I pretty much work next to the new Indian opening Dum Biryani House in Soho, specialising in you guessed it Dum Biryani!. I contacted this place in November to check if the food was halal and they confirmed that it was. I missed out on the soft launch when it opened but decided to pay a visit after work 2 months after I spotted it on day one!
The menu is small and only consists of a handful of starters/small plates and 3 different type of Dum Biryani. (view menu in link below)
For starters, I went for Kodi Vepudu (Chicken wings) and Mutton Fry.
The chicken wings were ridiculously hot, in terms of chilli. An overuse of green chillies made it very unpleasant to eat. My mouth was on fire and that burning heat just overpowered any chance of my taste buds being put to use to enjoy the flavours of the chicken wings. These should be advertised as super hot wings, I can handle my chili, (i get the black bottle of hot sauce at nando’s!) 4/10
The Mutton Fry was a better dish compared with the hot wings. Slow cooked sliced lamb mixed with a Andhra masala and served with some small pieces of paratha. Andhra is a blend of spices very similar to garam masala, which is why it tasted so familiar, while I was eating it i couldn’t help but draw the similarities with my mum’s cooking! 6.5/10
Side note. no plates given for the starters and I couldn’t get the attention of any service staff.
I went for the Lamb Biryani. When it arrives it does look impressive, a massive dome of pastry over the biryani. It’s also served with Mirch Unda Salan (curry with green chilli and half boiled egg) and smoked aubergine raita.
At first, the Biryani felt too dry and too light, it also had a strong raw taste of spices that felt like it hadn’t had enough time to be cooked together. (In particular the taste of cloves). The lamb itself felt dry and had very little taste, it was not tender and slightly hard to chew. It was only after 15 mins of making my way thru the Biryani and giving it a good mix together when it began to improve in taste. The flavours started to become balanced and the texture of the rice became moist and blended better. this is something you expect from the start. So overall, I am not really rating this Biryani that highly. 5/10
For a restaurant that specialises in one dish it’s strange to see how they didn’t get it quite right on my visit. The dish was bland and unbalanced to start with then slowly got better.
The price for one Biyani is £15 and overpriced for what I got.
The decor and atmosphere all depends on where you are seated. When i first arrived I was showed a seat tucked away in a cold and lonely corner of the restaurant and was told to sit and the end of a table designed for 6. I chose not to be seated there and wait for a table in the main dining area which was dimly light for a moody atmosphere. The restaurant is underground and has no natural lighting but you don’t feel it.
Overall, I think there are better options for Indian food around the area. The signature dish was weak and really needs improvement. I’m not letting the mini spectal of the dome of puff pastry cracking open with a plume of steam distracting me from what’s at the end of the day average food at best.
Total was £34 inc service.
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I had high expectations based on reviews but don’t believe the hype – needs improvment.