From the things I have heard about it, it would seem like eating at Dishoom is a right of passage for any millennial Londoner. I’ll be honest – I hadn’t heard of it until I started a job that was pretty much next door to the Covent Garden one. Even then, it wasn’t the glowing reviews that tempted me to book a table for lunch over the Bank Holiday weekend – it was the smells I smell when I walk past on the way to the station at the end of the day.
Dishoom is modern, but not overly so. It manages to strike the balance between the classic style of places like the Ivy and the ultra-modern places you would go for a bite in Shoreditch. It’s a little dark inside which possibly doesn’t bother normal people, but if you are someone who refuses to wear your glasses when you go “out out” then it can be a challenge, especially as their floor pattern is the worlds biggest trip out.
My friend and I were shown to a table in the corner which was perfect. Between dropping everything in site, accidentally knocking over my chair and filling her bag up with Dishoom’s cutlery for a laugh while she was in the toilet, it was best we were away from other human people. One of the things I liked about Dishoom was that the waiting staff were incredibly helpful without being overbearing. I like to know that the staff are there for me if I need a straw for my chai tea because I’m in the middle of a teeth whitening programme but I also like to be left alone when I quite clearly have a mouthful of cheese naan.
Even though I’m not vegetarian anymore, I still skipped starters and went straight for a main course of the Mattar Paneer with the Gunpowder Potatoes. Starters to me are just a waste of good stomach space. Although the Mattar Paneer was nice, I would have preferred fewer peas. According to my Mum, I have been fighting an ongoing battle with peas since I was about 2 and would spit them out of my baby food. I’m sure there are some people out there that are pea lovers. Pea crazy. Absolute fans of the pea. But alas, I am not one of them, and I just found them a bit of a waste when space could have been taken up by delightful, delightful Paneer. Granted, the Paneer was a little bit squishier than I usually like it, but honestly, who can argue at cheese in a curry? Whoever invented that one should be given some sort of award.
The gunpowder potatoes, as intimidating as that name sounds, were actually not that spicy. Which is good because who wants to go on to after dinner drinks with a tingly tongue. The naan bread situation was a bit limited – but then again with cheese naan on the menu is anyone actually likely to choose anything else?
For me, Dishoom definitely lived up to the hype when it comes to the atmosphere and the service, and I’m glad to see it isn’t as overpriced as most of the “trendy” places in London, but the food could have definitely been better. Maybe it was just because we went at an odd time of day. I’ll definitely go again, next time I’ll just try something different from the menu.
You can find the Dishoom menu on their website, as well as the locations of the restaurants around London.