So we all know that the Indian restaurant industry has successfully seen the evolution from kitsch Birmingham balti house to providing a more authentic representation of Indian food. It now seems that the scene is developing once more, with the increasing presence of traditional Indian street food. Mooli’s in Soho has already developed a large following for its cheap and delicious wraps, but hot on its tails comes Dishoom.
Dishoom draws on the heritage of Bombay’s once thriving street café culture, where everyone from the city’s rich to the working class rubbed shoulders. Spread over two floors, the ground floor provides a more conventional dining environment, whilst the lower floor has the feel of a chic Parisian café where diners are encouraged to while away the hours with cocktails and bites. Attention to detail is impressive, with the authentic Indian touches provided by way of classic Bombay adverts and posters from the 1930s to the 1960s, triple blade fans and drinks glasses that are the same as those used by the tea sellers in India (look for slight tint to them to give the impression that they are tea-stained!).
Dishoom provides an easy going and informal place to eat and drink throughout the day, with an affordable menu based on Bombay’s street grills and food stalls. The all-day restaurant provides everything from big ‘Bombay meets London’ breakfasts, quick-fix lunches to hearty suppers. There are no starters or mains as such – you just order what you want and it comes to you as soon as it is ready. We tried a number of dishes and it all pretty much impressed. Highlights include an exceptional Lamb biryani, full of tender meat and fluffy rice coated in meat juices; a punchy Pau Bhaji (mashed vegetables with hot buttered bread); and Calamari with lime & chilli. Pricing is excellent too, with smaller plates costing around £4 and larger ones around £7.50.
Cuisine type: Indian
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £38
12 Upper St. Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9FB
Tel: 020 7420 9320