Dishoom sounds like a hit
Dishoom, the Indian restaurant chain from London opened their first restaurant outside of the capital on the central location of St. Andrew Square in Edinburgh’s New Town. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has a cocktail bar in the basement. Since opening in Edinburgh last year they’ve been nothing short of a success and their breakfasts, especially the bacon naan, have already gained legendary status so that’s both when and why we visited…twice!
Irani Cafes started in the 18th and 19th Century by Persian immigrants to Bombay (Mumbai) as somewhere they could meet, eat and drink. This was a place for breakfast, meetings, romance or relaxing with friends. It was open to all, as long as they followed the rules. You will still find these rules in Dishoom if you look around.
At their peak in Bombay (Mumbai), there were around four hundred of these cafes, you will still find Britannia and Leopolds there. From this history Adarsh Radia, one of the chain’s four co-founders, built Dishoom. Starting in 2010, Dishoom brought Indian food out of the curry and lager image of old and encouraged diners to eat authentic Indian food.
Inside Dishoom Edinburgh
Dishoom incidentally takes its name from the Bollywood sound effect relating to a Batman-esque ‘pow’, ‘bam’, ‘crash’ or ‘bang’! But inside it’s tidy, relaxed and informal with no sign of any theatrical violence! There is a big team of staff which is just as well, because…
…although it’s quiet at first it sure fills up fast!
Chai is obviously the main drink here, and they have two varieties, regular chai (£2.70) or a chocolate version (£3.20). If you order a regular chai staff will come around and offer to refill it for you for free which is great. Of course, you might not want chai, well, they have coffee too and a pretty good one at that, Monsooned Malabar coffee, which can be served up as an espresso, cappuccino, Americano etc.
This is the Flat White (£2.90). The description for Monsooned Malabar coffee is as follows: Arabica beans from a single estate in Sunticoppa, Karnataka. Rich aromatic coffee with very low acidity and spicy notes, which is roasted by Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.
The other reason to order a chai is for dipping a bun maska (£2.90) into! This is a brioche-style bun toasted hot on one side with a slice of butter inside.
Bacon naan roll (£5.50)
Here we have the famous bacon naan with Ramsay’s of Carluke smoked streaky bacon which is smoked overnight. It’s bloody good, with the naan tasting like the ideal carrier for this award-winning bacon (Great Taste Awards, 3 stars).
The Keema Per Eedu (£9.50) is described as a Parsi power breakfast. Spicy chicken keema is mixed with chicken liver topped with two runny fried eggs and Salli crisp-chips, which are like little chip sticks, served with two warmed buns.
Still hungry? Then here’s what we had on our other visit…
From the left we have Kejriwal – two fried eggs on chill cheese toast, then chicken livers, bacon and Akuri – three eggs scrambled and spiced served with two fluffy buns and served with a grilled tomato.
Kejriwal (£5.90) two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast (veggie-friendly). Don’t be scared by the term Chilli Cheese Toast, the spice here was mellow, just enough to wake up your tastebuds but not blow them away. Mr Foodie added some bacon to the toast and was smitten.
Akuri (£7.20), an Irani cafe staple. Spicy scrambled eggs with grilled tomato and homemade buns. It wasn’t too spicy, just a hint of a tingle. Garam masala and coriander flavours mixed with creamy egg. A good amount of scrambled eggs and perfect inside the fluffy hot rolls.
Dishoom is a brilliant place to start the day, the food is filling, full of flavour, and quite different to the majority of other offerings in the New Town. If you’re wary of spicy foods then you can relax knowing that the food at this time of the day is moderately spiced so nothing should blow your tastebuds off. Location-wise it could not be better placed for trains, trams and buses so if you’re passing through this is an ideal re-fueling spot. We shall we back to try the food at lunch and dinner soon!
Breakfast is served until 11:45 am every day. Free WiFi. Staff were great. Toilets are immaculate though they’re at basement level but you can get a lift down but you’re probably quicker walking.
+ Perfectly spiced for breakfast
+ Delicious chai, with free refills
+ Impressive toilets
+ Great staff
+ Handy location
– The restaurant is on the 1st floor but the toilets are in the bar in the basement. There is a lift but it can be slow.
Dishoom Edinburgh, 3a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2BD
Telephone: 0131 202 6406
Monday to Wednesday: 8 am to 11 pm
Thursday to Friday: 8 am to midnight
Saturday: 9 am to midnight
Sunday: 9 am to 11 pm
Bank holidays: Open as usual (except at Christmas time).
The Permit Room (cocktail bar): 5 pm to 3 am
Disclaimer: Fred sez his hoomins got free scran but the review is an honest one because the food really is damn good!
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