When the temperature tumbles one of my favourite ways to warm up is with a spicy dish or two. Dishoom has been offering spicy food characteristic of a Bombay Cafe on the London restaurant scene for a while. Am I right in saying it is most famously known for its bacon naan roll?? Or is that just me and the effect of my Instagram feed?! Either way it had been on my radar and when the King’s Cross branch opened towards the end of last year in the stunning Granary Square it climbed up the list to a must-visit.
My friend Lyndsay and I organised a pre-Christmas catch up and I thought this might be the perfect place to try together. The location means you get to meet outside the lovely Kings Cross station.
It may not be as romantic as its sibling St Pancras, but you can’t deny that its grown into a beautiful station since its refurbishment.
We made our way up to Granary Square. If you haven’t visited yet or heard of it before, it’s a restored Victorian building just a few minutes away from the station, you can see a few more pictures of the building on the blog here. Tucked down the left-hand side of the building is Dishoom.
We stepped into the huge restaurant boasting three floors. It has a no-reservation policy so you have to risk success at whether you’ll have to wait or not. Lucky for us it was about 6pm when we arrived and there were plenty of tables, so we were taken up to the mezzanine floor above.
The restaurant is all dimly lit (so sorry for the poor quality iPhone images!), which helps make the large space much more cosy and inviting. I loved all of the decorative touches which give the impression of ‘The Irani ‘café’’ Dishoom are aiming for. It achieves that smart casual look that’s so tricky to do well.
Of course we needed to quench our thirst first so we ordered cocktails. There’s a good selection and I could have drunk them all but went for a Bollybellini – ‘Raspberries, lychees, rose and cardamom sparkling with first-class Prosecco’. Very drinkable.
The food menu took some more time to consider though. You can get main meals but it was recommended to try a few dishes and small plates to share. We finally agreed on – Lamb Samosas.
The Keema Pau – spiced minced lamb and peas with a toasted, buttered pau bun. (On the spice scale I’d say a spicy medium.)
The Sheekh Kabab – minced lamb marinated with lime, coriander and cumin. (Medium spicy)
We also had plain naan and the Black House Daal (sadly I didn’t get a very good picture to show you). The Daal was much milder than the other dishes which had certainly warmed us up nicely.
I decided to explore the rest of the building on my way to the toilets (counteracting its only down side by being in the basement). The open space of the ground floor and its colourful tiles within the old building has a great effect and I loved the echoing buzz of the restaurant.
In the basement you’ll find the bar, The Permit Room, dimly lit with booths to sit in, perfect for a romantic drink or two.
Instead of heading down stairs after our meal, we ordered off the menu and cooled down the spices with a refreshing Chaijito – ‘Smoky rum and Dishoom sweet-spice chai syrup muddled with fresh mint, coriander, ginger and lime. Dashed with fizzy water and built over crushed ice.’
A great meal at reasonable prices in an amazing historic setting offering an original menu and good service. I’d love to go back for brunch one day and finally try that bacon naan!
Dishoom’s King’s Cross opening hours are: Monday to Wednesday: 8am to 11pm; Thursday to Friday: 8am to midnight; Saturday: 9am to midnight; Sunday: 9am to 11pm. Here‘s the google map to help you find it.
If I haven’t given you enough incentive to visit King’s Cross or one of their other branches in Covent Garden and Shoreditch, Dishoom recently took the top spot in Yelp’s Top 100 places to eat in the UK.
And if you have been to Dishoom already, do share your experience!