Restaurants, Indian Whitechapel
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(114user reviews)
223 Love It
Save it
Tayyabs (Rob Greig / Time Out)
Rob Greig / Time Out
Tayyabs (Jitka Hynkova / Time Out)
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Tayyabs (Jitka Hynkova / Time Out)
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Tayyabs (Jitka Hynkova / Time Out)
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Tayyabs (Jitka Hynkova / Time Out)
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Tayyabs (Jitka Hynkova / Time Out)
Jitka Hynkova / Time Out
Tayyabs (Ming Tang-Evans / 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?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

You may be interested in:

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:26
  • 4 star:22
  • 3 star:14
  • 2 star:15
  • 1 star:37
3 people listening
Avatar for Gad M
1 of 1 found helpful

I have been to Tayyabs several times in the past. It's cheap, BYOB, and the food is decent. However, my issue is with the staff, in particular the manager.

It was my girlfriend's birthday and I had purchased a personalised cake and bought it to the restaurant shortly before she arrived, with clear instructions on when to bring it out. There is a £10 charge for them to bring the cake out. This is pretty steep, but what the hell; she'd love the surprise.

So here goes..

We finish our meals, my friend goes over and asks them to start preparing the cake. A waiter then comes over, clears our table, and starts setting out small plates with spoons...surprise over.

One of the waiter then walks over and brashly announces to the whole table "where is the cake?", at this point I am appalled. My friend goes over to speak to the main desk and they give him the cake in the box it came in. He explains, they are charging us to present the cake, after which the rudely agree. Then they come back to the table and ask for candles. I give them candles.

10 minutes later, surprise completely over, they bring the cake.

Then the bill comes with the £10 charge. I tell them I'd like this to be removed because of the hassle that was involved and fact they spoilt the surprise. The waiter says no, calls over a more senior manager. This guy also says no, all very rudely and aggressively. He then calls over the general manager. I reasonably state why I don't think this charge should be added, all things considered. The general manager, in a very hostile manner, out right refuses, with no explanation, attempt to discuss the point, just shouts that I have to pay the bill, "or else" as he aggressively put it. 

I continued to debate the issue, after seeing these are completely unreasonable people I begrudgingly had to pay the charge, life is too short.

For a restaurant that features in Time Out, had a table bill of over £100 and had ruined a very simple request, they had the audacity to still charge £10 for bringing our own cake. I am most frustrated by the aggressive, disrespectful and outright nasty behaviour of the manager.

This is an absolute disgrace and there should be consequences to treating human beings this way, let alone paying customers.

There are much nice restaurants close by that offer BYOB and great food. I'd urge decent people to avoid Tayyabs and go to one of the other alternatives. This kind of behaviour should not be allowed to slide.

Avatar for 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

Avatar for 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

Avatar for N N
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


Avatar for Balette-pape
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!!!

Avatar for vern
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.

Avatar for Nancy X

This place has my favorite lamb chops (and there are stiff competition from Dishroom and others!) They arrive on a hot sizzling platter and may sting your eyes a bit from the peppery-ness. The queue can be long so you have to make reservations ahead of time, and the rest of the menu are not rock stars like the lamb chops.

Avatar for Jojuj

A big, noisy, buzzy restaurant. Food comes quickly and the menu is appealingly small and manageable (I have my suspicions about massive menus being a sign of lots of frozen food). And there's no charge for BYO. Better suited to a gathering of families and big groups of friends than to an intimate gathering.

Avatar for K M

Food is ok not super good or anything..but service is bad. They even charged us for Papaddums that they gave us without even asking. When we pointed out they did not want to listen to us and said you ate it so you have to pay for it. Ruined the whole experience at the end. Just be careful; you may be charged for stuff what would appear to be a freebie. 

Avatar for Jen C

I came here on a recommendation from several work colleagues and was not disappointed. I came with a group and we got a table really quickly. The food was amazing, we ordered several different items to all share so I was able to eat quite a lot off the menu. The lamb chops are seasoned to perfection and were tender and hot. The vegetarian samosas were also huge and really filling. The curries all had a nice building heat and were packed with flavor. My favorite of the day though was the garlic naan, the portion is huge and it was thick and chewy. My friend ordered a pitcher of mango lassi for everyone to try and it was such an amazing accompaniment to the spicy curries. It provided a bit of a reprieve from the heat of the food but was also really cold and sweet. This has shot up my list of favorite places in London and I am certainly going to bring all of our out-of-town friends here! 

Avatar for Amy L

I absolutely love this restaurant! Delicious, delicious food - everything I have tasted here is divine. Personal faves are the lamb chops and the garlic naan. I always go here when I find myself near Whitechapel!!

Avatar for Sosh_uk

Crazy queues what ever time you do, so It must be good? Think was a local uni hang out for Me and has just got busier and busier through the years. The service is not great and the restaurant is always busy, you could spend 30-60 minutes waiting for a table The food is great though and worth the wait and so reasonably priced. Top tip Get the lamb chops- amazeballs Also Order ahead and get a takeaway, you can eat the food in the comfort of your own home and don't have to queue!

Avatar for Tegan C

A cheap and cheerful curry house. Visited here with a few colleagues and the food was pretty tasty and the price was great. Also BYO which is definitely a plus :) Only gripe being that they bring out the mains about a minute after the entrees in an effort to move you along and free up the table. 

Avatar for Elena F

Cheap and great food - for the first time I was able to book a table and avoid the long queue.

Avatar for Foodie F


Never to return. 

The food is below average: as an individual who comes from an Indian background and having grown up eating out at curry houses, I can say that there is nothing special about the food here. 

It is 100% tailored to a customer that wants to feel like he's eating Indian, but that customer's only foolish if he's actually naive enough to believe so. 

Bland curries with fatty meat - not an Indian curry that I'd recommend. 

And then the service. Never have I received such poor service. Rude waiter. Rude Manager. 

I cannot fathom why people still hype about Tayyabs. Believe me, there is nothing authentic about this place. 

Avatar for Jboyle14

Bit surprised at the bad reviews but also not a total convert to the hype surrounding it. That being said it's a very good Indian restaurant, one of the best I've been to. If you have the good sense to book ahead, BYOB and have enough patience to deal with crowds in a popular place then you'll be just fine

Avatar for Caroline M

Best restaurant in London if you like spicy food! Bring your own booze and eat amazing spiced curries (meat or veggie) and have for sure some lamb chops! 

Avatar for Von B

No matter how long the wait is - always worth it. Everytime!

Avatar for Alana R

Hearing only rave reviews I was excited to finally tick it off my bucket list. Ordering four dishes between three of us was perfect, accompanied by rice and naan of course. However, as a vegetarian, I was slightly surprised that there weren't more options, or varied options. The panneer and spinach was good, though the dahl and eggplant curry was a bit dry. I think there are better options out there for vegetarian Indian food lovers. 

But other than that, great service, so I'm not sure what the other reviews are on about and extremely reasonably priced.

Avatar for Bobbymoto

Made booking from bnb. It were highly recomended by the staff. The mixed grill were rally good and it were comparable to our favorite curry house in bradford. Place were really busy. Food spot on A1 loved it.

Avatar for Alex PD

Tayyabs can be a pain, sure. If you haven’t booked then you’re in for a queue, no matter what evening. If you have booked there’s an above average chance you’ll be in either a cramped table for two somewhere, or else at a larger table where you’ll be fairly quickly moved on (tip – book for 20:00 or alter so you’re the last table of the evening, then you avoid some of their famous ‘hospitality’). It’s noisy and it’s chaotic and the staff aren’t friendly, but the whole place is wonderful and one of my enduringly favourite places in London. The food is to die for, with their famed lamb chops deserving every bit the accolades that they get. The naan breads are huge and buttery and delicious, and its BYO so bring a few bottles of wine and your friends, don’t expect a quiet romantic evening, and enjoy yourself

Avatar for B Cul

I'm very surprised by all the bad reviews for this restaurant. I've been a couple of times and always had a great night. You can book ahead which means you don't have to wait in the queue - I would recommend doing this as it avoids the waiting time!

I've enjoyed all of the curries I've tasted... the lamb chops and saag curry are delicious. I'll definitely be returning soon. Also it's BYO which means it ends up being a cheap night out!

Avatar for J C

Absolutely no idea why this place is so highly regarded. Must be for the meat. The non-meat dishes were very poor. There are plenty of Indian restaurants out there which do far better dhals and veg curries. I guess if you haven't eaten a proper curry before you don't know what to look for. For meathead students, tourists and space cadets.

Avatar for Georgie H

Forget Brick Lane, walk a bit further and you're at the best Indian Restaurant in town.

Avatar for Chris

There's 'popular' and there's 'too popular for its own good'. Despite booking, we still had to wait 45 mins in a hot, jam-packed reception area for a table, a man screaming at people who entered to stand in the right place based on whether or not they had booked. The queue for non-bookers snaked around the tables on the ground floor, and I have no idea how long it must have taken for them to be seated.

The food is, however, delicious, but it's just rushed and the place is jam-packed which takes the enjoyment off. 

Avatar for Ed. T

First off, don't even think about coming to Tayyabs without a reservation. I mean seriously, why would you go anywhere as a large group and NOT reserve? Thankfully, it's easy to do via phone or email, and no issues every time I've done it. 

I've heard great things about Tayyabs including their legendary mixed grill, something like £15 for lamb chops, lamb kebab, chicken tikka and pork something. Basically, a huge plate of meat, with grilled onions underneath that have absorbed all the juices. DEFINITELY order this between 3/4 of you, and some naan as well. 

Their curries are great as well, full of flavour, tender meat and well spiced. Nothing was overly spicy apart from the chilli sauce for the poppadoms, but even then, that was perfectly balanced. 

The food in general impressed me given that it's such a busy curry house and every dish is consistently pretty great. While I feel it doesn't quite live up to the hype for its mixed grill, it's definitely worth visiting with a bunch of friends and BYO. 

For 8 of us, all of us stuffed with 2 rounds of poppadoms, 2 mixed grills, chapatis AND naans and about 4 extra curries, it came to £17 each. A bargain I think, given the overall food experience and ability to reserve a table! 

Yes it's loud, yes it makes your clothes stink of curry, and yes it's extremely busy. But it's brilliant at the same time!

Avatar for Manningalive

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.

Avatar for 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!!

Avatar for M J A

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.

Avatar for 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!

Avatar for 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.

Avatar for Sheens86

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.

Avatar for Soyeb A

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

Avatar for AB
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.

Avatar for 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

Avatar for Pat

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

Avatar for Robin P

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

Avatar for Lilli

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!

Avatar for 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.

Avatar for 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!!

Avatar for hEnEsk

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!

Show More