Dishoom London: What To Expect
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Dishoom London: What To Expect

Since opening its first branch in Covent Garden in 2010, Dishoom has grown to become one of London’s most beloved Indian restaurants. Despite having been around for almost 15 years, there’s still a buzz around the Bombay-inspired hotspot – and you’ll usually have to queue to secure a table. But if you’re yet to discover it yet, and are keen to see what all the fuss is about, here’s everything you need to know.

Everything You Need To Know About Dishoom London

The History of Dishoom

Dishoom is the brainchild of cousins Shamil and Kavi Thakrar. Back in the noughties, the pair noticed representations of Indian culture in British life had become clichéd, and decided to launch a business that would change perceptions. They came up with the idea for a restaurant which drew on the Irani cafes of 20th century Bombay, which were set up by immigrants from Persia, who had fled persecution. By the 1960s, there were over 400 cafes dotted around the city.

‘I feel like the way people would think of India was in a series of clichés: Bollywood and cricket and curry house and maharajas and maybe tech now,’ said Shami in an interview. ‘But I think there was so much more to be said culturally about India. We thought food was a great way to say it.’

Dishoom was also filling a gap in London’s Indian food scene. Before it opened, there were two main types of Indian restaurant in the capital: top-end, expensive spots at one end of the scale, and informal curry houses on the other. Dishoom sat somewhere in between – and spawned a trend for more and more of these mid-range restaurants: not fine dining, but great-quality food at approachable prices. 

By their nature, Irani cafes were inclusive, and Dishoom aims to channel this, celebrating a variety of cultural events over the course of the year, from Eid to Diwali to Christmas.


Dishoom Menu: What To Order

There’s an extensive menu on offer at Dishoom, spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main all-day menu includes an array of small plates, grills, curries, biryanis, sides, plus breads and rice. Some cult favourites include the house black daal, a rich lentil dish which is cooked for 24 hours; the chicken ruby curry; the paneer tikka; and the vada pau, a traditional Mumbai street food dish which sees fried potato tucked inside a bread bun. For fish lovers, the masala prawns are popular – and whatever you order, be sure to kick things off with some okra fries, and add some gunpowder potatoes on the side.

Another signature dish comes from the breakfast menu: the bacon naan roll, which sees streaky bacon smoked over applewood and beechwood chips. Extra hungry? The Big Bombay is a feast of akuri, pork sausages, masala beans and homemade buns. If you’re after something lighter, the date and banana porridge is a winner – which comes with bottomless refills.

Indian food naturally lends itself well to veggies, and you’ll find plenty of plant-based fare on the menu – with a dedicated vegan menu. It’s a great spot for dining with groups too, with feasting menus available offering a selection of small and larger plates designed for sharing. 


Where Are The London Branches Of Dishoom?

There are now seven branches of Dishoom across London:

  • Kensington: 4 Derry St, London W8 5SE
  • Shoreditch: 7 Boundary St, London E2 7JE
  • King’s Cross: 5 Stable St, London N1C 4AB
  • Carnaby: 22 Kingly St, Carnaby, London W1B 5QP
  • Canary Wharf: 13 Water St, London E14 5GX
  • Covent Garden: 12 Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H 9FB
  • Battersea: Upper Ground Floor, 42 Electric Blvd, Nine Elms, London SW11 8BJ

Which Is The Best Dishoom In London?

All Dishoom restaurants have a similar vibe and aesthetic, drawing on Irani cafes with carefully restored antiques and eclectic artworks lining the walls. However, all have slightly different quirks: the King’s Cross branch is housed inside a Victorian former railway transit shed, while the Battersea restaurant features touches from mid-century modernism.

Many people want to experience the original in Covent Garden, but queues can be extra long here. If you’re after shorter wait times, the Shoreditch branch is a good option – renowned for its buzzy atmosphere, and home to an al fresco terrace.

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