Critics' choice
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

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:7
  • 2 star:12
  • 1 star:28
2 people listening
Kev P


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

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.




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!!!


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.


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.

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.


After hearing rave reviews we booked ahead at Tayyabs and arrived a few minutes late to a chaotic restaurant and long queue. Luckily we only waited five more minutes (in a restaurant overflowing with people) before we were sat downstairs, promptly receiving some poppadoms. Two minutes later we were overwhelmed by a mystery gas(?) and couldn't stop coughing, more than10 tables surrounding us were the same - all of us coughing uncontrollably and unable to breathe we evacuated to the nearest exit to wait outside for it to clear. The restaurant staff were totally unhelpful and at a loss to explain what it was. We waited out in the cold for about 15 minutes before being able to return to our tables, with traces of the gas remaining in the air, still with no explanation as to what it was. Unfortunately for Tayyabs, the waiter we spoke to was totally rude and didn't care whether we stayed or went, stated that they didn't know what the gas was and that it wasn't their fault. My friend questioned the safety aspect, especially as one of our party suffered from asthma, and the waiters attitude was appealing. We left and ventured along to brick lane where we were welcomed with open arms and enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere with excellent service. Tayyabs is too busy, overrated and the staff need to realise the customer comes first, not to mention they should be reviewing their safety practices - I hate to think what would happen should a fire break out! Total disappointment.


Trading on its reputation - not its food, sadly. Been many times, service has always been hussled but the prices reasonable, so you could live with that. Unfortunately the service hasn't changed but the food has. Don't usually write reviews but based on my last few visits I feel compelled. I'm not going to go into detail about the food suffice to say its gone downhill and other reviewers sum it up accurately but I'm going the ask that the owners read this and take action as this place will only trade on its reputation for so long and then people will stop coming. Can we have the old Tayyabs back please!


Tayyabs is a local for me, and their food is excellent! However, the service is very rushed and the bill can become pricey for small portions. Although I must admit, their lamb chops and buttered nan are amazing. Avoid evenings and lunchtimes, go for a late lunch! It gets too busy!!


Two of us had lunch at Tayyabs on 20th September, for the first time, and given so many dicey reviews rather feared the worst. It was packed out, so lucky we had booked. And the tables are tiny - a bit like eating off a tray - but we found the food excellent. Obviously we weren't able to sample a lot of dishes, but the trademark lamb chops were deliciously piquant and worthy of their reputation. The other dishes, lamb sag, tarka dal, nan bread and so on - the usual standbys - were equally good. Tender meat, beautifully cooked. And the staff, often maligned, were uniformly pleasant and helpful. Plus the Tesco Metro five minutes away has a decent selection of drink. Give it a go!

Hungry person

The food is good but have to wait ages before u get served then u have to wait a long for the food to arrive. The tables are very small. Staff are clueless and seem to blank u most of time. They also make u wait a long time for the bill as there only seems to be one person who is allowed to give u the bill. Stupid policy in my opinion. Toliets are nasty u think the amount of money the make thy will inest in more then one toliet. But nah. Would not recommend at all.


The restaurant is absolutely awful and too hyped up for what it actually is. The waiting staff are arrogant, socially uneducted and very rude. This will be the last time i will ever visit this horrid place.


We dined at taiyyabs on Friday 22 June 2012 with our 2 little children one of which is just a baby of 1 year old. We got a very humiliating treatment from the guy who took our order and left us offended and hurt. We had ordered 5 garlic Japan's and after say 10 mins I requested this guy to change 1 naan to butter naan as my eldest child cannot have garlic naan. I was told in rude manner that this cannot be done and as they have to cater to so many people they cannot change to individual preferences. I said they can adjust easily as it is such a common item but again I got offensive reply. I think it's fine if this could not be changed but at least they need to learn ways to deal with customers. Even food was ordinary and nothing great. They have bad trade practices as they place water bottle on table without informing its chargeable and not complimemtry and charge whooping £2.50 in the bill. We will never visit Tiyyabs again and never recommend to others . RESHMA


Dirty, tasteless, greasy, rude and highly overated. A masive dissapointment and by far the worst reasturant i have eaten in.

Prince S

I'm sorry but I've been 2 times now. Never again! The first time I went it was dreadful. The food does not depict good quality asian/indian food. The waiters are very rude. They seat you with instantly forcing poppadoms on you without having asked them for them. I ordered some curry dishes with naans on this visit. They were smuthered in vast amounts of ghee. Which is very bad for our health and distastes the dish itself. It was flavorless, lacking the spices that you'd expect. The never ending smoke of grills practically intoxicates you causing it difficult to breathe. To add to this so call experience and food whilst your eating the waiters anxiously stand by to take plates away from you that you'd be eating out of. How rude!!! I hadn't even finished my meal yet. They once seated practically want to push you out only to get someone else seated. I went away and hat severe stomach aches for the following day. A very disappointing experience considering the hype. I'm not even being harsh. As a year a so went by, still had friends saying how good it is but instead they were all specifying the grills that were so nice. So being open to the fact that things can change for the better. Id promised myself to try the grill at some point and not to be over judgmental on one visit. I went again today, not as busy as usual. Loud to say the least, which is down to its location. I went in. Had to wait for a table as usual. Rude waiters pushing by. Nothing new there. Finally we were seated. I thought lets go for the grills. Chops seemed very popular as did chicken tikka and paneer starters. So i ordered them as well as a few samosas as that was my safety bet. If all else failed. The food finally came. Truthfully it was tasteless. The lot of it. My partner thought the exact same. Seriously below even average. The samosas I couldn't get by more than a bite as they were that bad. Flavorless and just stuffed with a not so nice potato filling. The mint sauce was just water like. As before i was eating whilst one of my food plates was just taken with food on it without having asked and whilst I was still eating. SOOO RUDE and discourteous. Then to top it off the couple next to us went only to be seated by some that were waiting. The guy slid by knocking one of our food plates off the table with his rucksack. One of the waiters apologized to them and eventually cleaned it up. Not a word was said to us, no food was replaced. It was like we never existed. As they were too bothered about bringing the usual poppadoms out to the neighboring couple. I tell you I've been to very many places to eat in London ranging from normal daily quick business lunch and dinner type meals to very fine dinning. I would not recommend this restaurant to someone who wants to try authentic good reasonably priced indian/pakistani food. Avoid it if you can. It is a waste of money!! The owners are only bothered about the money. Not the food or customers.


Trading on former glory...used to be great...lamb chops still good...but service is now terrible and the curries and some of the newer dishes are worse than you'll get on brick lane...£2.50 for own branded "spring" water is toppy given that it tastes no better than tap that they refuse to now serve....stick to the grill (except the guinea fowl which tasted nasty and I suspect was responsible for me feeling ill the next day) and it is still a 3 or even 4 star restaurant. Sadly all the greats have deteriorated in recent years. At least Tayyabs haven't put their prices up as much, and lowered the quality of the meat, as Lahore Kebab house.


The food was good but the service was terrible. I felt like nothing more than a number being pushed through the system. We were asked for our order 3 times within the first 5 minutes and I was basically told to leave before I'd finished my drink as they needed the table. At this point the table next to us had been free for 10 minutes (but they were keeping a lot of people waiting in the main reception area). Not really impressed, they need to remember that without the customers there is no business!

Fat Leckie

Taken as impromtu treat by regular (Indian). Excellent. Despite packed to brim and sleight of hand to jump queue service was quick, food utterly spoiling. The only reason to denigrate Tayyabs is to make it easier to get a seat. There are establishments all around - mostly empty - telling or what?


Utterly underwhelming food, nowhere near as good as its enthusiasts would have you believe - the tandoori starters may be succulent, but are far from delicious. The main course curries look and taste like a child made them at school. And the dal was the worst I've ever had - the pulses weren't even cooked through, the spicing bitter. I would have to question the judgement of people who rave about the food served here. I can only imagine that the line outside makes people think it is better than it is. Emperor's new clothes? Oh, and it is cramped beyond belief. Go elsewhere, this place is little more than a racket taking advantage of peoples' gullibility.


Love the 'White Whine' comments here....lol. Tayyabs is simply one of the best Indian restaurants you'll ever go to. Advise to simply eat the grills/tandoori, roti and salad...main are pretty good too though. Lassi is excellent. No alcohol - you can bring your own but really, can't you do without for one meal? Atmosphere is great - loud and brash. You might need to relax a little though if you're used to up tight European style restaurants. Chill out, get stuck in and enjoy. Balle balle!

Penny Taylor

Disappointing. I’m a very big fan of the Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine and was very excited when a friend told me she managed to book a table at Tayyabs (3 weeks in advance!). With high expectations I entered Tayyabs and was overwhelmed by masses of people queuing and trying to get the attention of the waiter. After around 20 minutes a waiter seated us in the downstairs area, which is very dark and less appealing than upstairs. You can find a very young and fashionable crowd at Tayyabs and you can bring your own booze. But we felt rushed during dinner, the meat was chewy and despite not ordering alcoholic drinks, we had quite a high bill at the end. I’m not coming back despite the hype around Tayyabs, or maybe BECAUSE of all the hype around it, the food does not fulfil the expectations.


Very very rude service, average food and rushed out the door. Horrible experience Cheap but very small portions. Too full too stuffy and constant pushy waiters rushing you to eat and get lost. Terrible experience

Rahul Bhintade

Very disappointing. After hearing from a couple of friends that this place has to be seen, I went here with a party of 3 guys (me, my partner and a friend, who is a chef in a 5-star hotel in London.) Orders were taken and delivered promptly - but the guy who brought the dishes kept them all piled in front of me, in spite of a place being empty on the table. No one served us, no one was interested in whether we ate or not. The place was half empty and there were plenty of idling waiters, but each time we had to struggle to catch the waiter's eye for anything. The icing was when I finished eating and my colleagues were still having their dinner - and the waiter brought us 3 hot napkins to wash up - not bothering that the others were still eating and not asking if we wanted anything more!!! The food was nothing to crow about, the portions meagrely and it cost us 37 GBP for an experience we didn't enjoy. Sorry, but totally overrated, and coming from an Indian, the food does not taste as from the subcontinent..... Not going back.

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