meaning our table service was slow, not especially friendly (although not rude or uninspiring as much as other places could be) - but ultimately what really left us disappointed was the food. The meat starters were of their usual standard, but the main dishes were under par. Daal Baingun (lentils with aubergine) were too spicy, and lacked flavour - not to mention the lentils were slightly undercooked and dry, and the portion size was a couple of thirds smaller than usual (a bit annoying when there's three of you sharing). The guys in there have always been really friendly and accommodating, and I still recognise a few of them meaning they must work really hard, and I can totally forgive a sense of exhaustion especially at this time of year. I would just hate for Tayyabs' team to get a bit complacent given their popularity and for the standards to slip a bit. I want to continue going there year after year and always impress my guests with the great find!


Today was the 5th or 6th time I've been here in the last few years and with every visit this place is fast becoming my favourite place to eat. The setting is really nice (when you can choose where to sit!) but it has been renovated extensively to make the place more attractive. As for the food, this is the best Indian food you will eat in London full stop! Service is good, food is amazing and location is convenient. If in east London make the effort and pay Tayyabs a visit,you won't regret it


I started going to Tayyabs over 10 years ago, it has always been a busy restaurant but not as crazy as the recent years. The food there is OK but a good restaurant...no!! i went there a month ago and it was a total mayhem, over 100 people were jammed at the entrance. i was appalled by what I saw, people carried in boxes of booze nonstop from the offlicense and stayed for whole night, while other people were waiting for their tables. The management (if there are any) did not seem to care. the waiter were rude, rough, mean and slow, as for service....(if not including putting your dish on your table) is none. Its popular only because of their BYOB policy and the food is actually ok...compare to those craps in brick lane. but for dinning experience, the worst ever.....


LOVE this place! The food is always fantastic, and the staff are lovely. However, the best thing about Tayyabs is that it's a family business. The owner is so so lovely. It's so refreshing to see someone have such a perosnal approach to running a business in London. When I had a problem with an order through My Salivation (wich is awful by the way), the owner of Tayyabs stepped in and was so so helpful, and lovely. He went out of his way to make sure everything was sorted, and I really appreciate it. I think it is so important for us to support lovely businesses like this, over the big chains that seem to be taken over. With that said, once you go to Tayyabs I am sure it will become a regular eatery of yours, as it is ours. Friendly, delicious, consistent and great value for money. x


I was extremely disappointed with this place. I think the food is over-rated and the service is appalling. I constantly felt rushed to leave by the waiters. I would not recommend if you fancy a nice relaxing night out.

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