Tayyabs is so hot right now. The queue is longer than the queue that you will face to get into even the fussiest bar or nightclub in town.

Maybe it is because Tayyabs beat all the expensive places to Indian restaurant of the year (although technically it is Punjabi), maybe it is because Tayyabs has just reopened after closing for a month for Ramadan or maybe it is just all that fabulous word of mouth. (Exhibit A: Dos Hermanos, Exhibit B: Londonelicious, Exhibit C: American in London). Whatever, we have to queue for an hour. Given that with the legendary Tayyabs speedy service we are only actually at our table for just over an hour you have to question whether it is worth it.

Tayyabs is a great barn of a place and it is packed to the rafters. The atmosphere is bustling and service is minimal while still efficient. But then the food arrives and it is really good and really, really cheap. Particularly when you have alcoholic tendencies and can bring your own wine or beer with no corkage. After all that queuing Mez, Kara and I are starving so we have ordered a lot of food. Really I am sure people are giving us strange looks and wondering how three girls can eat so much. But we do.

To begin we devoured toasty fresh Naan bread, smoky seek kebabs which arrived sizzling on a iron hot plate and the slightly fiery (thanks to that delicious Garam Masala rub) lamb chops. Next come steaming bowls of Karahi chicken, vegetables and another hot plate of Karahi prawns. The food is all flavoursome and incredibly moreish. We stuff ourselves but we still manage to find room for some Kulfi, the super rich and creamy Punjabi ice-cream.

Still the question remains, is any place, no matter how good (and cheap), worth queuing for an hour. Maybe next time I will try to be cleverer and arrive at less of a peak time and bring some refreshment for the line. Yes, there will be a next time, the lure of those lamb chops will just be too great.

Details: 83-89 Fieldgate Strret, E1 (Ph: 020772479543)
Damage: Such a bargain even my mother would approve
New Tayyab on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree – Tayyabs on a Friday night is always *the worst* in terms of crowds. The first few times I failed to figure this trend out, I’d show up on Friday evening, die of hunger waiting on that queue, and then I’d give up and try other places nearby (like Lahore Kebab House around the corner). I def recommend going to Tayyabs for lunch or on a weeknight – same great food for a lot less aggravation. If you work Eastish (i.e., the City or even Canary Wharf), it’s not so bad a schlepp to Whitechapel after work. That’s what I tell myself anyway. : )

  2. Try going at 12. You’ll beat the lunch rush! Yes, crazy that I place I’ve been eating at since 2004 is now all over the newspapers!

  3. Ah, the queues…! we usually arm ourselves with a 6 pack of ciders for the queue, but the lamb chops are definitely worth it.

    Mirch Masala nearby is similar to Tayabbs but is much quieter.

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