Dinner at Dishoom

March 7th 2011katie

Dishoom restaurant
We found ourselves in at a loose end in Covent Garden on Sunday, having tried to get into a 4 o’clock cinema viewing only for it to sell out, and the next one not until six. (We saw Inside Job, a rather sobering account of the global financial crisis – recommended if you’re into that kind of thing.) Luckily we were in the vicinity of all-day ‘Bombay cafe’ Dishoom, a restaurant we’d wanted to try for a while. It gets very busy in the evenings (and they don’t take bookings) but at 4.30pm it was easy to get seated.

Dishoom restaurant
Dishoom restaurant
Dishoom restaurant
The decor is just lovely, with vintage Bollywood posters, industrial lighting and plushy booth seating. It’s supposedly inspired by the Persian cafes in old Bombay which catered to all walks of life from construction workers to lawyers, but I’m not sure how authentic it is in that respect.

Dishoom restaurant
The menu is my kind of thing, a sort of Indian-tapas-but-not as the waiter put it: small dishes designed for sharing, roughly split into starters, street food, grills, special curries of the day and rice and breads. We ordered 2 dishes each, plus a starter, 2 breads and a rice to share. I wasn’t mad keen on the pau bhaji, which appeared to be served with a buttered burger bun. My bhang lassi drink had a nice spicy flavour but was difficult to drink as it was full of bits of crunchy spice mix.

Dishoom restaurant
Other dishes fared much better, the black daal rich with tomato and earthy spices and Josh’s lamb chops delcared almost as good as at our favourite Bombay caff, Delhi Grill. My star dish was the grilled paneer: freshly delivered by their supplier every day, it was super tasty and just the right level of charred. It perfectly complemented the daal dish. Naan was buttery and chewy and it was nice to see the chef out front cooking the roti on a large hot stone.

At £50 for two for all our dishes, drinks and coffee it’s pretty good value. I’d certainly like to go back, and would recommend it if you need a relaxed meal in Covent Garden.

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Comments (5)

  • smurfpop

    March 8th 2011 at 12:40 am

    I've been meaning to ask a food blooger this for ages – do you ever get funny looks for getting your camera out at the dinner table? And do you ever get told off by waiters? I've never found the bottle to take my DSLR to a restaurant, purely because I think I would feel like a tool taking pics, even though I want to blog about a fantastic restaurant. I went to an amazing one last night, but the camera flashed and I was SO embarassed I didn't get a picture in the end… Any tips for restaurant photography? x

  • katie

    March 8th 2011 at 10:36 am

    Good question – no, I have never got funny looks or been told off. But my camera isn't a big dslr and i try to be discreet (never use flash). And i wouldn't do it somewhere where it might be frowned on, like a fancy Michelin place, but in Dishoom people were taking photos of each other on other tables so they can hardly have a problem with it! I got over my camera-shame quite a while ago ;)

  • tamsin

    March 8th 2011 at 11:45 am

    I really want to go here, I read about it in the Eurostar magazine (don't laugh, it's becoming my favourite!) last month. Might take a trip with Alex this month some time! x

  • Han

    March 9th 2011 at 6:18 pm

    thanks for reviewing places to eat katie. i love eating out in london and am constantly trying to find new places. please do more of these! x

  • katie

    March 9th 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I like writing foody reviews so will certainly do more! glad to hear you enjoy reading them x

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