I’m always slightly wary about venturing outside of Tooting for a curry, but last Saturday I found myself in the freezing wilderness of a redeveloped Kings Cross and on the hunt for something that would warm the cockles. Cue a queue free Dishoom. Stepping into the cavernous converted warehouse was like entering another world. Tiled floors, lush palm plants, ceiling fans lazily spinning; it was as if we had gone back to a more elegant time. We had to wait for around 10 minutes before a table was free, but this was hardly a chore as we relaxed in the sophisticated lounge chairs and perused the menu.
The main restaurant is up one floor on a mezzanine and resembles a cross between an old fashioned railway lounge and a colonial gentleman’s club. First things first: a glass of masala chai. There are few things more wonderful on a cold day. This was sweet, but not overly so, with a big hit of cardamom which made me think it would be the perfect cold remedy. My dining partner does not drink alcohol and often struggles to find a decent range of soft drinks when eating out. Not so in Dishoom. The range of lassis even tempted me away from the booze! I settled on a rose and cardamom lassi, while my friend chose a mango and fennel one. They tasted amazing.
Both of us decided on a biryani – I went for the chicken, while my friend chose lamb. I’m very difficult to please when it comes to a biryani, having been spoiled for so long by my absolute favourite from Masaledar in Tooting. However, the Chicken Berry Britannia may well top the charts as the best biryani in London (well, that I have tried…). Laced with cranberries, this Persian take on a classic was a delight. We accompanied our dishes with okra fries and a garlic naan. The okra fries were moreish with a subtle spicy heat, while the naan was loaded with garlic – just the way I like it.
Unsurprisingly I was feeling rather stuffed after all of that, so I eschewed dessert in favour of a naughty Bailey’s chai. My friend, who has the appetite of an elephant, decided to try the pineapple and black pepper crumble with custard. A strange combination perhaps, but it works! Not too sweet but with bags of flavour. The Bailey’s chai was a little strong for me, so I couldn’t finish it, which was a shame.
As seems to be the norm with most new London restaurants, the service was a little intrusive and over-eager, with plenty of attempts to upsell. However, I mellowed towards our waiter somewhat when he came over to tell us that his shift had finished and introduced us to the waiter who would now be looking after us. A nice touch. Both my friend and I are notoriously difficult to please when it comes to dining out, but we left Dishoom singing its praises. A beautifully designed space where you are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious food and drink. I can understand why people queue for so long just for the chance to dine here.
£54 for two people, including drinks.