Posts Tagged ‘Dishoom’

Just a quick scan of my post about Dishoom’s Covent Garden restaurant will tell you what a huge fan I am of the place. So, imagine my excitement when I heard that this summer, they’re lying down sand, stringing up bunting and pumping out beats on the Southbank, to create a pop-up ‘Chowpatty beach’.

Unlike the main restaurant, the Dishoom pop-up is more about snacks and light supper, which can be eaten outside, or in the incredibly decorated portacabin that houses the bar and kitchen.

The menu is described (by Dishoom!) as ‘outrageously tasty.’ And it is. We started with zesty lime and chilli calamari (£5). It’s served in a corrugated cardboard vending cup, and is absolutely delicious – I could have quite happily eaten platefuls all evening.

For main, Tom and I split a mixed vegetable curry (£6.50) and a homestyle chicken curry (£7) which were also light, and flavoursome – and helped heat us up on what was not the warmest evening to be sitting outside.

The only let down at Dishoom is the booze. It tries really hard to plug ‘Gola ices’ which seemed to be luminous-coloured shots with ice flakes, a cross between a slush puppy and some heinous ‘80s cocktail.
Annoyingly, the wine starts at £19.50 for a bottle, which jars with the menu that’s otherwise about good value, cheap eats. It wasn’t even that nice. Especially frustrating when Gordon’s wine bar is 5 minutes walk away, and does, better value and cheaper wine.

I’m definitely going back there – especially on a long, balmy night. There’s more of the menu to try out, and when I’ve got through it, then I think I’ll just start from the beginning again. The only difference is that I’ll get it to take away, and bring my own bottle in a brown paper bag!

The Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar on the South Bank

Popping up from 13th May to 4th October
Monday – Friday: Noon ’til late
Saturday – Sunday: 10am ’til late

Dishoom Chowpatty Beach,
Queen Elizabeth Hall Terrace,
Southbank Centre,
Belvedere Road,
London SE1 8XX

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I was brought up in Leicester. So you can imagine my shock when I went to India, and realised that Indian food was nothing like the ‘indians’ of my childhood.

No luminous, heavy sauces and surprisingly few meaty curries. The food wasn’t one-dimensionally hot and spicy, but complex spiciness – fruity or delicate, or herbal or eye-watering chilli heat.

Dishoom prides itself on being London’s “first Bombay cafe” – and if that means that it serves food like you’re in India rather than a loose English interpretation of Indian food, then it has definitely got something of a claim.

I started off with a lamb tikka roomali roll which was a whole host of lovely, light flavours all wrapped up in a roti. My sister (somewhat of a curry connoisseur) went for the Ruby Murray - the curry of the day - which was chicken in spicy tomato curry sauce, all cooked behind the counter.

Dishoom is in Covent Garden, and it’s a very cool space on a street otherwise overrun with chains: open filament lights dangling from the ceiling, fresh brick walls and collages of Bollywood stills.

The breakfasts look phenomenal – from bacon naan rolls to fruit roomali and Bombay omelettes it’s enough to almost want a hangover for the opportunity of going out for breakfast to get fixed.

Having given it quite a lot of thought, I can honestly conclude that this is one of the best Indians I’ve ever had – a huge, and well considered claim.

12, Upper St Martin’s Lane

http://dishoom.com; 020 7420 9320

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