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Restaurants, Indian Covent Garden
4 out of 5 stars
(165user reviews)
© Michael Franke

Time Out says

Please note, Dishoom's Covent Garden branch has now closed for refurbishment. It is expected to reopen in summer 2020. Time Out Food editors, FEBRUARY 2020. 

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.




Address: 12 Upper St Martin's Lane
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
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Users say (165)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:96
  • 4 star:44
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:8
  • 1 star:10
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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.

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!


Definitely head here for breakfast! The Naan wrap/rolls are delicious, and something a bit different to what you'd eat elsewhere. PLUS unlimited refills on chai tea - brilliant.


Without a doubt Dishoom is my absolute fav restaurant in London!

I just can't get enough of it! The food is so mouthwatering and filling and vey reasonably priced in my opinion! and don't even get me started on the house chai! Truly the best I've ever had and whats even more exciting is the unlimited refills of it! My fav dish and one that i highly recommend you try is the pau bhaji. Its spicy yet you can still taste all the beautiful flavours! This place get extremely busy so definitely try book in advance!

Once you've tried the dinner menu, go and check out the breakfast menu, the chilli cheese toast is to die for! Enjoy! I guarantee you will be addicted! :)


The best indian breakfast I have had! I ordered the house chai and The Big Bombay. It consists of Akuri which is an iranian staple, spicy scrambled eggs piled up with two paus (buttered buns). Char-striped smokey streaky bacon, peppery shropshire sausage, masala baked beans, grilled field mushrooms and grilled tomato.

My plate was super large and filled with yumminess, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED their breakfast. The akuri with the smokey bacon was so good, mouth watering! The masala beans on the pau was yummy too and everything paired together was a dream heaven! 

The house chai tbh isn’t chai at all! It was far too milky, almost like a latte but worse!! I’d highly recommend the breakfast menu though, and I actually want to go back for another big plate!


Unfortunately dishoom has become a very mainstream and canteen like dining, I mean waiting for an hour and a half outside in a line, it's just not worth it. The food is good, don't take me wrong, but the atmosphere kills is completely. 


Beautiful restaurant with a fantastic atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and consistently flavourful food. A great destination for a special occasion as the menu caters for most requirements - there is a separate vegan menu. Service of the food is always speedy and efficient. The black daal is a must and the chicken ruby has fantastic depth of flavour. Save room for the chocolate pudding with chilli ice cream! A must visit, request a booth if you have 6+ people, they are lovely and private but you can still soak up the atmosphere.

Where do I start?

I went on a date, and don't think I'll be seeing her again. :(

This is through no fault of your own. In actual fact it's down to me not enjoying spicy food, which according to your waiter (lovely gentleman) it was actually a 'mild to medium' curry. Maybe if i was in Mumbai, yes. Not north London. The lady I was with thought I was having a seizure with the amount of sweat I was producing. I informed her, it was a hot evening but she wasn't sold as I downed a bowl of youghurt.

This is by far the hottest curry I've ever had and I imagine you receive the same feedback on a regular basis. But hey, I firmed it.

Dining experience, decor and staff 10/10. My date 1/10.

When you decide to be more cultural and add Korma and Tikka Masala to the menu, I will be back. (Alone)

P.s. The Naan was lovely. If only I had a Korma to dip it into.

I was also alarmed to find out that the 12.5 percent service charge is distributed to people all over India. Why is this not distributed to the great staff that work there?

Thank you,

Cultured diner.

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! 

Tips: you can make a reservation online for party with more than 8 people now.

Good atmosphere, good food. If queueing is not your thing then you can book for lunch through to early evening.

Dishoom offers high-quality, authentic Indian street food at very reasonable (for London) prices. Service was also particularly attentive and welcoming, to a degree not often found at this price range.

Just the nicest indian food, nothing fancy just big flavours served in a cool vibrant environment.

I can't believe I have only just visited Dishoom! I have heard people raving about it for months and months and I finally paid the restaurant a visit last weekend. Queue really wasn't as bad as people make out, the time went pretty quickly and we were kept warm with little cups of  hot chai. The restaurant itself is very stylish, and they have paid particular attention to detail with little touches such as incense sticks dotted around.  The waiter was very friendly, accommodating and equipped with the most on-point knowledge of the menu. We warmed things up with a glass of prosecco which was actually given to us free (as it was my birthday) followed by okra fries and veggie samosas! Okra fries were too.die.for. You get a little array of sauces varying in spice too which are perfect for dipping and drizzling accordingly. We then moved onto Masala prawns which were huge and meaty, tikka chicken, rice and garlic naan and then a side of yoghurt and cucumber to cushion the spiciness of the chicken (it was pretty hot!). We also feasted on their black dahl which is one of their signature dishes- not to be missed. Were absolutely stuffed but were given a FREE pud which was a deilish pineapple crumble with cinammony custard. Food was absolute top notch 10/10.  

Love it, just wish the queue to get in wasn't so long, but it's worth the wait

I've eaten in all of the Dishoom cafes, but we're regulars at the Kings Cross branch. Anita is the most incredible waitress and we had a brilliant time last time we dined. In general, the food is wonderful and so is the atmosphere. If you're a first timer, order the 24 hour slow cook black dahl, the chicken ruby and the roomali roti. If you're heading for breakfast, the bacon naan really lives up to all the hype - genius creation. Thanks Dishoom for bringing so much joy to our lives. 


I came here for brunch on Saturday and we booked well in advance as I have seen the queues to try and get into this place. There were 6 of us with two being from Indian heritage. I was surprised to hear them say 'this is the closest thing to Delhi food we can get in London'. That set the scene! 

My other friend is in the food industry and really wanted to quiz Dishoom as a company and boy I was really taken aback by the waiter. He knew everything about the business from the strategy to the owners. He had been there for 2 years plus so clearly didnt fit the standard Eastern European taking any job he could find. He was also very knowledgeable about the menu and how the food / drink is made. Really insightful (Dishoom is coming to Edinburgh in November). Its so hard nowadays to find a person who is passionate about their job and company. 

We asked for bits of the menu to be changed and what could have been complex with allergies and dislikes was so easily accommodated for us.

The food itself was very tasty but I really recommend this isnt for the weak stomaches. Come hungry and come prepared as some of the meals are scrummy but heavy like keema meat with chicken liver. 

Although not advertised the chai (very yummy signature drink made with cinnamon, full fat milk, ginger and other chai spices) is bottomless so quite well priced for £2.50. 

My other top tip is you cannot book if you have less than 6 of you in a party so to save yourself the long queues.... get 6 pals together and enjoy. Also dont be late! We were late by 7 minutes and I already had a voicemail. Naughty me! 

Staff Writer

I've been a big fan of Dishoom for years and I would give it five stars except it's so popular now, you almost lose your appetite by the time you're seated! Despite the sometimes 1.5 hour wait, the food is worth queuing and being shepherded around the venue. Particular favourite are the gunpowder potatoes, ruby murray and the cheese naan. It's the place we take visitors to London and my mum and dad, it's a winner every time.


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.

Amazing food and very cool atmosphere. Great if you fancy something a bit different. The lassis are delicious and look beautiful! Frustrating you can't book as there is always a very long wait but appreciate the hot chai served in the queue. Reasonably priced but it isn't cheap.

The most authentic chai tea outside of India and the most incredible Indian spiced calamari. This is a must-try London restaurant, but make sure you get there early otherwise they'll be a long wait for a table. They do however keep you entertained and appeased with chai tea samplers or if you're lucky sherry.


Honestly... You don't know what you're missing!!

Dishoom has to be the best location for Indian food.... Flavoursome and incredibly affordable!!

The decor inside is warm and inviting..especially if you're seated in the courtyard. Under £15 per person and you're walking away with a heavenly food coma!

Defo grab some of the garlic naan too! Deeeeelish

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!?

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!


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!


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!


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.

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)


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!


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.


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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.

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?)

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... 

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