Irani cafes have been a part of Mumbai’s culture since the 19th Century. Opened by Zoroastrian Irani immigrants to modern India and Pakistan they acted as a place to meet in the evenings, drink chai and reminisce about their homeland.
And now a taste of the Bombay Cafe has come to Edinburgh’s East End and settled in St Andrews Square. Welcome Dishoom.
The first thing that hits me is a beautiful heady scent in the air. No matter if it’s incense, spices, botanicals or the cooking or a combination of them all, it’s a wonderful welcome. The interior pays homage to the 1930’s slightly art deco style with marble tables, bentwood chairs, ceiling fans, ageing mirrors and a monochromatic colour scheme. It’s beautiful and you can instantly imagine yourself spending a few hours here without a care in the world!
Dishoom food is incredible and is set to become one of my most frequently visited restaurants in Edinburgh.
Starting off, we munched on Far Far. A cross between a cracker and a crisp. Lemony and salty. One of those snacks you just cant stop eating.
For starters we ordered the Dishoom Calamari. Crispy crumbed squid. These had a little spicy kick to them. Most pieces were tender.
The Prawn Koliwada are fairly large prawns smothered in a tamarind and date chutney. The prawns were cooked well, tender but with a slight bite and a very subtle heat.
For mains we shared a few dishes as there was ALOT of food finding its way to our table.
The Spicy Lamb chops with sparkling pomegranate jewels. Soft, succulent meat cooked in warm dark spices, ginger and garlic.
The show stopper – the Lamb Raan which is a leg of lamb marinated in chilli, garlic and ginger, braised overnight with spices, then flame-grilled, sliced and dressed with fresh lime. This dish can easily feed up to 4 people and with the lamb already pulled off the bone, its easy to dish up. Soft, tender, slightly spicy and wonderful!
To accompany all this food, our server made some suggestions on sides and so we had the Black House Daal. This daal is outstanding. It’s thick and rich and provides an extra layer of flavour when scooped up with the lamb raan.
Add to the table a massive Garlic Naan Bread bursting with chunks of sweet garlic.
And the Gunpowder Potatoes which were very spicy but buttery.
All in all, each dish compliments each other. The spicy heat isn’t an instant burning heat but a subtle one that builds with each bite. Every dish is filled with layers of flavour – you’ll taste the cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and chillies. Spicy flavours are cooled with the use of cream, yoghurt and bursts of freshness from pomegranates, lime juice and mint.
To finish our meal off we opted for the Kulfi on a Stick – Pistachio. It’s creamy, it’s cold and you almost have to bite into it rather than let it melt like an ice-cream. Delicious.
And we felt brave enough to order the bizarre Kala Khatta Gola Ice. An intriguing dessert consisting of ice flakes steeped in kokum fruit syrup, blueberries, chilli, lime, white and black salt. According to their menu ~ “The first spoonful tastes bizarre. The second spoonful is captivating.” and they are right. Oddly addictive.
Everything at Dishoom is well presented and almost a little theatrical – like our drinks. The Virgin Bombay Colada – pineapple and coconut-cream with little coriander, chai syrup, lime juice. So so very pretty. Great to drink too.
And the Viceroy’s Old-Fashioned which was mix of bourbon, bayleaf reduction & green tea served in a wee cork plugged bottle, bayleaf placed over the glass and a solid block of ice ready for your to pour your own.
I cannot wait to head back to Dishoom as I so want to tuck into their breakfasts – the sound of their bacon naan roll has my taste buds jumping for joy already.
See you soon Dishoom!
You’ll find Dishoom at 3a St Andrews Sq, Edinburgh. Tel : 0131 2026406 www.dishoom.com/edinburgh