I don’t usually give another chance to restaurants that disappoint the first time around but I made an exception for Dishoom.
Truth be told, after our last visit, I really wasn’t keen to go back. For me, it simply wasn’t worth the hype.
But many people told me that going for dinner was a mistake, and brunch was what Dishoom was all about.
And so, after hearing the same advice from quite a few foodie friends, I finally gave in and booked a table for breakfast at their dazzingly beautiful King’s Cross venue.
(yes, BOOK! Quite an improvement on the 30 min+ in the cold already!)
Once again, Dishoom signature decor, a mix of Bombay knick-knacks and vintage touches, took my breath away.
The carefully thought-out details and the smell of Chai…
The second you step in, you’re transported miles away from London and its rain into the heart of India’s cultural capital: Bombay, home of Bollywood and the famous Irani cafés Dishoom was inspired by.
But did the food measure up?
Considering it’s been in basically every ‘London’s best brunch’ list, we came with high expectations.
And having at heart to do as thourough a job as humanly possible, we covered the table in as many dishes as we could manage.
And here’s the good news. Some of it was very good indeed.
Top of the list being Dishoom’s famous Bacon Naan Roll.
Freshly baked tandoor naan, graced with a touch of cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and fresh herbs, and wrapped around rock-salt cured streaky bacon.
A Dishoom signature dish truly deserving of its accolades.
Not bad either were the Masala beans.
A massive portion for £1.5, with just enough warming chilli and a little sprinkle of fresh coriander, it is the perfect brunch side and anything but your usual baked beans.
Unfortunately, the rest of our selection wasn’t quite as successful.
Akuri – An Irani café staple of spicy scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, piled up alongside plump pau buns and served with grilled tomato.
A winner on paper, but while it tasted quite nice with a nice kick of green chilli and fresh coriander, the texture of the eggs was truly awful as they were dry, yet with plenty of liquid leaking out (presumably from the chopped vegetables not being pre-cooked).
Kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast) was even more of a disappointment, as the inviting orange-yolked eggs were un-evenly cooked (one was runny and the other entirely cooked through) and so covered in cracked black pepper that it was impossible to taste anything else. Quite a shame, really.
And if the Chai was alright (not the best I’ve had, but not the worse either, and really quite helpful if you’re nursing a bit of a cold as I was that day), the Red grape & lemon wasn’t quite so. Too much lemon ruined the balance of the juice and brought out the unpleasant bitterness of grapes, instead of enhancing its natural sweetness.
So once again, Dishoom was quite a hit-or-miss sort of experience.
But if you stay right away from the fancy-looking options, and focus all your attention on the Bacon naan roll, it is actually quite a good brunch option!
Bacon, naan, chai. Sold.
Dishoom King’s Cross, 5 Stable St, London N1C 4AB – Book a table here
Do you give restaurants a second chance?