Dishoom has been on my ‘list’ for as long as I knew, this fun-packed Bombay chain existed in the heart of London. With a number of chains under their belt, Dishoom is a self-proclaimed and styled Bombay Cafe when you fancy something a little more up-market. Dishoom has since become a corporate and commercialised chain, but what I loved about it. was the charisma that adorns each chain. With dimmed lightning, marble worktops and a long-stretched bar, Dishoom is continuously busy. For irritating reasons, you can only book for six people or more, so really the secret lies with doing exactly that, and then inviting your friends for a delicious evening of Indian cuisine.
The thing I loved most about Dishoom were the utterly brilliant combination of flavours and the easiness to share among your friends. Each dish is relatively small – small enough to want to share a number of options between you. The staff recommend between two to three dishes each, so between seven of us, we did exactly that. I don’t often get too excited by a drinks menu unless I am at some snazzy cocktail inspired bar, but Dishoom’s drinks menu was beautifully exotic. I opted for the Virgin Bombay Colado; a classic pineapple and creamy coconut brew, with a Bombay twist, that included coriander (much to my surprise and intrigue), chai syrup, lime juice and topped off with pineapple leaf and paan masala. It was heaven!
To start, we had the classic vegetable samosa’s and okra fries, which were like zucchini fries if you have ever tasted them. On Dishoom’s recommendation, we ordered the gunpowder potatoes; which were brown skins, tossed with a little butter and seasoned with crushed aromatic seeds and green herbs.
To accompany our sides, we chose the traditional chicken and mixed vegetable biryani and the mattar paneer. Next on our order was the chicken ruby curry, with the right level of spice and flavour combined, bathed in a rich makhani sauce; all served with rice. And lastly, no good Indian would be best served without raita, a creamy yoghurt, with subtle hints of cucumber.
I was really impressed by the high-quality service and by the exceptional food. The staff were friendly and it was an undoubtedly enjoyable experience. The best part – you’ll never be without options and I can’t wait to try the remaining dishes and their alternative locations in the bustling heart of the West End.
Photos taken at Dishoom Carnaby