Restaurants , Indian Covent Garden
Critics' choice
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(132 user reviews)
122 Love It
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Michael Franke
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out

A swish brasserie in Theatreland offering Bombay café-style food at easy-to-love prices.

A swish Bombay brasserie in the style of the old post-colonial 'Irani cafés' of Bombay, Dishoom is filled with retro design features: whirring ceiling fans, low-level lighting and walls adorned with vintage Indian magazine advertising. The look is certainly distinctive, but the effect can be so slick when compared to the real thing that the venue can feel rather soulless and corporate. This doesn’t stop the design-conscious and Indophile thronging here through the day, from breakfast (for sausage nan rolls with chilli jam) to dinner (for the stir-fries and tandoori grills).

The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on Irani café food with birianis, bhel (crunchy puffed rice with tangy tamarind chutney) and even pau bhaji (toasted white bread rolls with a spicy vegetable stew as a filling). Our black dal was exemplary, and the lamb biriani suitably moist. We particuarly like the endlessly refilled house chai (Indian-style tea), but the other drinks are interesting too – excellent lassi concoctions, good wines by the glass, even  the soft drinks Limca and Thums Up in glass bottles imported from Mumbai.

Queues are common in the evening (bookings are taken for breakfast and lunch, but only for groups at dinner), though the basement bar helps make the wait more than bearable.


Venue name: Dishoom
Address: 12 Upper St Martin's Lane
Opening hours: Meals served 8am-11pm Mon-Thur; 8am-midnight Fri; 9am-midnight Sat; 9am-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden tube
Price: Main courses £1.70-£11.50
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:77
  • 4 star:32
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:8
  • 1 star:10
1 person listening
Alex Plim
1 of 1 found helpful
moderatorStaff Writer

I've lost count of the number of times I've eaten at Dishoom. People complain about the queues, but there's a reason so many are prepared to wait in line to get into this place: the food is stunning, the atmosphere is fun, and it's one of the best places to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner in London without spending a fortune.

The bacon naan roll is the restaurant's most raved about dish – with good reason. It's a genius interpretation of the traditional bacon sarnie, and if you're anything like me you'll want to recreate it at home. Here's how I did just that...

  • For the naan bread, I turned to Rick Stein – the crucial ingredient here is yoghurt, which ensures a chewy texture. You can read more about his method and others here ( Alternatively, chipatis, rotis, parathas or just plain old flat breads would work.
  • Dishoom add chilli jam to their rolls. I used a very simple Jamie Oliver tomato chutney recipe instead, adding a bit more chilli for extra oomph. It's so easy – just whop everything in a pan for 40 minutes and then it's done, basically. (
  • If you can, buy your bacon from the Ginger Pig – that's where Dishoom get theirs. Failing this, just buy the thickest stuff you can find.
  • Finally, garnish the lot with coriander (crucial) and thinly sliced onion (not so crucial).

It's so easy to make your own bacon naan roll, but nothing beats the original. Make sure you join the queue one morning to find out why it's so great.

1 of 1 found helpful

Excellent food, enjoyed the lamb biryani and spicy lamb chops,, will visit again..

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

I enjoyed a lot the brunch I had with my girlfriend. A bit crowded times.

Prash M
1 of 1 found helpful

Just awesome. Perfect for very occasion. I took my (Indian) mother there who loved every bite and can’t wait to go back. When someone who has been cooking Indian food for 40 years enjoys your food that much; you know you’re onto a winner. The hosting staff are also exceptional. Enjoy!

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Simply the tastiest, interesting start you could have to your morning I liked it so much I returned the following day!. Egg and bacon naan with beans on the side does it for me. Friendly team, efficient service and top notch food all served up in a convivial atmosphere - what's not to love bout this place!?

Misha M.

Woah! Where do I start? I absolutely love this place - the food, the drinks and the atmosphere. The only unfavorable thing is the queue but you can make reservations now. I've been there many times for breakfast and dinner, all tasty! You can get their house special chai tea with your breaky to wake you up, highly recommended! For dinner, I especially love(d) their chicken rice biryani, pau baji (I think that's the name), curry dishes, and grilled prawns. Heck, I love everything about it but those are what I remember. As for cocktails, I love(d) their chaijito, it's mojito but they add a little twist to it. Enjoy! 

Staff Writer

I have eaten at Dishoom for the first time for breakfast and it was a great start of the day! The menu offers different style of eggs and fired bread, I chose the Kejriwal eggs and it was an explosion of flavours in my place! the service was good and the staff really friendly. I am definitely going back to try their lunch and diner menu! This is a great value for great food and it wont break your bank!

Samantha H

There is always a queue but that is because Dishoom is always fantastic! You are offered Chai tea whilst waiting and even the occasional shot of sherry when it is cold to help the time go by.  We were told the wait would be about 1 hour 20, within 45 mins we were sat in the bar and 15 minutes later (after some bar snacks and wine) we were shown to our table.  The staff working on the door are friendly and sympathetic with customers waiting, which makes a big difference!  The food is always amazing.  If they sold the bacon naan all day long I would be a very happy (but probably fatter!) girl. We shared a few starters and then a mix of mains also.  The portions are decent, you probably need one side with each main dish but no need to order more than that unless you are starving!  The staff were very attentive, kept the water and chutneys topped up throughout the meal.  The icing on the cake was that a full meal and drinks for 3 (and we probably over ordered a bit at there were things left over) came to £100.  A bargain for a good meal, atmosphere and service in London!

Kai M

Love Indian food,, then you must visit Dishoom,  excellent food,, must try their Chicken Berry Britannia its the Biryani,,   Chicken Ruby with Rumali Roti, and Okra Fry ... excellent.. Remember to book a table in advance or you might end-up waiting in a Queue for long time...its so popular..


I was intrigued about the hype and didn't know how I felt about spicing up my breakfast until I actually ate here. Gone are the days when a standard bacon sandwich made the cut, the bacon and egg naan is nothing short of an absolute delight. I would continue to write more but I think I am going to go and queue at Dishoom to buy one of these so just do yourself a favour and go and try it! 


After walking past on numerous occasions and there is always a queue, I thought it best to see what all the fuss was about myself.  Well it was good but not very wow for me.  Perhaps that was more due to what I ordered - chicken briyani - it was a bit too dry for my liking.  Given all the comments about the bacon roll for breakfast, I might just have to try again and see if it really is all it's cracked out to be!

Chandra Sriram


This chain is an affront to food. I won't even deign to call it bad Indian food. Truly terrible, stay away unless you like poor, imbalanced spicing and a mixture of grease and sogginess. The only reason I haven't given this place zero stars is that the minimum on the system is one.

Abi L

Ate here for a friends birthday dinner, we had booked a table which got delayed slightly, it wasn’t too much of a concern as we were able to get a drink at the bar. There was a queue out the door on a Tuesday night! So we already had high expectations.

When our table was ready we were seating by the friendly staff in a quieter area which was nice considering we were quite a large group. The waiter explained the menu to us, as we had not eaten at Dishoom before. We all chose a variety of dishes and shared, as recommended by the waiter. The food was absolutely amazing, from the chili prawns, to lamb biryani and the gunpowder potatoes, keema pau, and paneer roll sides, not one complaint. For desert we had Espresso Martini’s which I would also highly recommend!


Best restaurant breakfast I've ever had. The unlimited chai lattes was the icing on the cake too.


The food is quiet nice and it is not too price but not cheap either. This is an Indian restaurant the food is close to what you can get in Indian. During theatre time in the evening it can get quiet crowded and may have to wait before getting a table. The interior decor is like the 90s Bombay style (now called Mumbai)

Richard N

Long queue, but totally worth it. This is where you want to be if you want quality Bombay food. Serves up great chai tea lattes too, so remember to order one!

Jane G.

I've been to the Kings Cross and Covent Garden Dishoom many times. You can probably find my reviews here ranting about how fabulous they are. BUT.... Yesterday I tried the newest Dishoom on Carnaby Street. What an idea location loved that it was hidden away behind Libertys and Hamleys, but I didn't care for the look of it when I walked up to it. It didn't look like I was going to step back into time into a Bombay cafe. It only got worse. Because the website has not been updated to include this branch, there was no way to reserve, so I wrote to the reservation email and was assured no problem, reservation made. When I arrived on the crisp Sunday morning at 9am, I was greeted by confused faces, no reservation and rather than making me feel welcome I felt my word was being questioned and found myself trying to prove it with the email I had received. All the while they are telling me there are plenty of tables no problem, still making me feel unwelcome. The restaurant decor is horrible, nothing like the warming welcome feeling I get at the other two. I felt like I walked into a tiki bar, not a Bombay cafe. I hated it immediately and wished I had booked Covent Garden. Now for the worst part, the food and service. I was nicely greeted by my server who joked with me about the cold and offered to get me a chai, that was almost the last time I ever saw him. He took our order, we never got a refill of water, and the unlimited chai seemed limited to 2. The food. Omg it was horrible. My date and I ordered the same thing we always order so it wasn't like I wouldn't know the food was disgusting. Both our meals were cold and mine looked oily. But we started eating them, about half way into mine I found that my eggs weren't cooked, which made me feel queasy. I had to get up to chase the waiter who apologised at the sight and took both meals away to be replaced. Two new ones appeared, both piping hot. Again mine was so oily I had to soak it up with a napkin. Never have I done that and any of the numerous breakfasts before. There was something about the sausage that didn't taste right. And we both ended up leaving most of the food to be taken away.

A manager came to speak to me and apologised, but again I'm used to amazing customer service from Dishoom, where here again I felt as if somehow this was all my fault. There were senior chefs helping the newbies she told me. She offered to remove my breakfast from the bill which was nice but my date didn't eat hers at all. So I ended up paying £16 for two glasses of unlimited chai that was limited to 2 cups and a queasy tummy. I will not be going back to Carnaby any time soon. (Ever)


The bacon & egg nan roll and Akuri from the breakfast menu are top notch. But the Awadhi Lamb Biriyani from the main menu was dry, slightly chalky and seriously over spiced. A small ladleful slapped into a cardboard box with nothing else, a small salad or sauce on the side would’ve made the price a little more worthwhile. Disappointing especially as the breakfast was so good.

Chesca R

The food is very tasty indeed but I have spent too many hours of my life queuing to get in as they don't take bookings, that said they do take bookings for tables of over 6 so make a date with friends and get a table. A new Dishoom is opening in Soho soon so fingers crossed it will help spread the love. 

The breakfast choices are a great hybrid of Indian and British and make a great combination. I can never decide on one course so I tend to get a selection of small dishes and sides my favourite ones are the black house daal smokey and creamy, the gunpowder potatoes, keema pau, and paneer roll. 

julio bruno

Great decor, good quality. Coffee served in a glass. Colonial times in center London. The place is always full, so get a reservation. Indian take on some traditional dishes. Location is superb.

Joanna B

Apart from the excellent food, the pictures on all the walls and the displays in the loo take me right back to my childhood in Bombay in the 50s and 60s. Fantastic atmosphere but don't go wanting an intimate whisper; it is upbeat from the noise of happy diners chatting loudly.

Sarah J Peach

If they only served their bacon and egg naan rolls an not even one other dish, they would still be one of the best restaurants in the city, probably the world.  There is nothing better than that egg and bacon roll, but the quick and friendly service for my take-out at 945 needing a 10am start at my place of work, the easy on the purse price of £6.50 and the fact it was busy as you like with bookings for breakfast tables, just adds to the perfection.  


Queues to get in can get ridiculous, but if you're lucky enough to be there at 2 pm on a weekday you might as well just be seated. The paneer tikka is delicious. The bacon naan roll is really tasty. Even if you wait it is well worth it.


Dishoom is exceedingly popular - and for good reason. The decor is relaxed yet special, the cocktail menu is superb, and the food is a blend of improvements on loved classics, with something entirely new. And the best part - it's reasonable! My advice is - get in line early, or if there's a party of 6+ you can book in advance (but you'll be booking quite a way in advance...) Oh - and try the house black daal.

Kiki Yar

I have been to this please 2 times 1st time for lunch and 2nd time for breakfast. 

Very interesting is my breakfast where i have tried Sausage Naan Roll.. Loved it and its unique combination in India cuisine. 

I will visit again for Breakfast to try Bacon Nann as Alex suggested below. I recommend this place.


Supperb street style food. Ordering is part of the fun as the very knowledgeable staff are always keen to talk about the food. Almost always full so good to book ahead.

Ros A

5 stars all the way from me for Dishoom. It's won numerous awards over the last year or two, and with good reason. Yes you'll have to queue (unless you're a group of 10 or more, in which case, ring ahead in plenty of time and book), or get down there nice and early (or nice and late, of course). 

Food here is fabulous, everything that came to our table I was impressed with. It's Indian street food at its finest - and without a hefty price tag on it, you can't beat Dishoom right now.

Alexi D
Staff Writer

If you are one of the people who spends hours rooted to the St Martin' Lane pavement, desperately waiting for a sniff of tikka you are either a professional queuer, a low-level masochist or a bit of a penis. Dishoom is ALL about breakfast. On a weekday morning, the dining room's a hushed, half-empty oasis of tranquility: relaxing, lovely and soothing. Until you slug back a fiery chai, squawk in delight and start punching the air in glee as you tuck into their meaty, smoky bacon naan: the single greatest thing to have ever happened to bacons, naans, or Londoners' mouths pre-10am. Best. Breakfast. Ever. (Now stop waiting on the pavement and do one of the million more fun things to do in this city, yeah?)

Sean J

Considering my lifestyle, I eat out every day and what I have realised is that this is possibly one of the most overrated restaurants of all time... I was actually quite excited to visit and did so on two occasions. Once with my family and once again for a friends party. The first time I realised it was style over substance and the curry and rice were not authentic and the portions were super stingy. I suppose as an Asian we can tell withing a few seconds of putting somehting in our mouth if it is going to be worth it. Stingy portions for the price makes me wonder why it is considered a "Cheap Eat" by timeout. I think they have the branding and locations in Covent Garden and Shoreditch on point, but sadly nothing can make up for the over styled dishes which lack the two basic things one is looking for... Taste above all and Portion for Price... 


I love this place! It's pretty annoying that you can't book tables, but the food is more than worth it. I had some black daal thing which was delicious, and our whole meal was exceptional. Having to queue for the restaurant was worth it in the end.

Tamsin V
Staff Comp

This place is amazing for breakfast/brunch, and 10/10 for originality - forget your bog standard eggs benedict. A Ginger Pig Bacon Naan Roll with chilli Jam, or chilli cheese toast topped with a runny fried egg.  Enough said. 

Sarah S

I had lunch here with a couple of friends today and we had such an amazing dining experience. The food was delicious and I absolutely loved their chai tea, but what stood out most to me was the fantastic service we received from Rolando. A waiter with a real interest in his customers and a wonderful smile, very rare in London in my experience. Can't wait to go back and try their breakfast. Highly recommended!

Juliëtte v

I had dinner here with seven guests on August 11 2014. Our waitress was lovely,  and we had a great time. Originally we would have had the table only for two hours, but on our request they gave us a table that we could stay at for a longer period.

As for the food: simply delicious. Not your regular curry-place, Dishoom has great plates to start off with (the shrimp is simply stunning) and for mains offers a nice balance between biryani's (the cranberry one is highly recommendable), grilled fish and meat dishes and of course some great curry's.  

In short, a recommendation!

Cate K

My family and I had a lovely time at Dishoom for Saturday brunch! The three of us all ordered the bacon naan roll and it was heavenly! We enjoyed it so much we're coming back this upcoming weekend. Great value for the money. Great atmosphere & friendly service.

Caitriona H

I went to Dishoom Shoreditch and loved it so much I visited Dishoom Covent Garden for my birthday, they've both been brilliant. 

The service is polite, fast and so genuinely enthusiastic and helpful without being overbearing or annoying. I'm sorry that I didn't get either of my server's names as I'd love to shout about how great they were. 

The food is absolutely delicious, with layers of flavour rather than a wave of heat from delicate spices that develop over time. The portions are generous and filling, I struggled to finish my main meal and okra fries despite being very hungry beforehand. As my fellow diners were vegetarian and a very fussy carnivore it can be difficult to find a place that pleases them, but both were delighted with the range and quality of their dishes. 

I also love the 'Bombay cafe' decor, the Shoreditch terrace is lovely on a sunny day and the Covent Garden branch is somehow an oasis of charm and calm despite being in such a bustling, touristy place. 

Also, very reasonably priced. 

Highly recommend, I will return often.

Sarah P

Amazing food, amazing service, amazing atmosphere and venue - we will definitely be going again :-)

Charlotte S

My boyfriend and I have visited Dishoom a few times before and absolutely love it but this time we were joined by my Dad and his partner, who have never been before. The food was amazing, especially the Marsala prawns and Mahi Tikka, and the cocktails are delicious. My Dad and his partner were hugely impressed.

Our waitress was brilliant, I'm not sure of her name but she was French-Canadian and so so friendly and delighted to recommend food. It's reassuring when the waitress is so passionate about the food. She was interested in what we were doing that evening so we got into a conversation about the theatre. I regret not knowing her name as she was fabulous!

We will definitely be recommending Dishoom and will return regularly.

Ellie A

I had been hoping to go to Dishoom for a while and finally got round to it last Sunday with a group of girl friends - the wait was certainly worth it! We ate at the Covent Garden restaurant, and the service was excellent from start to finish.  Our waitress helped guide us through the menu and we were all thoroughly impressed with our choices, plus the atmosphere was very relaxed and all round a lovely experience. Will return as soon as possible!

Kirsty  P

I have been to Dishoom in Covent Garden a few times for evening meal and recently for brunch, every time they have produced delicious food and of course excellent service.

I personally love the okra fries and paneer, the squid and daal are also amazing. Don't forget to try their bacon naan roll - this is an absolute must for breakfast or brunch.

Best chai tea I have ever tasted - give this a try.

I would definitely recommend this place, the staff are also extremely friendly and happy to discuss the dishes.

Great atmosphere, great food and great people - what's not to love.

Anna M

I went to Dishoom not knowing what to expect but I wasn't disappointed. So good was it that I have already been back and taken friends who are visiting London.   I ordered the bacon naan and the flavours were so intense and perfect, If I could have gotten away with ordering another I would have.  The bacon itself was incredible and combined with the subtle chilli jam and cream cheese, it was a match made in heaven.  The breakfast lassi was unusual but delicious and very refreshing.  On top of the good food, the service was so good.  Out waitress was so attentive but not intrusive and I was shocked when I received the bill, because for the quality of food and service that we received, I thought it would be a lot more!  All in all, this is my new favourite place to eat! 5 stars!

Mani S

This is the second time We went to Dishoom. As expected, the food was really good, we had chajito cocktails,

chicken ruby, berry pulao and romali roti. The food was finger licking tasty and there was not a morsel left by tht time we 

finished. We also got a complimentary breakfast where we had bacon naan rolls that were amazing. Also

the service was really good. The only letdown was the masala omelette that we had for breakfast it 

was lacking in spices and salt but apart from that food and service is top notch. You can easily

tell fresh ingredients are being used and the guys running Dishoom know what they are doing.

I can safely say we will be regular custommers and will be going back and recommending or taking friends 

and family to this establishment.

Karthik Bhartahamani


Very disappointed with chicken briyani , very worst birtani ever had . Haleem is good not the best. Chai and Bombay galoda drink fantastic.

Marta K

Best Indian trendy restaurant I have ever been. I went with some friends from work and we had a great time. We also got some very nice recommendations on what to order. Best Dahl I had tasted in London and very nice environment. I will come back soon!

Thulasy B

I recently treated my boyfriend to a lovely birthday meal at Dishoom. I had been there once before with my friends and absolutely loved it. We both were so pleased with the meal and had such a lovely evening! The food was delicious and we were served so quickly too, despite it being peak time. Really great portions and a good variety of dishes, both veg and non-veg. All the staff who served were us were so helpful and courteous. As an added celebrity bonus,Wesley Snipes happened to be dining there that evening too which made our night! 

Michelle W

It was really a pleasure to visit Dishoom on Friday, May 9th, 2014!  Food and drinks were delicious and our server was attentive and helpful in all the right ways!  Even though we were in an alcove, she never forgot us and she was really generous with food suggestions in a non-obnoxious way.  The pau bhajis (and the lamb version, Keema Pau) are to die for.  The paneer wraps and Chicken Berry Britannia Biryani were also deliciousI  All in all, excellent!!  This really isn't your average Indian food place and I strongly recommend it!!  My friends and I had travelled from various countries for these few hours of lunch, and, having visited there before, Dishoom was the top place for us to visit for our layover.  Knowing there was lots for us to catch up on, Dishoom was really accommodating about giving us plenty of time in the reservation (and not having someone needing the table at a particular time), which was really appreciated!  Over all, a wonderful experience!

Irene C

Delicious food and drinks, excellent service, fun atmosphere and reasonable prices. No wonder there are always massive queues outside! Strongly recommended.

tim c

Two of visited the Covent Garden branch for lunch last week and enjoyed ourselves. Food was fantastic, fresh and just the right level of spiciness. Service was friendly and efficient. The Haleem was delicious and perfect for dipping nann bread in. I also recommend the Pineapple Crumble for dessert.

Toilets are cool too.


I came in with a group of friends the other day and the service was fantastic. I had booked in 10 places but 13 of us turned up, and the staff were more than accommodating and did not complain that I hadn’t booked in enough spaces. The staff were very attentive and friendly, and when one of the group did not like the dish he was given (more due to his own tastes then the quality of the food), the dish was replaced immediately with no questions asked – I regard this as outstanding service. The food is also delicious! (okra fries and skate cheeks are amongst my favourites).


This 'Bombay cafe' in the heart of London has undeniably capitalised on the 'simple but interesting' approach. Because it has positioned itself as a cafe (with a bar) and not as a full blown Indian restaurant, it has wisely opted to keep its menu limited to a selection of popular Indian snacks and street food. But that will not disappoint you. You can take your pick from a selection of authentic street food such as vada pav, pav bhaji or rajma chawal or go for more filling options of biryani or black dahl with naan etc. Yes you won't be spoilt for choice but equally the food will not let you down on taste and authencity. Twists on drinks such as Bombay Colada and Chilli Martini definitely deliver well -- and cannot be brushed aside as an attempt to create an unnecessary fusion.

It appears to be gimmicky but thankfully it does not stop at that - the food, the ambience and the stafff are definitely Dishoom's very strong selling points. The only obvious downside is the long wait period at busy times (esp on Friday evenings) but you are kept motivated by a cup of complimentary 'chai'. Bookings only permitted for more than two people.

Personally it is one of my favourite places to be in London and I have been here for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

PS: If you are here please do not forget to try house chai on its own or with pav bhaji!

Rich H

Lovely place to meet for lunch, great food, mix of traditional and modern. Wonderful vibe and great service. Awesome selections of tea. 

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