Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Feb 4 2014
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.
Dishoom 12 Upper St Martin's Lane
- Venue phone:
020 7420 9320
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served 8am-11pm Mon-Thur; 8am-midnight Fri; 9am-midnight Sat; 9am-11pm Sun
Tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden tube
Main courses £1.70-£11.50
- 12 Upper St Martin's Lane
- 020 7420 9320
- 12 Upper St Martin's Lane
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:61
- 4 star:21
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:7
- 1 star:8
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Very disappointed with chicken briyani , very worst birtani ever had . Haleem is good not the best. Chai and Bombay galoda drink fantastic.
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!
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!
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!
Delicious food and drinks, excellent service, fun atmosphere and reasonable prices. No wonder there are always massive queues outside! Strongly recommended.
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!
Lovely place to meet for lunch, great food, mix of traditional and modern. Wonderful vibe and great service. Awesome selections of tea.
I was extremely impressed by our meal. It was a celebration for my father's birthday and we had not been to Dishoom before so I wasn't sure what to expect.However it was perfect from start to finish.
The waiter was very helpful with suggestions for what to order. He suggested the perfect combination of foods and just the right amount.
He was attentive without being intrusive.
The food was delicious. And we loved our ginger beer drinks too.
The lavatories were clean and well maintained.
The restaurant had a nice decor and busy lively atmosphere.
Thoroughly pleased and hoping to return when we get the chance!
The service is excellent warm and welcoming. The food was good, I had the okra fries which were delicious the spicy lamb dish and house black dhal. Overall a good experience especially as the prices too were reasonable for a central London location which had a good ambiance. The place was buzzing on a week day evening. The decor is a step up from the usually Indian Restaurant - in chic black and white with ceiling fans it was smart and contemporary. Definitely a place to take guests to. My only reservation was that the spicy was rather mild perhaps an extra spicy dish could be included on the menu for us chillie lovers!
I've been several times now and always really enjoyed it. The food is delicious and quite varied so you can discover something new each time, though I always have the house black dhal as well because it is outstanding! The service is incredibly fast and very friendly. Upstairs is bright airy and lively, though the downstairs booths are good for groups as a bit quieter for conversation.
I loved the idea of a Bombay Café, but this did not live up to the hype. Despite having made a reservation, we waited a long time for our table. The location is great, not far from Leicester Square and Covent Garden, but the food just isn't good enough and this in a city that isn't short of great Indian food. Dishoom is clearly a marketing "concept" with gimmicky food. If you love Indian food, you will be disappointed.
I am a regular diner at Dishoom and can honestly say that it has never let me down. The Black daal is fabulous, but the spicy lamb chops are possibly one of the best things you will ever eat, unless you are vegetarian, of course, in which case there is still plenty to gorge on. I love the place.
Bacon & egg naan will turn any morning around. Sometimes, I even get two. They'll sometimes give you chai on the house while you wait. The service is always super friendly and excellent.
The nicest Indian food I have tasted. The place is an excellent place for a date or a group and the food is ALL amazing. All fresh and tasty. The staff are all lovely too
It's rare for the user ratings on Time Out to exceed the official review, and it's a more reliable indicator than any other that this place is great: excellent food, good service, the kind of place that disappoints trend seekers but delights those of us just looking to have a fine meal.
Booked Dishoom for our team Christmas lunch, was a brilliant choice and made a brilliant change from the usual Turkey dinners and party hats (although these were still included). The food was plentiful and very tasty with lots of different choices to be had so the whole team were satisfied. The staff were also brilliant. Would highly recommend.
We had a really lovely evening at Dishoom Covent Garden - pre-theatre. The food was delicious, the service was very good, and there was a great atmosphere. My husband, his parents and I all thoroughly enjoyed it so thank you. We will definitely be back soon and I recommend Dishoom to anyone who is looking for great quality food in a fun and quirky environment - and it's not too expensive, very reasonable☺
I strongly recommend Dishoom on the basis of their Bacon Naan Rolls alone! Incredibly authentic food, amazing atmosphere and very friendly, attentive staff. Go, you will not be disappointed!
I had lunch here on 6th December with a group of friends as a X-mas get together. The lunch was great, atmosphere fantastic in the booth downstairs, and the volume of food was spot on. The bottled beer was a little expensive, but it didn’t stop us drinking a large number of them and didn’t detract from a great experience. We’ll go again and I will be raving about Dishoom to work colleagues and friends, encouraging them to eat there in the future.
The food is splendid, the service fast and extremely cheerful (but they don't rush you) and the ambience is wonderful. There is a buzz about the place which will lift you after a long day and/or get you ready for the evening ahead. Great for groups too.
I would definately recommend this restaurant! The service was great, the waiter was very knowledgeable and helpful with our choices and explaining the menu. Everything we ordered was delicious!! The atmosphere inside the Covent Garden Branch was great, everyone was very friendly and food was served quick. Would go again!
Genuinely, the most authentic tasting Indian food I have ever had in England! The service was excellent. Although the wait outside was almost an hour, we were served hot chai which was delicious. I cannot emphasize how good the food was! I ordered the chicken berry brittania, which was to die for. It was an excellent portion to share with my friends. We also ordered the chicken tikka roll, which was just so tasty. And the drinks! The waitress was so competent, and helped me select the perfect drink. The whole experience was amazing despite the long wait. It is well worth it! Everyone should go, you will not regret it!!
Amazing food, service and atmosphere. Visited the Covent Garden location, made a 5:15pm reservation prior to a 7:30pm show (they don't take reservations after 5:30pm). LOVED the food, especially the black dahl, the grilled tikka chicken and the slaw. I am desperate to have them open a location in Manhattan ... can't wait to return during my next visit to London. This is a MUST VISIT restaurant. Very reasonable as well.
Best Indian food I have had in a long time - very authentic and extremely tasty. Great décor, great service and an all round fantastic lunch. Will definitely be back, very soon.
We had a lovely time at Dishoom Covent Garden last week. I had been a couple of times before but it has become so popular and without table booking a wait is inevitable. We waited rather longer than the predicted 25 minutes, however once we pointed this out we were soon seated with profuse apologies. The staff were unfailing gracious , the food sensational as always. I have dined at Chowpatty beach and can testify to the authenticity of the Pau Bhaji, in addition the slaw and the black lentils were delicious , a good twist on indian staples. As I vegetarian I am always happy to eat lentils but get tired of the usual Tarka Dhal or Dhal Makhani that are normally offered on Indian and Nepalese menus. The one drawback is as mentioned on other reviews, the acoustics, it is difficult to hold a conversation, we just tucked in with grunts of approval instead. The staff on the go at all times still mnaged to be cheerful , efficient and concerened that we ate well and chose appropriately. It would be five stars if were not for the din.
portions are small. chai was nice, mango lassi was so great, but lamb grill was SOOOOO chewy. I loved the dhal, it did not need extra seasoning.
Been there both for breakfast and for dinner. Their bacon naan is a pretty incredible and surprising experience, and their dinner menu is not too shabby either. I adore the silky texture of their dhal
Dishoon is fantastic. We went for a mid-week breakfast and enjoyed it so much that we came back for lunch as well. We booked breakfast but there really was no need, there was plenty of space. I had egg naan, which was a perfect balance of egg and bread and had delicious chilli chutney and coriander and had a chai tea as well, that was sweet, milky and aromatic. For lunch I had a tasty biryani. Overall what impressed me was the quality of the food. I have lived in London over 10 years and the Leicester Square areas has always been full tourist focussed tat that never enticed me back for repeat business. Dishoon is part of the London foodie revolution that has transformed eating over the past few years into an interesting, tasty, good quality, stylish and reasonably priced experience. It is refreshing to have an Indian as part of that - Indian food has been part of the British culture for some time, but like Chinese, has more often than not failed to evolve to higher quality. Dishoon does that, and is a day round viable option - places like Chowki at Piccadilly Circus I would have only ever gone to for an evening meal. Dishoon, takes Indian food to the breakfast and lunch market as well. The staff were friendly and welcoming and I will certainly be heading back.
Went for breakfast naan; unable to decide between bacon or egg, they very kindly put both in the same naan. I've never had such a good quality bread - soft, just chewy enough, and the bacon was tasty, substantial, and worked a treat with the gently flavoured coriander and chilli filling. Would recommend it - especially for the bargain £3.50 odd.
I always have a great experience at Dishoom in Covent Garden. Service is always fantastic and the food is amazing. Authentic Indian food, if you want a korma or a tikka masala this isn't the place for you. If you want delicious prawns, minced lamb and biryani's then head here. The lassi with fennel is delicious. The only down-side is you can't book for less than 6 people after 6pm, so expect at least a 30 minute wait. Worth it though.
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As someone who's lived in Mumbai all their life, grown up with those typical street food and Irani cafe flavours, I would always find something missing when I'd go out for Indian food in London. And then I found Dishoom. My, my. What's not to love about this place? (Probably the pice, because, well, it will eat into your student budget) but after having craved for Vada Pau and Bhel for more than 10 months, I would have probably paid more. Getting our typical Indian flavours right is no mean feat - I sometimes struggle with it too. But Dishoom did not let me down one bit. I went with a bunch of people and we all ordered a bunch of different things - Bhel, Vada Pau, Pau Bhaji, Kathi Roll, Fried Okra, Far Far, Chilli Cheese Toast, Paneer Tikka Roll and obviously a hell of a lot of drinks - Thums Up (Indian cola), Limca (Indian fizzy lemonade brand), Rose and Cardamom lassi, Bhaang Lassi, Bombay Pimms (an amazing take on Pimms). Once again, I'm going to say - I wasn't let down. Indian food choices for me are made worse because I'm a vegetarian. Although it's very easy to find vegetarian choices of practically everything in Bombay, it becomes a little hard here. Nope. No complaints at Dishoom. Enough veggie choices and this trip was, therefore, a success. I'd been told that I should go to Dishoom when I'm feeling homesick the most. Because otherwise it's just going to make me feel worse. Boy, was that right. (I mean, I was pretty miserable and going to Dishoom did wonders to my mood!) The highlight of the trip were the toilets here. The loos have a lot of typical Indian products arranged in a shelf in the cubicles. They're SO very typically Indian that many might not even be aware of their existence but I was so amused! And then the mirrors in the toilet (especially the ones towards the ceiling) had bindis (adhesive round stickers of sort that are worn on the forehead between the eyes by the women) stuck on the corners. This is SUCH a typical Indian practice - you'll find a mirror with bindis stuck in a corner in almost every Indian home since it's so easy to access the bindis while you're getting dressed. If you want a typical Bombay experience, pay attention to the decor (it is gorgeously Bombay) and take some time to look at the posters stuck all over. Although the alcoholic drinks are great, do order the non-alcoholic ones. You aren't going to get them outside of India anywhere else. And finally, order WHATEVER you feel like from the menu. It's all awesome. And at the end of the trip, do sneak away the menu (the way I did) and bring a piece of Bombay back home with you.
It was a great evening, response for reservations through email where fast & swift. The food was great & fast & service where also on point. It stood out & I recognised that each staff member made eye contact & said hello, & where friendly & welcoming. This is very much forgotten at some places, but is key to service. It's good to know the Dishoom team recognise & understand this. I will definitely be coming back & have already recommended your place to a few friends as a chosen venue to dine in Covent Garden.
We ate here for lunch in late June. Food was delicious and creative. Food did not taste heavy and oily as is often the case with Indian cuisine. Dishes like steamed grouper in banana leaf were a big surprise and superb. Chicken curry was deeply flavorful yet not over spiced. Service was excellent. A great and memorable meal. We will be back every time we go to London and only wish Dishoom would open an outpost in New York!
Loved loved loved the breakfast at Dishoom! I have been searching for a great breakfast find and this really will be hard to beat. I highly recommend.
Why breakfast at Dishoom is definitely worth getting out of bed early for http://www.myhiddengems.co.uk/2012/01/dishoom-bombay-cafe-london/