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From Bombay with love 

The first thing that impresses about Dishoom are the staff.  When I arrive they are looking after my friend and from there on in, and until we are back on the street so to speak, our comfort and enjoyment seems to be top priority for a large, young, impeccably-trained and charming team. 

The second thing that impresses is the beautiful design. 

Themed on the faded elegance of the old Irani Cafés of Bombay where, I am paraphrasing the website, rich businessman rubbed shoulders with sweaty taxi-wallas, lovers, lawyers, writers and all of humankind ate and talked. 

Dark wood and low lighting prevent reportage-style pictures but expect cracked marble floors and tables, polished metal, scarred mirrors, art deco lights, ceiling fans, pull chain cisterns and luggage racks.  An homage to Patrick Geddes and his time on Bombay is cited. 

Me and Kate get a prime seat overlooking St Andrew’s Square and order cocktails  For me a Chaijito – smoky rum and chia syrup muddled with mint, coriander, ginger and lime and Kate has a fruity BollyBellini – raspberries, lychees, rose and cardamom with the Prosecco. Pink, yellow and green ‘far far’ (salty lemony snacks that look like elongated cheesy wotsits) are offered on the house with a variety of dips which are hot, minty and fruity respectively. 

Then we feast! A good shout comes from Kate with the chilli cheese toast, my melted cheese will now always have a sprinkling of sharp green.  Large chunks of chicken tikka are laced with spices. I particularly liked the plump crispy prawns with tamarind and date chutney. Chickpeas with a coriander and minty, green chutney are ‘handkerchiefed’ in soft nan. The garlic nanwhich we also devour is crispy and cooked in the tandoor. So many dishes so little time.

We purposely save room for puddings though. I was a little concerned that black pepper and pineapple crumble with custard would be heavy but the wee pot of thin custard was perfect with the crunchy sweet ramekin of crumble. Kate also commented that her chocolate pudding with chilli ice cream was likewise ‘light’ with the sweetness here balancing the heat in this well presented and executed pud. 

Dishoom has three floors and seemingly endless eating and drinking choices for throughout the whole day. I already have a breakfast date there for January but I know I won’t be able to wait that long.  


More Indian Restaurants here 


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