We have heard a lot of positive reviews about Tayyabs, an Indian restaurant in Whitechapel that has been around since the 70’s. It is not an easy task creating a name for yourself in Brick Lane/Whitechapel area as if you have ever been to that area you will realise there are just so many Indian restaurants in that area, competition is rife.
Tayyabs is a family run Pakistani restaurant that up until the last year or so you couldn’t book, which was a pain as it is so busy you had to join a long queue – but that is what made its beauty I suppose. Now you can book so can push past the hordes, which can be a very satisfying feeling during busy hours. As anyone local (and not so local really) will know about this place, it is known for generous portions, good quality ingredients and very good value for money.
The restaurant is located south of Whitechapel Road, tucked away behind side streets and is therefore distant to the other Indian restaurants in Brick Lane. You can tell you are in the right place by the neon blue ‘Tayyabs’ sign and the queue of people outside. I go on about the queue but the service is fast and the restaurant large so the turnaround is not as painful as one might think.
We were briskly seated; squeezing through two tables on both sides and apologising occasionally for hitting someone accidentally with a bag as you push past. This place is all about the hustle and bustle, they cram as many people in as possible so there is not much space but it adds to the casual family vibe.
We were seated next to a couple, who ordered starters and the efficient waiters swiftly came out with a humongous stack of ribs. It just looked delicious. We opted for just a main as the dishes are so generous. We ordered the Patia and Tikka; not our usual choice as seems like an English man’s choice of curry and not authentic but we had been warned that the curries are very spicy as most Pakistani curry’s are.
We also ordered mango lassi as it is a favourite of ours and had brought a bottle of wine as it is BYO; which also add to the low cost price. We were given Popadoms with generous dips; these were nicer than the usual watered down versions you get in brick lane. We were also served with a large side salad to share, to enjoy while waiting for our mains. The salad was literally a pile of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onions but this place is not famous for its refinement more for quality, generosity and atmosphere.
Our food came out at an alarming pace although we did have to wait extra for one main dish, which we had to remind the waiter about and then the rice I ordered did not arrive either so I had to ask again. I think they had forgotten but as they are serving such a high volume of people it didn’t take long to plate up another bowl of rice.
Two of us ordered the Patia, which is a mild tomato curry with mixed vegetables and Pilau rice and one of us ordered chicken Masala chunks, which were charcoaled on a grill and ordered creamy spinach to go with this. The currys were rich and tasty, full of delicious spices and tomatoes. The chicken was served on a hot grill and came out sizzling. The chunks were huge and were so succulent. The rice was served hot and was al dente which was perfect and the two sides we ordered would have served four of us. The spinach was wilted in a light cream sauce and the mixed vegetables were served in a balti mix.
After our bellies could handle no more we were served the obligatory hot wet wipes and given chocolate mints. The value for money at this place is faultless and service is fast. This place although a little more expensive than the deals offered in Brick Lane is worth it and puts them to shame. Do not come here if you want a slow quite date but do come here if you are after good food at the right price with a vibrant atmosphere. Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives Tayyabs:
Food Atmosphere Service