Dishoom, Edinburgh

Before living in Edinburgh became a thing I'd heard from friends about Dishoom in London. Frankly it sounded amazing but going there just didn't quite happen. Fast forward to moving up to Edinburgh at the end of last year and shortly afterwards discovering that a Dishoom was opening in our new home and myself and my husband got very excited! Since it opened we've been several times both for dinner and breakfast and it honestly is as good as you'll have doubtless heard everyone say it is, if you haven't yet been.

The restaurants pay homage to the old, one time common place Irani cafes of Bombay, founded by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran. The décor of the Edinburgh restaurant is full of old photos of individuals and groups and signs advertising various businesses in old Bombay. I'm not sure how closely it resembles the other restaurants in London (as I haven't been) this one though draws on the experiences of a Scottish botanist, sociologist and town planner, Sir Patrick Geddes for its inspiration. By the way he has a statue dedicated to him just off the Royal Mile which is one of the objects in the Edinburgh 101 list for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in Scotland (if you want to go looking for it). His work to improve the living conditions in the Old Town of Edinburgh took him to Bombay in 1915 and the design and art in the restaurant are a homage to him and his time there. Maybe then this is the reason why it really is like stepping into another world when you walk through the door. They also have a number of incense burners dotted around giving off a wonderfully entrancing smell and along with super friendly and knowledgeable staff you can't help but want to eat there.

We'd been lucky on previous visits as we deliberately timed it to avoid having to wait for a table, (we'd seen the queues in London) i.e. having an early breakfast or dinner or eating there mid-week etc. On my last visit with a friend though we went on a Friday evening so we naturally went with the expectation of having to wait awhile for a table to become free. On previous visits I'd seen their bar, The Permit Room, but never been in it. We discovered this time that whilst we waited for a table to come free we could go in there and enjoy a pre-dinner drink. That certainly made the half hour or so wait fly by! The bar is named in reference to the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949. The Act stated that in order to buy, possess, consume or serve alcohol in the Bombay state a permit was mandatory, hence the name. 

If you do have to wait for a table you get given a buzzer and can then head off to the bar, once you are buzzed you simply make your way back to the staff member at the front desk to head to your table and the drinks you've had are added to your overall bill, or you can settle up first on the drinks if you wish. Our wait time wasn't long (anyway time always goes much quicker when you're enjoying yourself) only managing to fit in one pre-dinner cocktail, I had an Edwina's Affair, a delicious mix of gin, rose and cardamom. 


Even the drinks menu has the old style adverts for businesses in Bombay that I mentioned above

Edwina's Affair

On to the food; as I said we've eaten both from the breakfast and the dinner menu at different times. The breakfast menu is amazing, well all the food is, but as an alternative weekend brunch option I can't recommend it enough. On my visit I chose the Akuri, spicy scrambled eggs served with home-made buns and grilled tomato. It was fantastic but I actually struggled to finish it, so make sure you are super hungry before choosing this one. 


There are a whole range of breakfast choices from big plates to breakfast naans with sausage, egg and bacon options. These actually sound delicious and I think will be my choice next time we do breakfast there. If you want something a little lighter they also offer fruit, yogurt and granola options as well as a whole host of side dishes to accompany your order. This dish set me up for the day though and I'm pretty sure I didn't need to eat again that day until dinner time.

As far as dinner choices go we've had quite a number of different dishes off the menu. As you might expect the staff are good at making recommendations, are incredibly knowledgeable and good at letting you know when they think you've probably ordered enough, something we aren't very good at judging. After all if you do want more you can always order something else or choose a dessert (more on those soon) to finish off your meal. On our first visit the Keema Pau was recommended to us and I'm pretty sure we've had these every time we've been since. The dish consists of spiced minced lamb and peas with toasted, buttered home-made buns. This is real comfort food and if I'm honest I could probably just order several plates of these but obviously you need to explore the rest of the menu too! There are never enough buns, (in my opinion) though on one visit the staff member looking after us did bring us some more, but actually scooping up the rest of the lamb with your rice or naan is simply heavenly. On the same first visit the Far Far were also recommended to us, a cross between a crisp and a cracker. These are super addictive, a nice start to your meal and you'll definitely want more! Again I'm pretty sure we've ordered these every time since as well. 

Drooling looking at the Keema Pau with scrummy Far Far too

I confess I don't recall every dish we've had but I can say we've never been disappointed. From those I do recall the Chili Cheese Toast, pretty much cheese on toast but so much more interesting, was delightful. So much of Dishoom's food is just lip smacking good and honestly the kind of thing you could eat every day, or at least I could! From my last visit we had a Paneer Tikka dish, I developed a love of Indian vegetarian dishes whilst living in Singapore, as well as a Dishoom signature dish, the Black House Daal.




As I mentioned above choosing a dessert to round off your meal is a great way to fill you up if you still have space for it. I'd recommend you leave some space as the desserts are just as good as everything else on the menu. I love crumble and the Bun Maska Pudding with pineapple infused with black pepper and Keralan vanilla is a fabulous twist on the classic. 


Honestly there is a lot of hype about Dishoom but as I've said numerous times here it really does live up to it and more. I can't find enough positive adjectives to share about the place but I can't wait for an excuse to go there again. Have you been? What are your favourites?

Comments

  1. Looks great! I've only been for brekkie (the bacon egg naan 😍) but the dinner pics look delicious too!

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    1. You definitely need to go for dinner on one your next trips back to the UK.

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