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83-89 Fieldgate Street
Standing in line at venerable Tayyabs, it’s impossible not to wonder if it’s all worth it. But, once the queuing is over (factor in an hour), you’ll soon forget the hassle as the sound, smell and (finally) the taste of those sizzling hot tandoori lamb chops assails you. Since this “manic” family-run canteen started life on its east London backstreet in 1972, it’s been gussied-up just a little (the new bronze chairs and latticed screens actually look pretty smart), but it remains one of London’s favourite low-budget eateries, as popular with families and students as it is with rowdy City parties and mates on the town. Of course, you must have the lamp chops, but don’t overlook the biryani specials, “amazing” pumpkin curry and the better-than-it-sounds ‘dry meat’. Tayyabs is BYO, so choose something spice-friendly to go with your nosh. “Quick service” is exactly what’s required too.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best in East
Cheap eats in London
83-89 Fieldgate Street
Whitechapel Tube Station 455m
Aldgate East Tube Station 530m
The Andrew Sketchley Theatre 215m
Brick Lane 486m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
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.
Food + drink: 0
Can't say more than the whole experience was horrendous.
The queue for a table is exceptionally long and the manager will just seat his ‘special’ guests when they just walk in making ya wait even longer in line.
We sat behind a table of ten young city banker guys who where all making themselves sick at the table on purpose and the staff refused to do anything! We left and the guys where still allowed to throw up at their table!
Food was tough and chewy and the chicken, and jamb all tasted the same.
It is like bring in a school canteen with people pushing and shoving and not a great experience at all.
First and mart times will ever eat there! How can they slow people yo throw up and kept them still be in the restaurant with people eating all around them!
Food + drink: 5
Tayyabs is a quick-eat, casual Pakistani restaurant and can be found a stones throw from the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel (near Shoreditch, worth venturing to). This is not the place for lounging around over a curry and the decor is a little brash. Also, prepare to queue unless you go at odd hours eg 5pm or earlier and fill your boots with some of the best and freshest Pakistani food in London at exceptionally reasonable prices. Once in, order hot, buttery, fluffy naans, anything from the sizzling grill (Tandoori chicken and lamb chops are a must for carnivores), daal begum (spicy mini aubergines and daal) and spicy keema are the highlights. The hot sauce with the poppadums should be marketed on its own, it's that good. You can bring your own alcohol or slurp on chilli-quenching mango lassis. A Brucie bonus is that they offer a takeaway service (collection only).
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