Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dishoom: tepid to luke warm!

There's a new bit between Leicester Square and Covent Garden called St Martin's Courtyard. Someone managed to excavate a space and has planted the new Bill's Produce Store, yet another Jamie's Italian (yawn), a couple of shops and a Bombay Cafe called Dishoom.

I was pondering over what Dishoom actually meant so I checked their website to find out...

DISHOOM /dishu:m/ n.
1. The old Bollywood sound effect produced when a hero lands a good punch, or when a bullet flies through the air
2. Similar to popular slang usage of the expression “Mojo”; e.g. “He’s got that Dishoom

Do I believe it? No.

The Venue
Anyway, semantics aside, this is a beautiful restaurant and it has a beautiful website and beautiful waiting staff (can you guess what's missing?!).

With ceiling fans, comfortable booths along one side, little lights hanging down with those bulbs where you can just see the filament glowing, and lots of 'old' Indian ads/pics/photos on the wall, it's a great mix of colonial meets fast modern.

It's open from 8am to 11pm and has a menu that is simple but covers every meal/snack opportunity through the day. I love the time bar on the website that you can move through the day to see the different menus come up.
The staff are young, beautiful and very helpful. Which is a good thing really as the food isn't that great.

The Food
We started with Keema Pau which is spiced minced lamb with hot buttered bread. Unfortunately the buttered bread tasted a bit like cold supermarket muffins and the spiced mince was tepid on arrival at the table. The spicy lamb chops were average (try Mirch Masala for the best ones) but the chicken berry biryani was good and the house black dhal was tasty. 

The Problem
Unfortunately everything was luke warm at best, which, combined with cold plates and a nearby aircon unit in overdrive, meant that within seconds everything felt like it had just emerged from a chiller unit. Disappointing. When I mentioned the temperature issue to the waiter, he said that things were still a little bit disorganised as they'd only opened five months ago. Hmmm, five weeks and I might have forgiven them but five MONTHS?!

The Verdict
The concept of a Bombay Cafe in Central London is brilliant and Dishoom has all the ingredients to make this place a huge success - but they need to get the food right so I'll return when they've sorted it. For the moment, I'll stick to Mirch Masala in Tooting which might not look so cool but the food is hot, tasty and great value for money

Dishoom on Urbanspoon

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