It’s pretty likely that you’ve heard about Dishoom before now. It’s kind of a big deal.
Open early till late, the day starts right with their cracking great breakfast. I’ve raved about it a few times – in fact, it features in our list of London breakfasts you must try before you die – and, trust me, there’s a reason for it. Special shout out to the Bacon Naan – a light, puffy naan bread surrounded by layers of crispy sugar-cured bacon, melted cream cheese, coriander and chilli tomato jam. It laughs in the face of the British bacon buttie. In fact, I’d go as far as saying you can’t call yourself a Londoner until you’ve tried one.
Alternatively, opt for the Full, erm, Indian. The Big Bombay Breakfast includes akuri (spicy scrambled eggs), char-striped smoked streaky bacon, peppery Shropshire pork bangers, masala baked beans, grilled tomato and mushroom, and buttered pau buns. Match it with a lassi or a breakfast cocktail and you’ll be set for the day.
If it’s lunch or dinner you’re after, Dishoom has it all. And get ready to feast. The dishes are designed to share, and staff recommend getting a couple of dishes per person. Highlights for me include the House Black Daal, the Mattar Paneer, the Chole Puri (a chickpea curry served with puffy bread) and the Spicy Lamb Chops. The Gunpowder Potatoes are a winning side order too, if you’re looking for something other than rice.
They have separate menus for vegans and those avoiding dairy or gluten – and there’ll even arrange a legitimate feast for tables of ten or more.
The drinks menu is so massive that you might want to start browsing before you arrive – it took my dad and I an embarrassingly long time to decide on just “two beers please.” But there’s a hefty list of cocktails, wines and lassis to cast your eyes over, so it’s a good idea to at least narrow down your preferences. If it helps, The East India Gimlet comes strongly recommended, and the Chillitini is a personal favourite of mine.
So, how do I get a table?
It’s important to note that Dishoom don’t take reservations for dinner bookings so, unless you’re visiting for breakfast or lunch, you may have to wait. It’s best to avoid visiting at peak hours (6:30–9:30pm) as chances are you’ll have to queue outside. You may be able to wait in the bar and enjoy a drink while you wait but, again, it depends how busy it is. The other way to get around it is to gather five other people, as they do accept bookings for six guests or more.
Dishoom are dishing the dirt on their secret recipes.
Yes, they’re launching their very own cookbook. It promises “recipes for almost everything on our menu”, meaning bacon naan rolls, okra fries, black daal, and vegan dishes like jackfruit biryani will soon be coming to a kitchen near you. They’re also throwing in some refreshing drinks recipes for the full dining experience. Titled Dishoom: From Bombay with Love, the book will also function as a love letter of sorts to old Bombay, focusing on the food, culture, and history of the city.
Dishoom has restaurants in Shoreditch, Covent Garden, King’s Cross, Carnaby and Kensington. Discover the full menu and opening times over on their website.