First off, this Shoreditch branch of the Parsi-café-themed Indian looks as lovely as you’d expect: a multi-level warren of wooden panelling, clackety tiles and old-world Malabar Coast ephemera. There’s also a semi-alfresco villa space which will doubtless be a breezy treat come summer.
But foodwise, it’s a mixed bag. Sticking with the small plates reaped rewards, particularly the fried prawn koliwada – delicate, fragrant shrimps, served with a zesty green chutney for dipping – and a chilli-cheese toast of sliced white laden with melty cheddar, green chillies and leeks. Pair with a bowl of umami-heavy black dal and you’ve got one of London’s best sub-£10 lunches.
Things faltered elsewhere. Grilled lamb chops had a good char and a zingy sprinkling of pomegranate, but were a tad too fatty and thickly marinated; while a roomali paneer roll was outright poor, the cheese insipid, a wedge of green leaves mere ballast and the tomato sauce cloying and one-note.
It’s millennial gospel that Dishoom’s breakfasts are some of the best in town. There’s nothing to truly lift the all-day menu to those heights – but it’s still an atmospheric spot to while away an hour or so.