10 March 2015

A Date At Dishoom


There aren't too many restaurants I can get Alex all enthusiastic about going to. It can sometimes be a struggle for, shall we say "a fussy eater", to find more than one or two dishes on offer that excites. However, last week I pinged over a Skype message with Dishoom's tempting menu attached and Alex was all signed up. We were off on a date night to the self-styled Bombay cafe!

What is a Bombay cafe? Well, in the 19th century, many Persian Zoroastrians migrated to Bombay (now Mumbai) taking with them the Iranian cafe; a culture influenced by elegant European all-day coffee houses. The cafes reached their peak numbers in the 1960's with around four hundred in Bombay. There are now fewer than thirty. Lucky for us Londoners, three British-Indian cousins brought a piece of what remains to us.

There are three Dishoom locations; Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Kings Cross. We arrived at the latter late afternoon - around 5.30pm - in order to miss the notorious queues I'd been warned about on Twitter (I hate queuing more than anything ever). Lucky for us, there was no queue to speak of. Result.

Based inside what was an old warehouse, the King Cross venue with its high ceilings, dark wood tables and trendy dim lighting (the bane of any food blogger's life) is a winning combination of stylish and casual. There's a really laid back vibe despite the restaurant being bustling, even before 6pm.

We were given a friendly welcome and our waiter ran through the menu with us in detail. He explained that the dishes were designed to share and gave us his personal opinions on most of them! It took some time...

Enlightened with information, we were ready to make decisions.

Alex and I were hungry. We didn't hold back.

To start off, we ordered a few of the 'small plates': the spicy and ridiculously moreish okra fries, the hearty chilli cheese on toast (described on the menu as a Bombay standard) and the tasty lamb samosas. I also sneaked in the prawn koliwada for myself - crispy prawns with a wonderfully tangy tamarind and date chutney. Like the okra fries, they weren't easy to ration.

But we had to stop ourselves polishing off every morsel - we still this to come:

The Chicken Ruby - a rich and spicy curry with big tender pieces of chicken;

Lamb Chops - marinated overnight in lime juice, dark spices, ginger & garlic. Ended up being the only disappointment of the meal;

Black House Daal - a pleasing dark, rich and hearty signature dish made with pulses that pairs up nicely with the naan bread and roomali roti (both of which we ordered!);

Murgh Malai - unbelievably tender chicken thigh meat that's been steeped overnight in garlic, ginger, coriander and cream. Alex said it was one of the best chicken dishes he'd ever eaten;

Cheese Naan - There's melted cheddar inside and we wished we'd ordered two.

Dishroom Slaw - This spur of the moment addition to the meal ended up being one of my highlights! A crispy, cooling coleslaw that seemed to accompany everything perfectly. 

And it wasn't just the excellent food that made our evening so enjoyable. There was something about the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere at Dishoom that we loved. Also, the service we received was incredibly friendly and members of the management were buzzing around the tables, making sure everyone was happy.

We decided we had room for dessert (our bloated bellies afterwards told a different story!).
My Memsahib's Mess was lovely. Strawberries, sweetened cream with a hint of rose and crushed meringue. Nothing earth-shattering that will reinvent the dessert world but a delightful finale all the same.

Alex and I rolled home both feeling a stone heavier than when we'd arrived but exceedingly satisfied. We're already planning our return, perhaps in looser trousers.

***

28 comments:

  1. Ah I went for my birthday lunch and fell in lunch. The Chicken Ruby was delicious right? I couldn't get enough of the Okra Fries either! Great mind think alike!
    Sophie
    x

    Story Of A Girl

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    1. You fell in your lunch?? ;) I'm glad you loved it as much as me! The chicken ruby was so yum! Can't wait to go back - have a feeling it might become mine and Alex's 'place' :)
      x

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  2. I think I would have eaten far too much too! Looks so good! I love okra fries
    Lx

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  3. I can't believe I've never been, it's totally raved about and I can see why!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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    1. I've been to somewhere you've never been?? Wonders never cease! :D xx

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  4. Love this place! Haven't been for a while and tried the most recent branches so you've encouraged me to go back now!

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  5. Ahhh you just brought back so many good memories. LOVE this place! You look rather gorge too!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

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  6. This looks absolutely amazing!

    Lauren xx
    www.thelifestylediaries.com

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  7. WOW everything looks amazing!! Super jealous
    Little Beauty Blog
    Elizabeth x

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  8. Yay! I'm so SO glad you enjoyed it! I always panic when I recommend somewhere just in case the person hates it haha!

    I must go back soon, I still haven't blogged about it - woops :/

    C x | Lux Life

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    1. Yes it was a great recommendation, thanks! Avoided the crowds too which was great! I know what you mean about recommending places, I'm the same. Luckily, this one was a big success :) Cx

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  9. Aren't those okra chips simply divine - we had the same issues when we visited, luckily enough there were 6 of us so we could try a little of everything!

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  10. I love Dishoom so much, so glad you're a fan too! those cheese naans though.... they are amazing. x

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  11. Yum! All that food looks so delicious, especially the okra fries! I've heard such great things of Dishoom - I must go!!

    Miranda xxx http://mirandasnotebook.com/

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  12. Dishoom was lovely last time I was there for their Christmas menu! Such a feast and can barely make my way out after about 3-4 different courses. Lovely photos and looking so delicious. Don't you just love the small plates?

    Laurie xx

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  13. This looks delicious - I've been dying to go to Dishoom for ages but always get put off by the thought of queueing! Shame the lamb chops were a disappointment because they look great in the picture!

    Bxx
    www.b-jolly.co.uk

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  14. This looks delicious - I've been dying to go to Dishoom for ages but always get put off by the thought of queueing! Shame the lamb chops were a disappointment because they look great in the picture!

    Bxx
    www.b-jolly.co.uk

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  15. So glad you enjoyed it and there wasn't a queue! Really looking forward to my next visit. Might try the Kings X one as it looks really different to the Shoreditch site.

    Rosie xx

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  16. Ooh I went to the Shoreditch branch for lunch the other weekend (we had to wait an HOUR, but it was still so worth it). I had the Murgh Malai too and it really was incredible! The calamari might just have won out as my favourite though - try it next time and you won't regret it!

    Etta xx
    www.thebrunchdiaries.co.uk

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    1. I just don't think I could have waited an hour - I am one of the most impatient people ever! I think I will be returning but again, out of popular hours! :) x

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  17. Oh wow Carolina that spread looks insane!! Dishoom has been on my hit-list since forever, now I just need to wait till I come back to London to try it out.
    I've heard their breakfasts are phenomenal as well, so very keen to try it out!

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    1. When ARE you coming back to London then? :) x

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  18. Darling, you blog is so beautiful! I’m impressed! Your photos and posts are amazing! I’ll be happy to see you in my blog!

    Diana Cloudlet
    http://www.dianacloudlet.com/

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  19. Katie and I walked past this the other day (I think) so it's great to see what all the fuss is about. Great photos. I find Indian food can be a bit hit or miss in the UK but will definitely visit Dishoom in the future!

    Ben | www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

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  20. This sounds lovely! You got soooo much food!

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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  21. Love this post Caroline. I'm glad you went in the end, despite what I said. Glad you enjoyed it! Maybe I should try it out myself... food looks great!

    Aftab | Fresh And Fearless

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