I can’t even tell you for how long I’ve wanted to go to Dishoom. But I can assure you, it feels like my entire life.
I’m not one of those people who scrolls and intricately reads menus before they go to a restaurant, as I prefer the element of surprise. I mean, I can approximate what to expect from Dishoom: some blue and white swirly crockery and award winning, Indian food – but any greater examination would have resulted in my heart crying from grief as it had taken me over four years to finally go and eat at Dishoom.
So at long last, my friend came to London for the weekend and on a whim, I thought this is the day I go to Dishoom. So went in direction of Dishoom in Kings Cross without reservation but just hope for the best. We ended up in Granary Square, just behind Kings Cross station and a hop, skip and a jump over the canal bridge and were told we could wait 30 minutes. Pretty ideal, I thought on an almost spring-like-winter Saturday morning. Not long after the waiting queue acculumated a bit, that the host came with a round of Chai lattes to buck up our spirits. Sweet and spiced, it’s like a winter hug in your mouth. Finally it was our turn and we were the next in line where we were invited to go inside.
Oh my sweet days, I don’t know what I expected the interior to look like but I was taken aback by how simply stunning it is. We were told that we had another ten minutes to wait to be seated; essentially we had graduated in the queue to just wait inside – which was not an issue at all as I was too busy channelling my inner Tigger and bouncing about with excitement about the sheer beauty and class of the space around me. Inspired by the old Bombay cafes that emerged in post-colonial Mumbai, Dishoom feels like a time warp taking you back to a time you may have only seen in films, it has a railway feel about it. Fans reel suspended from the ceiling, vintage publications and Irani words embellish walls and shelves. The exposed iron frame descends from the ceiling to structure parts of the seating areas is a gigantic installation that just deserves a few good minutes of contented staring. Waiters are fast-paced, bustling around balancing large trays on the tops of their palms to go above everyone’s heads. A small swanky lounge area by the bar where you can sit and watch the minutes tick by from the impressive clock. Dishoom had bewitched me and I hadn’t even gotten to the food yet.
We were led downstairs into the Permit Room and were seated at a high table. To look around, you can see a small collection of vintage crockery, tarnished mirrors and frames upon frames of sepia family portraits – especially the latter a throwback to that bombay cafe style.
Being my first time, and a long awaited time at that, we took it upon ourselves to order a variety from the breakfast menu to really grasp what Dishoom is all about. A few particular highlights were:
The house granola came as a bed of oats, seeds, cashews, pistachios and almonds topped with yog, fresh mango and strawberries and drizzled with London Honey Company’s Buckinghamshire honey – which actually hails from my home town of Milton Keynes. Proportion of granola to yog was perfect, with enough creamy vanilla to go around.
Kerjiwal, kerjiwal. You little divine thing; talk about pimped up cheese on toast. Apparently named after the gentleman so keen on his cheese on toast that he demanded if from a reputable back in the day Bombay establishment enough times that they finally gave in and humoured him. Two cheesed up fried eggs, yolks as yellow as saffron, come with a sprinkle of spring onions, coriander and fresh green chillis. So subtly different from what you are used to from our native favourite, but so terribly effective. Perfect washed down with Dishoom’s freshly squeezed grapefruit juice as a refreshing palette cleanser.
Bacon Naan Roll
Lastly, the infamous and notably one of legend Clerkenwell Boy‘s favourites (admittedly he loves the addition of an egg): the bacon naan roll. Bacon so thick and juicy and crispy and fatty, it makes you fall in love again with bacon (as if you could ever fall out of love with bacon…). Ginger Pig, you sure know how to cure and smoke some rashers. A freshly baked and blistered naan has a swipe of cream cheese inside, and then stuffed with this bacon with a dashing of herbs. And of course it comes served on the distinctive white and blue crockery that is instantly recognisable as Dishoom. (Side note, I found this to be more of a fold than a roll – but you know, semantics).
After this delightful meal, I can’t wait to hit up the other Dishooms, maybe the one in Covent Garden to see how much they differ ‘look’ wise. No doubt the food will be top rate – but this time round two will be lunch. However, they do have a breakfast club thing going on where you can stamp up a card every time you go and at the end, get a Naan Roll on the house #yesplease. Also do yourself a favour and go to the loo here as well – never seen a toilet seat like it!
Dishoom Kings Cross
|Monday||8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.|
|Thursday||8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.|
|Friday||8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.|
|Saturday||9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.|
|Sunday||9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.|