I love Dishoom. I practically work above the newest outpost and waited patiently for what felt like years for it to open. During the soft launch period I was SWAMPED with work (sod’s law) and never made it down there for 50% off before the mobs arrived each day – I’m very temperamental with queuing for a table, even if it is for lush, juicy Indian treats.
But a couple of weeks later legged it down there early on a Thursday lunch (it actually felt like breakfast) with a colleague and we were seated and served in a speedy and friendly fashion.
We started with lassis, mango and fennel and rose and cardamom – both were thick, creamy and so fruity, with a noticeable hint of the spices but not so they overwhelmed the flavour or made the drinks taste like curry.
Lamb samosas were perfect, crunchy filo pastry with tender, nicely spiced minced lamb, and the sauces were incredible. Chilli sauce, date and tamarind and coriander chutney had us licking them off our fingers – not ideal in polite company but better than letting them go to waste.
It was a quick lunch so we had wraps, the Chole Frankie which is a chickpea naan parcel, and a Paneer Roomali Roll which is more like the thinner roti bread. Both were packed with filling, hot, fragrant and the ideal portion size.
I love paneer and the wrap came with a lovely fresh green mint chutney – good but not as good as the sauces that came with the lamb. Just as well we still had them.
Each Dishoom has a different flavour, and Carnaby’s version is 60s inspired to reflect the buzziness of the area during the decade. The décor is perfect, a smidge of Don Draper’s apartment in the 60s episodes with a touch of happy days, complete with juke box and delightful list of rules. It has distinctly different areas, with one part slight diner-esque and another a kind of living room/conservatory – makes you want to come back and eat in all of them.
It’s a gorgeous, happy restaurant, with great service, the food you expect from Dishoom and a very reasonable price tag. It’s top of my list of places to go back for dinner.