DISHOOM - REVIEW - 18TH MAY 2012
I have wanted to try Dishoom in Covent Garden for ages and had been told such great things about it so was so excited to visit the restaurant.
Dishoom is a Bombay Street Food Cafe and the dishes are all taken from original cafes in Bombay, with lots of local specialities on the menu. The name, we were told, means to be full of joy and in good spirits.
Inside, Dishoom really has an authentic Indian feel and the decor really does what it says on the tin and makes you feel like you are really in a street cafe in Bombay. We were seated at a small round table right by the kitchen which was great as we could see exactly what the chefs were preparing.
The menu, which I had already excitingly perused online, is vast and hugely exciting. Each dish is full of tantalising flavours and it is so hard to decide what to order in Dishoom. Fortunately because it’s street food, you can try quite a lot of different things and we took the advice of our very helpful waitress on what and how much to order.
To start with we ordered a couple of nibbles and opted for the Chilli Cheese on Toast (how could we not?!) and a the Pau Bhaji. The cheese on toast was crunchy with thick melted cheese and a perfect helping of green chilli and the Pau Bhaji was a bowl of puréed vegetable curry which actually tasted like onion bahji and had a muffin type bread to dip in it.
We ordered two of the unique cocktails to drink with it and chose a Bombay Colada, which was thick and flavoured with lots of coconut and cinnamon spices, and a Chaijito which was like a mojito and really thirst quenching.
For main, we ordered a good combination of dishes to get a varied feel to the menu. We chose the Spicy Lamb Chops, on Jay Rayner’s review recommendation, the Dhaba Chicken, a Chicken Berry Biryani, the Prawn and Pomelo Salad, which is a new summer special, House Black Daal (our waitresses favourite dish), Steamed Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan.
All of the dishes were, quite simply, fantastic and I couldn’t fault any of them. The lamb chops were slightly pink in the middle and the meat was succulent and well spiced. The dhaba chicken was cooked to perfection and really did melt in the mouth and was cooked in an extremely tasty sauce. The chicken berry biryani came in a pot that had been sealed with dough and contained juicy chicken and fluffy spiced rice with berries in. The prawn and pomelo salad was fresh, juicy and just tasted of summer. The prawns were marinated with lime and garlic and went amazingly well with the zingy pomelo, which was just like grapefruit, and crunchy salad leaves. The daal was one of the stars of the meal and was definitely the tastiest daal I have ever eaten.
All of the dishes went well with the pilau rice and garlicky naan and our only issue was that we ordered too much so couldn’t finish it all! And I hate leaving good food, so that was particularly disappointing!
We couldn’t fit pudding in so instead ordered a couple more cocktails - a Chilli Martini and a East India Gimlet - and finished the meal with a house Chai tea and a Chocolate Chai tea. The cocktails were tasty and refreshing, with a perfect kick of chilli in the martini and the tea was warm and milky with a spiced warmth coming from the cinnamon and clove spices.
The service in Dishoom was fantastic with both our waitress and the manager describing the food and how it is cooked with great care and knowledge.
The meal was hugely exciting and enjoyable and I want to go back and visit Dishoom very, very soon. There is lots more to try on their vast menu and I shall be making sure I sample it all-it sounds too good not to.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Dishoom.
Dishoom, 12 Upper St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2H 9FB