I decided to head to Dishoom as a last minute choice with a friend, upon arrival at 7pm, there was a rather longer queue outside, this queue was a pre-queue to another wait inside Dishoom. It was a very chilly evening and we had to wait for around 35mins outside in the cold, but were given cups of Chai. After the wait outside, we had a further 15min wait downstairs at the bar. We were given a buzzer to tell us when the table for 2 was ready. Well after all of that waiting i go rather hungry so it didn’t bother me so much.
All that waiting allowed me to absorb the decor which has a very quirky 60s style bollywood/indian old cafe environment. Thats the best way to describe Dishoom, its not really a restaurant per se, it’s more of a Cafe. There are 2 floors, the main floor as a open kitchen with a large open space for the diners. The walls are decorated with posters from india in the 60s.
The service was very friendly, now I’m a happy chappy, even standing in the queue in the cold and like have a bit of banter with the staff. All the staff were very friendly and warm. Once seated they knew we were standing in the cold and were very nice about it. I was even asked about the choice of table I would like, at this point i just wanted anything! Bring on the food
So on to the food. There was only 2 of us so we didn’t order too much, firstly the drinks. i ordered a Virgin Bombay Colada. I indian twist on the classic Pina Colada. Verdict… Probably the BEST drink I’ve had, it was thick, sweet, textured and full of flavour. I loved it!
Great Start. The waiter came over to take the food order, I asked him what he recommended, I like heat and Spice, after a quick scan of the simple menu i went for Lamb Chops for Starters and a Chicken Berry Biryani. We also got some Grilled Paneer Tikka and Nann. Okay so first the Biryani, it was served with Cranberries, very different, This dish wasn’t too memorable, it was good but didn’t really blow my stocks off but i wasn’t expecting it to. The Panner i found a bit dry, at this point the a manger looking dude asked if we needed anything, I said things are a bit dry, he suggested the house Daal.. and he gave it On the House! Yay!.
Theres something i’m forgetting… No there isn’t, I’m saving the best to last. Now I like my red meat and always try and order Lamb Chops. A few months ago i went to Mint Leaf and ordered £16 lamb chops and got a plate of 3 very small chops. When the Dishoom lamb chops arrived on the table i was thinking oh hear here we go again. I grabbed a lamb from the end, no knife and folk lark here, i went straight in with man bite.. what happened next was what can be described as a explosion in my mouth. Oh my, i think i had a foodgasm, it was the most tender, juicy and full of flavor piece of meat i’ve eaten. Oh boy it was good, I think i got the fatty bit of the chop. I’m having trouble to describe it, it was just delicious.
The bill came to under £40, the prices here are mixed, the price for a curry/main is a reasonable £7, but the starters are a bit overpriced.
So, this place was so good, i went again the next day with another friend!
Date of Visit 20/11/13
After Ice Skating nearby at Somerset House, my friend and i took the short walk and decided to grab a quick bite at Dishoom again. My friend had been already a few times and said the service on her experience wasn’t the best. Well, things change when you go with me!
Upon arrival at around 9.45 we were shown to a nice large table straight away, I also remembered one of the managers called Lisa from the day before and had a quick chat. We ordered drinks, so surprise i went for the same Bombay Colada again. I popped downstairs to freshen up and when i retuned my friend said that Lisa had given the drinks on the house!
We didn’t order much, no lamb chops today, i wanted a curry, so got a Chicken Ruby with Nann my friend got Sheekh Kebabs. I really liked my curry, it was a good balance of spice and flavour in a rich silky sauce. The Sheekh Kebabs looked like a stand kebab id get from my local curry house, but it certainly didn’t taste it, there was an intelligent use of lime, coriander and cumin flavours and texture that separated it from it being a standard kebab.
So, all in all, The food was a mixture of brilliant to standard, but what makes a good dining experience are different factors from service, food and atmosphere, all of which i loved and left me with a very positive feeling towards Dishoom
Free WiFI downstairs is a plus as the reception is not great. The restrooms are quirky.