Friday, December 12, 2014

Dishoom, 21st November

I don't really know how to say this but, well, I thought Dishoom was... just... okay... I know, what is wrong with me? Wasn't I supposed to absolutely fall in love with it? I mean, I liked it, but that's as far as it went. If it were a beau, I'd probably go on a second date, but I'm not sitting by the phone on edge, waiting for it to ring.

Dishoom has been on my list for a long, long time. So long in fact, that in that time they have opened a third branch in King's Cross. I assumed, for the sake of speedy seating, that the best option would be to go to one of their more established branches to avoid any queues. But on twitter they assured me that their new branch had been pretty quiet since the 50% soft launch opening. And they were right. When we got there at six we were shown to a table straight away, and although the place did fill out a bit while we were there, there was no sign of any hour-and-a-half waits. (That's how long we were told we'd have to wait when we tried to get into the one in Shoreditch once.)

Dishoom sits comfortably between high-end Indian and eat-at-2-am curry. And the prices somewhat reflect that, although the portions are on the diminutive side, meaning it's not quite as good value for money as it would at first appear.

Trying to be reasonably healthy and not spend too much, Stephen and I just got one small plate, one grill and one main between us, as well as the requisite sides of a nan (garlic) and rice (they offer only one type – steamed basmati).


We ordered the okra small plate as our nibbles, which was as good move as we needed something to dip in the chutneys and dips that we were given for the table. These were delicious and it would have been nice to have some complimentary poppadoms to make the most of them. One was minty and cool, one was basically just chilli, so rather fiery, and the tamarind sauce was also surprisingly spicy.


Our lady fingers were great - most likely coated in something and lightly fried, they were a more than acceptable alternative to a bowl of chips. I easily could have eaten a portion on my own.

For the main event we ordered the plainspoken ‘chicken ruby’ and the lamb boti kabab. The ruby murray came in a thick, tomatoey sauce which was a little too tomatoey and sweet, not quite enough spice for the both of us. Perfectly nice to eat but didn’t make me swoon, and I was very much expecting to. We much preferred the chunks of lamb that had been marinated in red chili, garlic and ginger, although they seemed to get cold quite quickly.



To drink I had an East India Gimlet which was so nice I had another one. A very light, but strong drink, the celery bitters tempering any sweetness from the lime cordial.



Unusually, we had a dessert at Dishoom - we split the pineapple and black pepper crumble with custard, which was a good note to end on. Warm pineapple is a wonderful taste and the custard and crumble made it suitable stodgy and indulgent. 


In all it was a perfectly pleasant meal and I was only a bit disappointed because I'd had such high expectations. I’d be happy enough to return if someone suggested going (especially this branch - the setting is rather beautiful), but I’m not going to rush back. 

Dishoom King's Cross on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

See the menu and more reviews of this restaurant on Zomato

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.