Dishoom — Carnaby, London
It’s been a while since I’ve eaten somewhere worth reviewing. A relatively new addition to the Indian restaurant scene, Dishoom has really made its mark. There are hundreds of Indian restaurants in London so why does Dishoom always have queues outside? That’s for every branch by the way, Kings Cross, Shoreditch and Covent Garden! Well for one it doesn’t take bookings for less than 6 people, but secondly the owner has got a unique concept. A fantastic Indian street food menu, retro ‘British Raj’ style decor and brilliant service. An ultra cool vibe going on, it’s the kind of place to hang out at with your friends.
On to the food!
We were a group of 5 and were starving by the time we got to our table. My friends queued up for 40 mins to be seated in the bar area. We didn’t have to wait too long before being offered a table for dinner. The bar area is fun with a good choice of mock tails and drinks.
Dishoom’s menu consists of lots of small dishes and a few mains. Their small plates are their strength as these depict the real street food of Bombay.
Best Dish: Chilli Cheese Toast £3.50 – I know what you’re thinking.. cheese toast, really? Yes because chilli cheese toast is a thing of beauty and very popular in Bombay/Mumbai might I add. Essentially it is a spicy Welsh rarebit. Being a cheese fanatic, I had to order it and didn’t feel silly at all.
Disappointing: Chicken Ruby £8.50 – Too sweet and too ordinary for a curry, I was expecting more but was left disappointed. The serving was fairly large for one person but it just wasn’t anything special and was the only thing that didn’t get finished.
Recommend: Bhel £4.50 – Bhel puri is this lovely little dish made of crispy savoury bits and pieces, a fancy bombay mix. This was delicious because of the quirky addition of pomegranate which does feature a lot at Dishoom.
Drinks: I really enjoyed the drinks in Dishoom. As a non drinker it’s very rare for me to say that but I had five different drinks and they were all delicious. The best without a doubt was the ‘Bhang Lassi’ which traditionally has hemp in it. Alas the hemp was substituted with mint and also had flavours of ginger, grenadine and fennel. My friend hated it, I on the other hand thought it was the best lassi ever. As well as that the Passionfruit Sherbet, Nimbu Paani and Virgin Bombay Colada were all yummy. I must emphasise again what a treat it is to be excited by non alcoholic drinks that aren’t milkshakes. Also the prices of the mocktails are really reasonable with them being less than £4 each. £5 is usually standard for a Virgin Mojito.
Service: The service was quick, and the waiters and waitresses were all really friendly.
Without a doubt Dishoom is cool. With innovative things like chocolate chai and okra fries, they’re definitely pulling in the punters. Some dishes need improving like the Lamb chops (£11.90) which tasted awesome but had far too much gristle on them. The house black daal (£5.90) on the other hand was really comforting as were the grilled prawns.
Halal Status: Chicken and Lamb is halal as verified by staff. Alcohol: Yes, Pork: Yes.
Address: 22 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QP.
Parking: Don’t bother it’s too difficult. Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus.
Cost: The bill came to £40 each including service only because we all had about 4-5 drinks each, starter, mains and a dessert. You could eat here for much cheaper.