Jun 30 2013



I had a really good meal at Dishoom and this is now one of my favourite casual eating restaurants in London. Dishoom is a Bombay Café, which I did not know what it was and had to google. Bombay Cafes (alternatively called Irani Cafes) were opened in the late 19th and early 20th century by Persian immigrants (who had been coming to India for over a thousand years) and at the peak at 1960 there were almost 400 cafes, but now there are less than 30, and these cafes were part of the urban Bombay life functioning as an eating, meeting and drinking places for people of all communities, rich and poor, and they had a look of faded elegance and they offered breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dishoom tries to be like one of these cafes with an all day menu full of Bombay dishes. The actual name Dishoom can mean two things: 1) The old Bollywood sound effect produced when a hero lands a good punch, or when a bullet flies through the air; 2) Similar to popular slang usage of the expression “Mojo”; e.g. “He’s got that Dishoom”. Also what I found very funky was that on their website you can see a clock showing you time in London and Mumbai.


I did not go there for breakfast, but for lunch, but do consider this place for breakfast as it serves bacon naan rolls, egg naan rolls, Bombay omelette and “full Bombay” dish which is similar to the full English breakfast just in an Indian style, as well as other dishes, so the breakfast menu is quite extensive and interesting. I went to Dishoom Covent Garden for brunch (there is also now a Shoreditch branch) with my friend Amala and as Amala is a super picky eater he ordered most of the dishes that we shared. The concept in Dishoom is sharing and they bring you all the dishes whenever they are ready (like many restaurants do these days), so going there with a picky eater (like Amala) could have been a problem (not that it was for me). The lunch menu features salads, rolls, small plates, curries, biryanis, so many things that I wanted to try. In the end we decided to start our meal by ordering some samosas, and we ordered the lamb samosas that were made out of Gijarati filo (not Punjab shortcrust) and stuffed with minced lamb, onions and spices, as well as vegetable samosas made with fine filo pastry, pea and potato filling warmly spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Both samosas were perfect. Tasty, with crunchy pastry and delicious filling.


Next the waitress brought us the more filling and larger dishes we had ordered. I ordered a special they had that day, which was a fish (barramundi) served with dishoom slaw, which is “a kachumber with shredded cabbage, pomegranate seeds and mayonnaise, fresh, feisty and crunchy”, and it was served with a coconut type of drink, which I did not taste. The dishoom slaw was tasty and refreshing, and I always like new types of slaws and salads I had not tried before, which are well made and delicious, so I liked it. The fish was quite moist served with a sauce, and I generally really liked it. Amala had chosen to have the “Lamb boti kebab” which had pieces of tender lamb marinated with red chilli, garlic and ginger, and was called a “Bademiya-style classic”. The lamb was deliciously spiced and tender, good lamb kebab. Amala also had ordered the “chicken ruby” curry which was a “mellow curry in the South Indian style” but he asked for extra chillies not to have it so mellow, and I thought it was a great curry, not oily, tasty and full of chicken pieces. The other few dishes that we had were garlic naan, which was thin and garlicky, and I loved it, also “Kachumber salad” (apparently the name refers to beating someone up nicely but in reality was just cucumber, onion and tomato, a bit disappointing after such a cool name), and I thought this was sort of an average dish, just vegetables put together. The classic raita did not have enough mint or taste to my liking, but was ok. And to finish my meal I had a wonderful and heartwarming chai tea.


I really like Indian food, and at Dishoom it was interesting, and not only could you order the typical Indian curries and kebabs, but also interesting salads, small dishes, things you have not seen before in tour typical Indian restaurant. All the food is also very well executed, tasty, interesting, full of flavour, and I like the fact everything comes in small portions so you can share food and have more dishes. I also very much liked the funky interior, it was interesting and fun. I will be coming back


Price for 2 people without alcohol and with service charge: £52

Location: Covent Garden

Date: 30/06/13

Dishoom on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Maija rated: 



12 Upper St Martin's Lane, UK WC2H
United Kingdom
Dishoom Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4