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Dishoom Covent Garden

Here’s a quick review of a place I’ve been dying to try for ages at the corner of Long Acre and the top end of St Martin’s Lane.

It’s already had loads of rave reviews, and to look at it really stands out from your usual Indian eatery. For starters the look, feel and buzz about the place is more like an NY Deli. There are a few a South Asian contenders in this market in London now, the other place that springs to mind is Masala Zone on the other side of Covent Garden.

Dishoom just has something sassy about it: unashamedly modern south east Asian; this place serves serious street food of the kind you don’t usually find this was away from the subcontinent: no chicken bhuna, jalfrezi or tikka masala in sight, so if that’s what you’re expecting it might not be your thing.

But what it has it authenticity by the bucket load. Haleem like I haven’t tasted in ages (basically a mixture of lamb, lentils and more spices than you could shake a stick at turned into the most delicious concoction) with a side serving of fresh ginger, crisp garlic and chillies for the brave. It’s a dish we only ever serve on special occasions as it takes so long to get just right, so it felt like a major treat to eat, I honestly thought I’d ever find a place that replaced my mum’s Haleem….but this one comes pretty close.

The masala chai is the always the real test for me of authenticity: no chai tea lattes here; this is a proper strong brew with spices and just the right dash of milk served in a thick glass.

The calamari I had as a starter was to die for, with a tangy twist of tamerind and lime (I think) – amazing!

It’s a popular place so if you’re going on a weekend I’d recommend going before six. If you’re lucky you’ll only have a short wait….after six there was a queue out to the corner of the street.

Dishoom is no cheap treat though. We paid just over £80 for a meal for two adults and two children. Overall, I would most definitely go back.

I hear the breakfast is amazing and plotting my next trip!

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