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Dishoom, Covent Garden

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Until 3 years ago, I always tried to steer clear of Indian food. I had a very bad take away experience when I was a child, which left me scarred and it wasn’t until I moved to London that I realised that there was more to Indian food than my local take away that we used to get every Friday evening.

My favourite curry house is one near where I live in Wembley called Karahi King. I have yet to write a review of it but you can see a great one here. I banged on about it enough to entice Carly and her boyfriend, The Peanut Gallery to travel all the way out here.

Apart from Moti Mahal, which is fantastic but slightly too expensive to warrant regular visits, I haven’t had the pleasure of a well priced decent Indian meal in Central London, until last week. The new restaurant on the block is Dishoom, which bases itself on a traditional Bombay cafe. Their menu runs throughout the day with breakfast items such as ‘Fruit Roomali’ (light roti, fruit, marscapone and honey) and ‘Bacon Naan Roll’ (Smoked back bacon, homemade chilli jam in fresh naan bread). Their lunch and evening menu is extensive with a range of foods including Roomali Rolls (hot grills, rolled in a freshly made light roti with herbs, leaves and chutney), Shorba (light spiced soups), Salads, Small plates, Grills, Biryani, Daal and of course, desserts.

I wanted to try the whole menu but knowing this was not possible, we ordered a few things to share. The lamb chops on another table looked irresistible so they were chosen along with the paneer special of the day and the house black daal. We also ordered some of the cafe crisps to tide us over.

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The lamb chops were tender and had a great spicy crust, the pomegranate adding a lovely sweet crunchy adition. The daal was different to any I have had before, it had an almost tomato taste to it and lentil bits, which gave it a lovely texture. The paneer balls were exceptional and left me wanting more. The dishes are small and designed to share – I would recommend sharing so that you can try a range of the dishes on offer.

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I really liked the brasserie setting, the room is dark, noisy and atmospheric. The open plan kitchen is a nice addition – you can see and hear the chefs hard at work. I saw a couple looking out over the restaurant with an almost proud look on their faces as people scoffed down their creations. We were sat inches away from a table on either side of us but our initial worries of being able to hear conversations going on next to us were quickly disregarded.

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The bill came to £40 including service for food and drinks for two, which I thought was great value. I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s as good as my local curry house… but locals are always special aren’t they?!

Dishoom
12 Upper St Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9FB
020 7420 9320

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