The proposition at Dishoom is different from your typical Indian restaurant or curry house. It defines itself as a Bombay café inspired by the old Irani cafés that were everywhere in Bombay in the 60s. I have never been to Bombay but all I can say is that Dishoom does a pretty good job at evoking what it stands for. It screams colonialism and the décor is eclectic, colourful with lots of attention to detail. On the table, cold metal ‘glasses’ for your drink and thick plates with writing on them set the scene for a unique experience in a relaxed atmosphere.
Then there is the food. As far as Indian food goes, this is right at the top. It is consistently good, emphasis on both words. And the service is also good, relaxed and friendly. Dishoom remains one of my favourite restaurants in London and if there ever was a top 10 list for me, it would definitely be there.
Food wise, these are the highlights for me:
The Behl – a light and super fresh starter salad with puffed rice and pomegranate seeds – is an excellent way to start your meal.
The Ruby Chicken – what could be classified as a top quality curry, creamy and deep in flavour with enough kick to make it really interesting.
The House Black Dhal, a melt-in-the-mouth comforting buttery lentils in an intense deep creamy dark orange sauce with smoky notes, is probably the best lentils dish I have ever had.
And the cheese naan is naughty and wrong in so many ways, but oh so right!
In my last visit we got a little adventurous and decided to order outside our ‘usuals’. We tried ochra fries – soft and crunchy at the same time, tangy and slightly spicy in flavour. And chilli cheese on toast – whose decadent and brilliant idea was that?
The Dishoom IPA is decent and goes a treat with the spicy and rich dishes. Try it for the full Dishoom experience.
Dishoom is modern and relaxed and serves top quality food whilst making you feel like you have stopped in time whilst you’re inside. At the moment I really can’t think of a better place to eat Indian food, and so I keep going to Dishoom for a piece of Bombay in the heart of London.
Where: London, Shoreditch (but there is also one in Covent Garden and a new one in King’s Cross)
Occasion: Breakfast, lunch or dinner
Rating: 5 stars
Would I go again? Absolutely