This foodie phenomenon brings a cool slice of the sunny Bombay cafe culture to London. Now you can enjoy Dishoom in your own kitchen too.
Dishoom has been a top hit with the London restaurant scene since first opening in 2010. With 5 restaurants across London, from Shoreditch to Kings Cross, and outposts in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester too. The original restaurant is on St. Martins Lane, at the heart of London’s iconic theatreland, and just around the corner from the bustling boutiques and restaurants of Covent Garden.
The chintzy decor, wood panelled walls and charming atmosphere transport you to a 1920’s Bombay railway cafe the moment you step through the door. The candle-lit restaurant is always packed out and alive with chatter and laughter.
Atmosphere aside, the food is what brings people back again and again. The vibrant menu is full of delicious authentic dishes, we like to order lots and share. The Vada Pau is seriously popular, Bombay’s answer to London’s chip butty, it’s the ultimate indulgence. The creamy House Black Daal re-defines the meaning of comfort food and the crispy gunpowder potatoes are superb. Our favourite, the fiery crusted Lamb Chops are unbelievably tender and a match made in heaven with the minty yoghurt raita. It goes without saying that the naans are otherworldly. The cocktail menu offers twists on classics like the East India Gimlet and the Viceroy’s Old Fashioned, although the Dishoom Espresso Martini is our favourite. The bar also offers a great selection of very reasonable bottles and some great local beers too, including London Fields IPA.
Anyone who’s been to Dishoom will agree that the only downside is the queue. As with many London hotspots, Dishoom doesn’t take reservations, meaning the queue is always out the door by 6pm. Be sure to arrive as early and enjoy the atmosphere of the buzzing winding line, expect cups of chai and Indian lemonade to be passed around too.
Many of Dishoom’s cult followers will argue that the very best time to go is for breakfast. This is when you’ll find the infamous bacon naan on the menu. The authentic brunch menu is packed with flavour, the bacon naan is a firm favourite and we can see why, but the sweet date and banana porridge is excellent too. Lots of London foodies claim Dishoom’s Lassi’s to out do those on Brick Lane, the deliciously creamy Mango Lassi is fantastic, as is the bottomless chai tea. The best part? The breakfast menu is extremely reasonable, so reasonable that you could in fact order twice.
Whilst the Dishoom restaurants are currently closed, they’ve launched a series of at home kits, so you needn’t wait any longer. With fresh ingredients delivered straight to your door, the Bacon Naan Kit is one of our new favourites. The kit includes Ramsay of Carluke smoked streaky bacon, naan dough balls to cook at home, tomato chilli jam, cream cheese and fresh coriander. Each box also contains loose leaf Darjeeling tea, chai spices and fresh ginger slice to brew Chef Naved’s much loved Masala Chai from home. They’ve launched a vegan sausage naan kit too, for the veggies.
For every naan made at home, Dishoom donate a meal to Magic Breakfast, a brilliant charity providing nourishing free school meals. The kits are £16, serve two and can be delivered nationwide. That’s your Saturday morning sorted.
Dishoom is a truly immersive experience, and the atmosphere, flavours and vibrancy of the bustling restaurants are unrivalled. We hear their Christmas Feasts are pretty spectacular too.
12 Upper St Martin’s Ln, West End, London WC2H 9FB
Time for another? Read our review of Fitzrovia’s Circolo Popolare.
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