Tayyabs, Whitechapel

In my home town, Northampton, Friday night in a BYOB curry house was always a good laugh. Even if it wasn’t technically a BYOB restaurant, we’d sneak in a few cans somehow to fill up our pint glasses. The Imran on Wellingborough Road was normally a first choice. I added Tayyabs to the list after hearing it was meant to be a good London equivalent.

Tayyabs takes BYOB to another level. The place is enormous, with at least three floors, each with a huge amount of tables. That doesn’t mean you’ll get away without booking though, it’s always busy, and the lobby is normally crammed with stragglers who are waiting for a table. The place is alive with the sound of rowdy boozers, more comparable to a packed pub than a restaurant. If you cracked out a game of ring of fire, chanting “Down it Fresher” across the table, you wouldn’t look too out of place. But that’s what you’re expecting (or at least I was), and if you’re not, I’d make the short walk to Brick Lane and get a table at one of the smaller places there.
The menu is pretty full on. We went for a simple solution of telling our waiter that we wanted a set menu that suited our budget. At just £15 for starter, mains and corkage, it’s easily the cheapest Indian I’ve had in London! From what I remember, the lamb chops were delicious despite the amount of meat on them being measly compared to the size of the bone (maybe this is normal for lamb chops!). The chick pea curry was fantastic as well, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture that you wouldn’t normally expect. Nothing special about with the rice, naan or Chicken Karahi, but all in all it was good food. One tip: don’t be fooled by the mint sauce, the one you normally expect to be your friend when you need a cool down – it’s the hottest sauce on the bloody plate! Judging by conversations I overheard in the toilets (again, more comparable to a pub than a restaurant) I think it surprised a few people.
Bottom line, if you want a curry house to begin a night out in Shoreditch, with cheap, good food and BYOB, Tayyabs is a solid choice.
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