Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tayyabs, Whitechapel

The first rule about Tayyabs is : You do not go wearing your best outfits. You will come out smelling like you just had a one week no holds barred rendezvous with the sexiest grilled meat in the world.

The second rule about Tayyabs is : You do not go alone. You will be tempted to over ordered and therefore you need the extra mouth to eat it all. 

Third rule about Tayyabs : You better be prepare to join the queue and wait (even with reservations). It is ridiculously busy and from what I've heard, it will always be busy and at 10pm on that Sunday night, it was still packed. 

Fourth rule: Bring your own booze, no alcohol license. Beers and wine are welcome. 

Fifth rule : Go easy on the layering. This place is hot, in  more ways than one. 

Sixth rule: Lamb chops. Enough said. 

Seventh rule: Use your fingers, lick if you have to. You will want to. 

And the eight and final rule: You've got to eat here.

Once you've memorised the rules above, then you may let go all your inhibition and proceed to one of the oldest and quite remarkable fine East End institution - Tayyabs

It is not easy to find as it is located in a back street in Whitechapel but to seek out this cheap eat reaturant is most definitely worth it. This restaurant has existed for years and has been churning out well conceived and authentic Punjabi offerings and all at an reasonable price, part of the reason why it is immensely popular.

The Paneer Tikka were enriched with spices and flavour and if not for my own aversion to their texture, would have happily lap up the lot.

Huge parcel of meat-filled samosas went down a treat. Spicy, meaty and moist, packed full of Lamby goodness and I wished we had ordered the vegetables ones as well. Next time!

The Tayyabs mixed grill hot plate consisted a selction of theior in house grilled meat.  Chicken Tikka, these were smothered with lots of smokey paprika and garlickiness but were unfortunately a tad dry. The Seekh kebab were both moist and richly spiced with a nice welcoming punchy kick in the background. Their signature grilled lamb chops were a sizzling triumph and worthy of their accolades. The meat tasted like they have been marinated within an inch of their lives and each bite full was filled with spicy aroma, both tender and juicy. The only way to tackle them was to gnawed every bits of flavoursome meat straight off the bone using your hands as the only respectable cutlery of choice. Lick your fingers clean if you wish, I did, just so I don't waste any of the delectable meat juice to some unnecessary serviette. We also had a couple of Naan bread to accompany the meal and these came piping hot and were buttery and fluffy.

The chef's daily special Chicken Biryani were sold out and we tried the Haleem  instead. These were unanimously not too well received. The slow cooked lamb and lentil stew has the consistency of a thickened glue and not that palatable at all. Our only token vegetable dish to counter these meat feast was the Karahi Bhindi. And this was sublime. Perfectly cooked okra with still a bite coated in a rich chilli and cumin sauce, absolutely delicious.

The only real disappointment for me was the pudding. But that was down to personal taste. The Rasmalai were these light, crumbly doughy ball, floating in a clotted cream, cardomon and pistachios. I enjoyed the sauce, just not too keen on the floating cotton-ball like floating dough.

For under £20 each, these were fantastic value and in terms of flavours were right up there with some of the more refine and Michelin-starred chasing offerings but without the delicacy and intricate presentation and of course, premium prices. The restaurant is at times more like a noisy, buzzing market place, but don't let that put you off. Come here with a group friends or bring along your family and you will certainly be treated to some delicious food at an affordable price. Next visit for me, it will be their dry meat dishes and of course, more of those tender Lamb Chops.

Tayyabs on Urbanspoon

Square Meal


  1. I personally didn't love Tayyabs for curry (my local curry house wins), but when it comes to grills and Punjabi style kebabs, they are one of the best!

  2. Chef and Sommelier18 April 2013 at 15:54

    Hi Jason, I love Indian cuisine and this sounds like an interesting place for dinner...

  3. Did you know you can book...? :)

    Tinda masala is a must next time, as is the dry meat. Weirdly whenever I got with more people (10+ ) it ends up costing more (we paid near £30 a head); I reckon 4 people is pretty perfect.

  4. Yeah, the curry lamb and lentils dish wasn't great but agrees on the grilled good!

  5. It is really good....I would definitely recommend it.

  6. We booked and think we were quite lucky as it was a late Sunday night but apparently on the site it says that booking only save you a table once it's available. So if it's busy when you arrive, you'll still have to queue until it's your turn. There were four of us dining and yeah, that's a decent size group.

  7. Sounds like an interesting place, I'll have to remember it!



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