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Dum Biryani House

  • Restaurants
  • Soho
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

An Indian restaurant specialising in dum biryani.

Set in a basement behind a drab, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it door on Wardour Street, stepping into this colourful little Indian restaurant is a nice surprise. Well lit and spacious, with edgy concrete flooring, the vibe at Dum Biryani is brilliantly quirky: think vintage-style posters with taglines like ‘Oops, I burnt the rotis!’ and a playlist that’s pretty much back-to-back Notorious B.I.G.’s greatest hits. It’s fun.

It’s even more fun once they start bringing out the exceptional ‘snacks’. Cool yoghurt patties were followed by sticky, fiercely-spiced, ginger-strewn chicken wings and, my personal favourite, a creamy prawn ‘fry’ curry, topped with grated fresh coconut. Another highlight was a rich paya shorba – a complex and moreish pig’s trotter soup that came with a whole foot cooked into its thin, fiery broth.

It’s a real shame, then, that what let this place down were the biryanis themselves. A ‘dum’ biryani is one cooked, Hyderabadi-style, in a pot sealed with dough, so the meat and rice steam together very slowly, making it moist and more flavourful. Yet my one-pot-wonder – the chicken drumstick version – came unpleasantly dry, with a peculiar sour edge. I’d happily go here again just to order every snack on the menu though. Hell, I’d go for that playlist.

Kitty Drake
Written by
Kitty Drake


187B Wardour St
Tube: Oxford Circus
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
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