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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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© John Carey
© John Carey

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The newest branch of this immensely popular Indian chain.

If Time Out had a ratings system where we gave marks for every aspect of the ‘dining experience’, we could then rate this new branch of Dishoom as follows: decor and ambience: five; service: five, food: three. Sadly we don’t have a system like that, so we’re giving it a four, but it’s a four with caveats.  

First off, the best bits. As at its other sites, this ‘Bombay Café’ (inspired by the ones first founded by Iranians in India) has taken a huge space and carved out a collection of individually styled areas, including a bar, ‘lounge’, and conservatory. And once again, the overall theme is drawn from the ’hood. Here, just off Carnaby Street – once the epicentre of the swinging ’60s – we’re talking retro Indian (that is, surprisingly Western). From the floors (monochrome tiles for drinking, parquet squares for dining) to the wood-veneer walls, swirly light fittings and contoured geometric ceilings, it’s all very groovy. But service is thoroughly 2015 – in a good way – with a disappointing dish (more on this later) struck from the bill and a perfectly decent side of rice also removed, purely because we hadn’t had time to try it: a nice touch. Staff, in fact, couldn’t have been more lovely.    

The cooking, however – much like ’60s rock ’n’ roll – had both hits and misses. High points included the crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside ‘koliwada’ prawns, served with a tangy date and tamarind chutney; or the moreish deep-fried okra with a nicely salty edge and plenty of chilli kick. A dish of sali boti (a classic Persian lamb stew), was perfectly decent, if nothing to set the world alight. But the too-timid spicing in our keema (minced lamb and pea curry, here served with a ‘pau’, or soft bun) was a let-down, as was a chilli cheese toast that was more uncooked-cheese-on-bread (it was this we shooed back to the kitchen). Still, it’s very early days and if you’re looking to go out on the town and swing, then Dishoom is still a super fun place to do it. Yeah, baby. 

Written by
Tania Ballantine


22 Kingly Street
Tube: Oxford Circus
Meal for two with drinks and service: £60.
Opening hours:
Mon-Thur 8am-11pm; Fri 8am-midnight; Sat 9am-mirnight; Sun 9am-11pm.
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