A hybrid between casual and fine-dining Indian street food is an unusual and unique offering at the Mumbai and Iranian style restaurant, Dishoom. Dishoom has multiple branches including in Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Carnaby and Covent Garden; each ensuring a high-standard of service and food for you to devour. As a British Indian that loves eating out and well, isn’t very passionate about cooking herself, Dishoom is on the top of my list for places to munch some of the best Indian food around. However, it’s also one of the most popular of Indian restaurants that you will find, so I thought it was necessary to provide you with some top tips to enhance your experience when you visit.
Pick a time and be adventurous with your drinks
As Dishoom offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, you will firstly need to decide which meal you fancy. I would definitely recommend the lunch and dinner; however, if unlike myself, you have not experienced Indian breakfast, you absolutely must try it out and the best place to do so is, of course, at Dishoom.
For breakfast, brunch and lunch, it is possible to make a reservation through the Dishoom website, although make sure that you do so early as the restaurant can be fully booked up a week in advance! If you decide to visit Dishoom later on into the evening (such as for dinner), be mindful that the restaurant does not take reservations and you will be waiting in a queue for at least thirty minutes. Whilst I have never waited in the queue, I have noticed the rather delightful staff at Dishoom handing out umbrellas to potential diners in the queue as well as hot cups of Indian tea, known as chai. Now I am sure that you can tell from this information that Dishoom cares about you, even before you’ve stepped inside!
Once, you’re inside Dishoom, you will be amazed by the very Indian, newspaper style menu, which includes not only tantalizing street food options but also drinks that will satisfy any thirst that you have. For example, there is a delightful Mango & Fennel drink, which is made of yoghurt, fresh mango pulp and fennel seeds (3.90 GBP/approximately 5 USD); it is wonderful. There is also a drink called, “Nimbu Pani” which translated is “Lemonade Water”. This is a lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, salt, sugar and soda (2.90 GBP/approximately 4 USD). My favourite, however, has to be the Rose & Cardamom Lassi, which is a sweet milkshake (3.90 GBP/approximately 5 USD).
Now if you’re having breakfast and you have a real sweet tooth (sweeter than what the Rose & Cardamom Lassi can offer you), I would recommend having the Chocolate Chai, which is a charming combination of dark chocolate and spicy chai. Although, if you want to have breakfast like a true Indian, then you absolutely must experience Dishoom’s House Chai, which is made in the proper Indian way: in a pan with water, milk and plenty of spices (2.50 GBP/approximately 3 USD). Dishoom’s House Chai is a sweetened black tea mixed with milk and includes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, fennel and star anise.
Eat like a king any time of day
Dishoom is most popular for its culinary rung and famous Bombay soul food that will make a real impact on your tastebuds and not only its gorgeous drinks. The fresh street food is like hearty tapas that will fill you up and it will be brought to your table quickly and piping hot. With winter soon arriving in the London, you know you need some good spicy comfort food and Dishoom will certainly give you that in abundance. Now, I am sure that you have heard the phrase,* “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper!” *and I’m now here to tell you that whatever meal you eat at Dishoom, it should be the time that you are eating like a “king” and well, quite frankly that should be either breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!
The heavenly street food menu is only challenging and difficult to work through because there are so many items that you will want to pick. Having visited the Covent Garden and Carnaby Dishoom on a few occasions, I have to recommend that you try the one-in-a-million crispy okra fries, which have a real spicy kick to them (and accompanied with the chutneys are certainly to fight over with your fellow diners; 4.20 GBP/approximately 6 USD). The Frankie’s & Roomali Rolls are also delicious and as a lover of Indian cheese, the paneer roll is the one that I had to opt for when at Dishoom (7.20 GBP/approximately 10 USD). The paneer is combined with green leaves and a mint chutney and is wrapped within a soft handkerchief-thin bread, thrown, stretched and griddled to order. My favourite dish and one of the most well-known at Dishoom is Pau Bhaji, which is a bowl of mashed vegetables with hot buttered buns (4.50 GBP/approximately 6 USD) and dare I say it, it is actually as tasty as my father’s version. It is a hearty, nourishing dish and a fun way to eat your fragrant and well spiced vegetables.
The decor within all of the Dishoom restaurants that I have experienced is lovely and is coupled with helpful, enthusiastic and ultra-friendly service. I feel that Dishoom provides real authentic Indian food within a contemporary ambiance and a tingling twist.
Sweet, creamy, cold and hot desserts
Sipping sensational Indian drinks and munching Indian street food can only be followed by embracing authentic Indian desserts.
I would have to recommend that you try the Kulfi on a stick, which is one of the most loved Indian desserts. It originated during the Mughal Empire in the 16th century and is denser and creamier than traditional ice cream; it is also delicately fragrant too, so all your senses will be heightened. There are different flavoured Kulfis including mango, pistachio and malai (3.50 GBP/approximately 5 USD ). If you like caramel, then the sinfully-rich malai Kulfi, which is extra creamy, is the one for you.
Now if you would prefer to have a hot dessert then the pineapple and black pepper crumble (5.50 GBP/approximately 7 USD ) will be a real treat for you. The pineapple is tangy and the black pepper gives it a kick; the sweetener is the crumble topping coupled with the warm custard that is served on the side.
A must for any culinary adventurer
Dishoom introduces and carries extremely well the concept of smart Indian street food in a relaxing environment with consistently splendid service. The food, the management and staff are worth appreciating for their systematic approach and hospitality when it comes to providing an Indian culinary experience to both the Indian and non-Indian diner. With shockingly reasonable prices and a five star experience for drinks, main items and desserts, what more could you ask for? I can guarantee you that there will not be a speck of anything left on your table!
Now to summarise my top tips for you: consider making a reservation; be adventurous and daring when it comes to trying new drinks; don’t eat too much before you visit Dishoom as the menu is one of the most appetizing you will see and; save room for desserts (note the plural).
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