I had the pleasure of dining at the newly opened Dishoom (Upper St Martins Lane
. London) last week, apart from the one and a half hour wait (proving its current popularity) I absolutely loved it and already planning my next meal.
The laidback Indian restaurant is based on the concept of Irani cafés in Bombay. An institution which earns a fond place in the hearts of Bombayites, regardless of caste and class, by reliably providing a cheap snack, a meal, or just a cup of chai and a refuge from the street.
The restaurant is split into two spaces; lower ground, which caters for larger table bookings and has a small bar nestled in the far corner where one can have pre drinks before being seated. The upper level (ground) has a much more relaxed feel with casual 2-4 people tables flanked by a busy open kitchen.
The fit out is a quirky, vibrant and yet a sophisticated translation of a traditional Indian café. Beautiful red, green and blue blown glass shades drop randomly from the ceiling, swooping down low over the dining tables. The wc was strangely a real highlight of the fit out, with glass fronted ‘medicine’ cabinets displaying miscellaneous Indian remedies like ointments and tiger balm.
The restaurant featured an article on the design of the space and is definitely worth a read.