It'll soon be a fortnight since I was in London for the Celts exhibtion. For lunch I decided to try somewhere new; it was a toss up between 'Bao' and 'Dishoom - Carnaby', both in Soho. Dishoom won. I was not disappointed.
The concept is simple: the four Dishoom restaurants are a loving hommage, in a sort of post-Modern way, to the Parsee run cafes of Bombay - hence the image of the Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda over the desk as you walk in. Judging by the the decor, the originals, which are, alas, disappearing in Bombay, had their heyday in the Midcentury - the 50s, 60s and 70s. The food culture of the originals represented a unique food culture blending Indian and Iranian influences. The menu then, is a mixture of dishes familiar to British diners such as biryani and the unfamiliar, with a contemporary British twist. The menu has both substantial dishes - like curries - and 'small plates' as well as things like 'frankies' and 'roomali rolls'. Breakfast is also served daily. It was from the small plates that I made my selection.
To begin with I had 'Keema Pau' - a comforting dish of minced lambs and peas, spicy and deeply savoury, served with two toasted buns (they reminded me of brioche). It was fabulous, so much so I've been thinking of it ever since. I pushed the boat out with another small dish - 'Prawns Koliwada'. Hot and spicy plump prawns - slightly crisp exterior. I needed to cool down after that and had a pistachio kulfi - think 'semi-fredo', rather than icy and rock-hard. I drank water and the delicious house chai. The service was friendly and very quick. In all a delight. I'm planning a return visit.