Dishoom Carnaby, Soho, London
Easily one of my favourite London restaurants, Dishoom Carnaby does so much so well so it’s hard to disagree it being such a beloved institution of the city. I’ve done more than my share of Dishoom dining here, but this was a time that I did it right. That means prolific ordering of food, sharing and sampling everything and generally having one of the best food experiences you can have in London. Too strong? It is pretty good.
Skip the queue
I must have remarked about the history of Dishoom in a previous post. If not, the gist is that it’s Indian (with a fusion twist), reasonably affordable and extremely busy. The visit to the Carnaby Street store in Soho was part of my work dining club. I organised it but I’m still going to pat myself on the back for it being such a brilliant and well executed idea.
Part of the usual pain of any Dishoom is the queueing, but you can circumvent that when you have a big enough group to make a booking. Do this! Waiting in the line in freezing cold weather is awful, although they do sometimes give you snacks.
To the eating
Once in, I find the service of Dishoom Carnaby to be just as enjoyable. You don’t feel the rush of the frenetic pace of places like Tayyabs or Lahore House. Coming as a group also makes a big difference in being able to sample a lot of the menu. Each of us picked a few dishes to share for the table, meaning I finally got to try a decent chunk of the offering.
And you know what? It’s all so very good.
Chicken berry Britannia (£9.50): cranberry topped Irani Cafe special. Yum!
Pau bhaji (£4.50): mashed vegetables with hot buttered buns.
Interesting but not one of my faves. Here’s the bhel (£4.50), puffed rice, Bombay mix, and nylon sev with a wild mix of all kinds of flavours.
The curries are all good, reasonably sized so you can share. Never that spicy from my experience. There’s quite a big section of the menu devoted to grilled items like the above. This could be the chicken tikka but now I’m not so sure.
So there goes my quick review of Dishoom Carnaby in Soho. It’s kind of, maybe not, worth the wait if you have to queue. But try get in a booking and then order all the food and then have a great time. I’ll happily take any leftovers.