This corner of Covent Garden along St Martins Lane has recently seen a lot of building activity and the emergence of several new eateries including Jamie’s Italian, Cantina Laredo and Dishoom.
On a recent windy evening in London, I took a friend who was visiting London to Dishoom, the new Bombay Cafe in Covent Garden. It’s only been open for 2 weeks and have had a bit of buzz on the Twittersphere.
The decor is contemporary and the only hint that it was an Indian restaurant are the various Bollywood pictures and “aged” pictures of family and friends on the walls. All hard surfaces, so if the place is full, you won’t be able to have a conversation with anyone across the table. They have about 70 covers upstairs and a whole lot more downstairs when they get the planning sorted out.
NB. This review might slightly be biased as my friend ended the meal by throwing up.
We started with some Samosas which were unceremoniously dumped on the table as the waitress whizzed by enroute to another table. (Maybe this is what they mean when they say “Food will be dishoomed to your table as it is prepared”. It took a few more minutes to ask for some chutneys to go with that. The samosa were crispy and generous filling, tasty but the chutneys were essential.
Then came the mains, we had spicy lamb chops, chicken tikka, the house black daal accompanied by roomali roti and some garlic naan.
The lamb chops were tender but overspiced. The chicken tikka was recommended by the nice lady at the door and is made with the meat from the chicken wing. We just did not like the dal, the consistency was a bit too gluey and there was no distinction in the taste. Jay Rayner agreed with me on this.
By this stage, my friend had to make a quick dash to the loo and we didn’t stay too long to sample desserts. Overall, the food was fine but nothing exceptional, the service was rushed, the staff were not overly helpful with suggestions and way too loud.
I did tweet that my friend had just thrown up at the end of the meal and an hour later got a tweet back to offer help. We had left by then and they did get back to me to say that they had eaten the same dishes the same night with no side effects and followed up with the offer for breakfast. We don’t really know what was the cause, whether it was the food there but we have not taken up the offer for the breakfast yet. I may be back later after they have had a few weeks to sort themselves out.
The meal cost about £30 for 2 without drinks.