Dishoom is right up there on my list of favourites – it’s on the “God Tier” along with Flat Iron, Grind, Le Relais De Venise and Flour & Grape. I’ve reviewed the Dishoom breakfast here on the blog which features THAT Bacon Naan Roll but despite repeatedly returning for dinners, I’ve never reviewed Dishoom for dinner so today I’m rectifying that.
If you haven’t eaten at Dishoom (and you like Indian food), you need to visit immediately.
As with many of my favourite restaurants in London, it’s got strict rules around booking tables (not surprising really as it’s so popular). While you can book tables before 5pm, you can only book tables in the evening for large parties of six or more people so you either need to get there early, or be prepared to wait. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is how busy it is – it’s likely there’ll be a queue out the door and you’ll be told to wait for 45 minutes. And that’s before you even get to the bar where you’ll continue to wait, but this time, with a drink in hand.
Inspired by the old cafes of Bombay, the interiors of Dishoom all have a shabby chic feel, with a heavy scent of incense on arrival which takes you straight to Bombay.
There are now a few Dishoom Restaurants across London, and even one in Edinburgh; I’ve visited the Soho, Kings Cross (the largest in London_ and Shoreditch branches but I’ve never actually visited the original in Covent Garden… yet. The Kings Cross restaurant is quite impressive, based in Granary Square just a short walk away from kings cross station and in a converted railway shed giving it a modern yet industrial feel. Set over three floors, this is without a doubt, the largest restaurant and yet on my last visit with my parents we queued outside for 30 minutes before we were able to wait at the bar where we ordered prosecco. Often, you don’t have to wait long until you’re shown to a table.
We were seated at a table right in the middle of a busy restaurant at full capacity in full dinner service flow. Plates and cutlery are already on the table, emphasising the relaxed, sharing nature of the food served. It’s a case of grab a little bit of everything and add it to your plate. Water is served in steel glasses which the waiters top up regularly using jugs. We ordered some more prosecco while we looked at the menu and I recommended all of my favourite dishes to my parents.
Dishoom – What We Ordered
We didn’t bother ordering any starters from the small plates menu on this occasion, but I’ve tried the deliciously oozy Chilli Cheese Toast (£4.20) which certainly has a kick from the green chilli. It can be really easy to fill up on this so I’d suggest only ordering it if there’s a group of you or if you’re really hungry!
Dishoom comes into its element when you order a selection of dishes to share between a group of you which is what we did when I visited last with my parents. That way, you can try a bit of everything!
The Chicken Ruby Curry (£10.90) is a great place to start; it’s an absolute crowd pleaser and the closest you’ll get to a ‘standard’ curry at Dishoom. I’d compare it to a butter chicken as the sauce is buttery and creamy in a tomato based ‘makhani’ sauce, full of flavour without spice. I would say that this is a very mild dish. We also ordered the Sheekh Kabab (£8.90) which is three pieces of minced lamb, marinated with chilli, spices and grilled. The meat is soft and juicy but it packs a kick. This was the spiciest element of the meal. My standout dish from Dishoom has to be the House Black Daal (£6.50). It’s their signature dish — dark, rich, deeply flavoured.
Of course, we ordered some Steamed, fluffy basmati rice (£3.20) to go with the Chicken Ruby and House Black Daal and because I’m not great with heat, I always like to order a bowl of the Raita (£3.20); this is a delicate, minty yoghurt with cucumber and really cools some of the spicier curries down, making some of the dishes more enjoyable.
Whenever I visit Dishoom, I always insist on ordering a selection of breads – and usually end up ordering more half way through the meal to mop up any leftover curry. On this visit, we ordered some Roomali Roti (£3.20) which is handkerchief-thin bread, thrown, stretched and griddled to order. We also ordered a portion of Cheese Naan (£3.20) which has cheddar cheese melted inside. What I like about the Dishoom naan bread is that it’s not as thick or heavy as other Indian naan breads I’ve tried. This is also the same naan bread that they use for the bacon naan rolls Dishoom serves at breakfast time. The naan breads are served in metal loaf tins, giving it quite a rustic serving appearance – I like the simplicity because it makes sure that all of the focus is on the food itself.
Dishoom – From Bombay, with love
Dishoom – 10/10
The tastiest curry meal I’ve ever had – and I go back repeatedly. Dishoom is well and truly on the god tier of my favourite restaurants.
Food – 10/10
Service – 9/10
Decor / Ambience – 10/10
The total cost for four people was £143.33 including service and lots of prosecco.
Have you visited Dishoom before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London Restaurant Hit List!
Dishoom, Kings Cross
5 Stable St