Sometimes you just need a refined, expertly cooked, eight-course wine-paired meal in a classy but casual, well staffed, well run and well executed establishment.
For all the other times though, there’s Tayyabs: a Whitechapel institution, started in 1972 by the father of Saleem, Aleem and Wasim Tayyab, subsequently taken over by his three children, and currently plating up what is undoubtedly the best Punjabi-Pakistani cheerfully cheap curry in an ex-pub turned riotous BYOB restaurant in Whitechapel.
The food at Tayyabs is bold, flavoursome, and unreservedly traditional – and therefore allows you to sample dishes like the now-famous fiery grilled lamb chops; slow-cooked beef curries; onion bhaji, spice-rubbed chicken tikka, seekh kebabs and masala channa; vegetarian dahls; and pillow-shaped rotis for mopping up the remaining sauces.
Then, you’ll leave.
To buy another bottle of wine – or seven – from around the corner, return with the comforting knowledge that there is absolutely no charge for corkage, and order what is likely to be more starters, mains, sides, rice and roti, followed by a number of Punjabi desserts. All of which will come in a sporadic and completely irregular fashion due to the vast amount of people around you also celebrating the fact that sometimes, just sometimes, a debaucherous, rambunctious, functionally dysfunctional four hour wine-infused and laughter-heavy dinner is just what one needs.
Then you’ll actually leave.
NOTE: Tayyabs is open daily from 12-11.30pm. You can reserve a table (and if you’re planning on going, definitely should, as it gets busy) either by calling 020 7247 6400, or online HERE.
Tayyabs | 83-89 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, E1 1JU
Planning a raucous get-together? Check out our London birthday guide