[London] Tayyabs

I had a late dinner last week at Tayyabs, a Punjabi restaurant in Whitechapel that’s been open since 1972. I had:

Papadums (80p)


Karahi Chicken Tikka Masala (£8.95)
This was not as creamy as some of the chicken tikka masalas I’ve had. This was my first in London. I don’t think there was any cream at all, but there definitely was a good amount of ghee or butter. It had a nicely flavored spicy sauce with tomato and onions that didn’t have that much heat. The chicken tikka chunks were were pretty good and flavorful though not the tenderest - I think this was perhaps because they were white meat.


Seekh Kebab (£1.20)
The lamb seekh kebab came out sizzling on a hot plate along with some onions. I thought this was great - smoky, well spiced, tender, and a little juicy. I probably should have ordered some more of these or some other grilled items.


Tandoori Naan (£1.20)
Good buttered naan.


Sauces and Vegetable Plate


They’ve been in the news after being shut down for a few days this week:


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I think you missed the best dish - the lamb chops and the dry lam curry - those are the two dishes that formed their reputation. Although some have said they are not as good as some of their newer rivals.

Yeah, I should have done some more research. Based on how good the seekh kebab was I’m sure the lamb chops in particular would have been a good choice.

The dry meat curry is a standout dish, IMO. I’ve eaten other things there and they have not been standout. I suspect its best days are behind it - I find it relatively easy to eat very good south asian food in my part of the UK, so it may be that its continued reputation draws on its past glory, whther amongst Londoners or visiting tourists.

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I agree - I think if it was in Brum, Leicester or uup north it probably would be considered a bit ho hum.

Phil - FWIW, I’ve just received the new edition of the Good Food Guide which rates Tayyabs as a 2/10.

By comparision, Lasan (Birmingham), Indian Tiffin Room (Manchester) and Sanmini (Ramsbottom) are all rated at 3/10.

I know all four of those places and reckon the rating is spot on for food, although we’ve fallen out of favour with Sanmini of late - mainly due to a couple of new openings more locally (both of which are listed in the GFG but not yet rated) means its not worth the schlep round to the north of the metro area.

I’ve always found the lamb chops at tayyabs incredibly chewy and dry, the main thing saving them is the aggressive spicing/marinade. I guess that’s why people like them. The dry meat I am quite partial to.

For various decent Indian food, you’re vastly better going out to Upton Park/East Ham. JFores presented some encyclopaedic research on these areas on chowhound a few years back. Most of the places are still there and banging out the same stuff (though thattukada has changed quite a bit.)

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Any thoughts about Southall, Dean? I understand it to be a respected area for South Asian food.

Most of my trips to the London area are to visit the National Archives at Kew. I stay nearby in Brentford and, truth be told, I hadnt realised just how close Southall is.

Correction to my earlier post - Sanmini is no longer listed in the Guide.

I haven’t really spent much time in Southall, John. My friends who are wiser about this than I tell me that around Southall it’s more 2nd/3rd gen immigrants, so may not have that same immediate connection to the homeland’s food as you get in the east. I’m not sure if that’s correct but I can ask around for recommendations in any case.

I’m also not sure what Indian regions are well represented in Southall compared to out east, so the styles of food may vary.

If it’s still like my last visit a few years back, the high street is definitely worth a stroll around in any case. The colours, smells amd street life are amazing – you feel like you could be in India!

Thanks, mate.

If you do hear of any reccs, please let me know. I’m due a trip to Kew some time this side of Christmas and may just go for a wander down the main street to see if anywhere takes my fancy.

I just asked JFores and he suggested Raunka Punjab Diyan for good Punjabi. It seems a long from anywhere so may not be very convenient for you to visit from Brentford.

I’ll let you know if I hear of anything else.

Hounslow is even closer to Brentford and also has some good options. Shree Krishna Vada Pav is one.

Thanks. No problem getting round the area, as I drive down from the frozen north.

In Southall, I like the samosas at Shahanshah (60 North Road, UB1 2JL; more detailed writeup). None of my other Southall experience is recent enough to be worth mentioning.

I’m interested to hear more Hounslow suggestions. I’m off there on Monday and already have plans to check out Shree Krishna Vada Pav. I’ve also heard good things about the chaat and Punjabi food at Chini Chor (but not their South Indian dishes) (348 Bath Road, TW4 7HW).

Wembley is another area worth looking at. I was less impressed by Jashan (1-2 Coronet Parade, Ealing Road, HA0 4AY) than others of my acquaintance, but I may have just been unlucky (more detailed writeup). There’s a branch of Saravanaa Bhavan (22-22A Ealing Road, HA0 4TL); I’ve not been to this one but have had good food at others. I’m checking out Kailash Parbat (529 Wembley High Road, HA0 2DH) next week and will report back.

If you feel intrepid, could I suggest driving along the road from Alperton to Wembley Central and stopping at whatever looks interesting? A bus ride the other week suggested this could be a productive venture.

Agreed - for the chops, Needo and Lahori Nihari in Upton Park are by far superior. Lahore’s are a tad on the puny side IMO.

A cautionary note on Sakoni’s in Wembley btw if anyone recommends to you - it used to be a culinary institution with its weekend buffet attracting queues around the block but my mum has had food poisoning twice recently and blames the drop in quality and hygiene :frowning:

Apparently Africana in Wembley is v good for East African Gujarati food but I haven’t tried it and remain sceptical that anything could be better than what I get at home anyway. I’ll endeavour to get out there sometime and let you know.

Also Dean - though you probably know this by now - Sikh and Punjabi dishes in particular is what you would travel to Southall for. That partition doc on the BBC recently was filmed at a restaurant called Giftos. Despite my feelings on the doc, it has had good reviews and looked really nice so maybe worth a gander.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold