Dishoom Kingly St is my work hideaway whenever I have papers to go through or need a quiet catch up with one of my team. The bacon naan and house chai are rightly celebrated as one of the great London breakfasts. It is tasty and inexpensive combined with the sedate, chilled atmosphere in the morning. However despite going there half a dozen times for breakfast, up until now I've never ventured in to try the daytime menu. A catch up with my cousin Simon presented an ideal opportunity. We popped in for lunch and were led through to the back of the restaurant which turns out to be 3 times as big as I originally thought. I normally sit at the front breakfast time but out back are another 3 big seating areas which are pretty much full at lunchtime, not bad for non-prime location. Our very friendly waitress explains the menu and that it is geared to sharing plates “kerching” but looking at the menu there is plenty to try so we order a selection of bits to share.
From the small plates section we go for the chilli cheese toast and Dishoom calamari. We both enjoy the chilli cheese toast, it is spicy and tasty, the sort of pimping up I should try at home. The bread it is on could be a bit crispier but all in all good. The calamari a recommendation from the waitress is so so. Indifferent squid fried in a decent crumb batter but lacking much taste. I used the chutneys they gave us to give it some ompf. From the larger plates we selected the spicy lamb chops, a half Sali Boti and some basmati rice. The chops are marinated in a spicy yoghurt then blackened on the grill, they are good but I've had a better version at the Dehli Grill in Islington. The Sali Boti is a lamb curry covered in matchstick fries, the sauce is good but the lamb is not as tender as it should be. We wash all this down with a non-alcoholic Lassi which is very refreshing and to finish we have a couple of the ever dependable house chais.
Whilst Simon is very happy with the meal I'm a touch more critical. The food is nice but not great and whilst I think the sharing plates work in most instances, it also seems an opportunity to boost the average spend. The feel inside is very casual and the fact it is so big with people arriving and leaving all the time can make it feel a bit airport lounge, certainly mornings in here are more relaxing. A lot of the dishes are well priced but 3 lamb chops come in at £11.90! which is toppy. Simon has one beer the rest of the drinks are non-alcoholic but our bill still comes to £57.49 which is expensive for lunch. If you were drinking you could easily be in £40-£50 a head territory. Service though is good and slick, we are well looked after and the bill comes quickly, always a plus in my book. I will undoubtedly go back to Dishoom for breakfast but I'm not sure the day time menu is quite as good as it thinks it is.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7