Top London curry house Tayyabs shut for 'employing illegal workers'

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One of London’s top curry houses was temporarily shut by officials for allegedly employing illegal workers.

Family-owned Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs, in Whitechapel, has been closed since Tuesday after being raided by immigration officers last week.

The East End institution, where queues are common for fans of their tandoori lamb chops, opened in 1972 and boasts actress Christina Hendricks and retail expert Mary Portas among its celebrity supporters.

Following a raid by the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement agency, it is alleged that some of the 40 staff at the award-winning eatery were working illegally or lacking correct permits.

The restaurant responded with a note which read: “As you are aware our restaurant has been issued with a closure notice. We are working hard to resolve this matter.

“We hope to open by Thursday 31st August. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Twitter went into meltdown when news of the closure was broken.

Good News Hackney wrote: “Holy Shish!! @1tayyabs issued with a closure notice?? A dark day for London.”

Another Twitter user said: “How can they close tayyabs like it ain’t the best restaurant in London.”

Another added: “Don’t do this to me. Tayyabs does the nicest chicken karahi.”

It was third in the Yelp Top 100 Eateries in London last year, has won a Time Out Love London Awards, and was this month listed on the Evening Standard’s 45 of the capital’s must-try places to eat.

Former Conservative Employment Minister Esther McVey applauded late founder Mohammed Tayyab with a lifetime achievement award for services to the curry industry in 2015.

The restaurant reopened as a hearing was scheduled to take place at Stratford magistrates’ court on Thursday afternoon.

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