Indian food is one of my absolute favourite things to eat – but when I do, it tends to be either a local curry house close to where I live in Essex (normally The Cardomom Lounge) or a mildly drunken jaunt around Brick Lane.
Happily the number of Indian restaurants in the West End is on the rise, be them slightly more modern in their approach than my trusted curry houses, and Dishoom is, in my opinion, leading in style, substance and most importantly flavour.
I had a sharing lunch with my brother recently that consisted of four delightfully simple dishes, each one expertly executed and each one leaving us wanting to come back and have it again.The restaurant was intended to be a reflection of the traditional Bombay cafes serving wonderful street food, and whilst we tried a few of these types of dishes – we just had to order a curry dish too, it would feel wrong not to.
We went for their ‘Chicken Ruby’, which was in fact a rich red South Indian curry, tomato based but with a fiery kick to it, which made it perfect for Dan and I, as we are chilli lovers. Served with a roti wrap to mop up the spicy juices, there was no additional oil or grease, which you can sometimes find in Indian restaurants, and particularly with takeaway Indian food. A taste winner and particularly when paired with the Gunpowder Potatoes we had ordered which soaked up the sauce of the curry beautifully.
The potatoes were a crushed dish combining a mixture of seeds and spices and which had a good kick to them too. Served with a cooling raita, which was a good way to cool down the mouth with both of these spicy dishes.
As regular readers will be aware, I love a wrap, whether it be a burrito or my favourite Indian wrap place, Moolis, so we decided it would be prudent to try the Dishoom Chicken Tikka Roll and we weren’t disappointed.
This had a little green leaf and tomato salad inside, but not so much that the chicken was hiding within it – a good start. The chicken was cooked and flavoured beautifully, but the star of this wrap for me was the chilli chutney served alongside it. It gave a massive explosion of heat but had a sweetness running through it too for an almost sweet and soury taste – superb, and it complemented the wrap perfectly.
Our final dish was the Dishoom Calamari and, once again, it was faultless. Rather than a batter, which is so often the outside coating for grilled squid, Dishoom has a crunchy, spicy bread-crumbed exterior to their calamari that was just sublime. Served with a minty sauce and some chutneys this was a great dish too – and one I hope to try preparing at home!
As it was a working lunch, we washed down the meal with a Limca and a Thums Up (Indian lemonade and cola style drinks) rather than wine or beer and coming in at around the £40 mark – I think this is an example of the ideal Friday lunchtime spot – particularly if you’ve been out the night before.
Dishoom have just opened another branch in the City and I’m sure this won’t be the last new opening we see from them with their winning formula of simple, but well done Indian food, coupled with knowledgeable and friendly service. I’ll be back again.