Dishoom is a chain of upmarket Indian restaurants, and you might not recognise the menu style if you are used to seeing lists of types of curry with chicken £5.95, lamb £5.95, vegetables £4.95 written underneath. They are going for more of a tapas feel with options for small plates (though not so small prices!).
The Kings Cross branch has a colonial station vibe to it, and some quirky features such as the ticket booth converted into a juice bar. It can get a bit warm and bright in the comfortable sofas by the windows in the early evening, but otherwise it’s a good place to eat.
We shared a few dishes. The chilli cheese toast was not as spicy as I would have liked, but it was a little oniony. This was the least good of the main dishes, and it was still worth having.
Vegetable samosas were spicier than most and were really good.
Vada Pau was a bread roll with crispy bhaji style bits and a big potato vada, crispy chilli onions, coriander mint and chilli paste and tamarind paste. It was delicious, and I wanted another right away!
Mattar paneer, as expected, was peas and cheese in a tomato soup style sauce. Rich and a little spiced, we enjoyed it.
I’m reliably informed the masala prawns were crispy and had a good turmeric batter.
Also high quality, I’m told, was the chicken tikka which was spicier than normally available in the UK.
As far as accompaniments go, the cheese naan was ok, being quite thin and heavily onioned…
We tried a selection from the list of (mostly) British style desserts which were spiced up slightly: the best was the pineapple crumble, even though there wasn’t really a black pepper taste. Their chocolate pudding wasn’t really the sort of dessert I like, but the accompanying ice cream had a slight chilli kick.
Kala Khatta Gola Ice was the weirdest, though closest to the type of dessert I enjoyed in Malaysia. Shaved ice, some pink syrup and a few blueberries, plus a little chilli and way too much salt and pepper. I really tried, but I couldn’t finish it – it was horrible.
The staff are rushed off their feet, or so it seemed, and have the same own clothes/apron combination as Caravan. It was tricky to attract attention, and we had to wait a very long time for our drinks – my chaijito was just about worth that wait. They were friendly though, and I had a good chat with the floor manager about how to pick desserts!
Overall, Dishoom is one of the best places I have eaten recently, and definitely one of the best in the Kings Cross redeveloped area. It’s a bit pricy, but – shaved ice aside – the food was high quality, and it is different enough to be interesting.
Address: 5 Stable Street London N1C 4AB