Cuisine: Modern Indian
Table for: Three
Can you book? Only for groups of six or more. Turn up early for dinner (before 6pm) Mon-Weds for the smallest wait times – we got a table right away.
What we ordered:
WINE. A bottle of red and a carafe (what? we were celebrating).
Mains to share: The chicken Ruby Murray. The house black dahl.
Sides to share: Two lots of garlic naan. The slaw. India’s equivalent to the chip butty.
Dessert: All three flavours of the kulfi on a stick.
What we spent: £86.06 including tip
If you’ve been meaning to go to Dishoom: go. I put it off in the beginning because I refused to be sold on a place based on how long people were willing to wait to be seated (hours, apparently). But that’s easy enough to get around here – just turn up unfashionably early on an otherwise boring weeknight, and you won’t regret it. In fact, for balance, I’ve waited in the bar for an hour previously – you’re given this little buzzer that you’ll check every three minutes, strongly debate whether it’s broken, and then publicly smooch when it finally goes off to signify that you’re table is free – and I didn’t regret that either.
Last night, I shared a table in the bustling downstairs area of the restaurant with my two favourite foodies. Over much wine (we’re very good at wine), sharing, venting, laughs and predictions, we had our fill of the menu.
I’m a regular with the Ruby Murray and the house slaw – a fairly unusual side to wax lyrical about but oh, if only all slaw was Dishoom slaw – and last night tried for the first time their signature black dahl and spicy potatoes in a bun. We skipped the rice in favour of the fresh-from-the-oven-feeling of thin garlic naans and when we were sated and couldn’t want for anything more, we ordered ourselves three lots of the simple and utter pleasure that is their ice cream on a stick. That’s verbatim, by the way – I love a menu that doesn’t take itself to seriously.
I’ve never been to another Dishoom (there are four others in London, and one just opened in Edinburgh), but the King’s Cross restaurant I can vouch for; perfect for anyone you’d break bread (or rotis) with – family, friends… it’s just a bonus if you happen to have 6 or more of these to book for. It IS a great date place, but a little too noisy for a first date, where you probably don’t need the pressure of up to an hour’s wait for a table if it’s any busier. Plus, you’ll be too into your curry to properly listen. Save it for a few weeks in.
Food aside, the atmosphere and interiors will please you every time. Something about the looming old-fashioned clock, the black and white photos on the ageing walls, and the flickering candles inside any old glass make this raved-about place entirely unintimidating.
There’s very few negatives I could pick out from any visit. The service is generally great, last night not so brilliant; and sometimes it’s hard to know how big a portion of anything on the menu is (the roti roll is just £7.20 but was way too much for me on my last visit, considering my eyes were also on the curry and slaw) so it’s always worth asking. Neither of these things would stop me going back. Imminently.