Thursday 15 July 2010


The ill-fated evening that we visited Cantina Laredo, we popped in to Dishoom, a new Bombay-style café for a cheeky cocktail and a couple of snacks. They open officially today, and so when we visited the food was 50% off as part of their soft launch. The first thing I noticed was the exposed lightbulbs and dipped lamps that hung low over the tables and I immediately warmed to it. From a short list of cocktails I picked the house punch which was fruity and refreshing.

Café crisps were just as described on the menu; tangy. With a little bit of kick, they were light and crispy.

Calamari was heavily but pleasantly spiced, a sweetness to the sticky sauce and a pleasing whack of lime. Tentacles were crispy and crunchy, just the way I like them. I was a bit sad to leave, especially as other tables filled up with delicious-looking and smelling dishes. After our disastrous meal two doors down, I was even more annoyed that we had.

I love a good bargain, me. I decided to come back instead for breakfast while it was still in the soft launch and dragged my arse into town at the ungodly hour of 8:30am.

I had spotted 'sausage naan roll' on their online menu and vowed to order it. Between us, my companion and I got one of each of the bacon and sossidge variety. It's great value at £3.50 and wrapped in a light, pliable roti, the meat was stuffed inside along with a good handful of coriander. Spicy and sweet chutney was slathered inside. I am unsure I can go back to a normal bacon or sossidge sarnie after this; it was gorgeous. I am told by their Twitter account they they will be doing this to take away soon. I know it'll save me on many a hungover morning. Hurry up please.

I've never liked chai - it always reminded me of crusty old hippies at festivals clutching a mugful of steaming hot liquid that whiffed vaguely of cloves and cinnamon. I still ordered it though and I'm glad I did; it was liquid revivement. Warm spices, strong tea with a rich milk flavour, I slurped it up as soon as it was cool enough to do so. Mango with vanilla yoghurt and honey (background) was the right balance of creamy yoghurt with the sweetness of the mango accentuated by the honey, though I wondered if there should be more of it since it was around the £5 mark.

Bombay omelette was much like my own masala omelette. Served with intensely sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, I'd have liked the egg to be a bit wibblier within.

My companion also ordered the 'Hot Toast Dipped in Chai'. I presumed this would be a dish of toast with a glass of chai to dip said toast in - it's not that weird a concept given that I often see my housemate dipping her toast into her tea - but I got it completely wrong, it was toast dipped in chai before it was brought to us. It tasted just like normal toast to me, but my friend enjoyed it.

Staff were really sweet and our server looked agape at us when we ordered and worried we'd gone for too much. I decided not to tell him we once polished off 2.8kg of steak between us for fear his eyes might pop out. At around what would have been £24, we breakfasted like kings, rendering me only able to sup a bowl of vegetable broth for lunch later that day. I'm not one that frequents Covent Garden much, but I will be now.

Dishoom opens at 8am and serves breakfast until 11am.


12 Upper St Martins Lane
London WC2H 9FB

Tel: 020 7420 9320

Dishoom on Urbanspoon


LexEat! said...

What a great find! London lacks interesting breakfast places so I hope this does well. Can't believe you were able to eat at all that day after that huge breaky!

Becci said...

My mouth just filled with saliva. Yumsters.

The sausage and bacon 'sandwiches' look revolutionary. I need to get me one of those.

Helen said...

That squid was really lovely. Like you say, heavily spiced but they got away with it definitely. I'd definitely like to go back.

musicovered said...

ohhhh sounds wonderful, might have to drag myself over sausage pratha!

Unknown said...

Sausage naan sounds awesome. I still don't get what this place is - is it a bar or a cafe or a restaurant or all three?

Northern Snippet said...

Sounds fab,is it open all day?

The Shed said...

Oh yum, looks tasty AND interesting. AND pretty good value too, how spesh!

Deptford dame said...

Just had lunch here - bloody lovely! The dill salmon tikka was four large chunks of perfectly-cooked salmon encased in a spicy, chargrilled outer, resting on a tasty bed of salad greens and fresh herbs. For pud try the mango kulfi on a stick, or the pomegranate and chilli gola ice if you haven't room for the kulfi.