judging dishoom [London]
thanks justin for putting up the menu
alas, it is the no 10 formula - the genuwine cafe dishes are hidden among regular north indianish items - lets make sure the punters don't find the menu too different, you can hear the worried proprietor(s) saying.
basically, it's everything under the 'small dishes' heading you want to try - sans bombay sausages and dishoom calamari. the signature dish should be the kheema pau; if the pau bhaji turns out to be good, that will solve a major problem for me.
under the grills, you'd want to check out the boti kebab (aargh, its lamb once again, when will these guys learn to offer goat?)
and the berry pulav is a nod to a classic mumbai cafe, britannia
so should also be worth checking out.
I had the pau bhaji and can't wait to share some with you or find out what you thought of it. I have no way to compare it to anything, so am clueless to its worth. I enjoyed it a lot, but I don't remember having any butter on my bread. Maybe it had quietly seeped in. It was a nice-sized bowl for a snack or small meal.
The owner goes out of his way to be chatty and makes his rounds. I was still a bit peckish and ordered plain naan as my husband had his coffee (in a glass). The owner was talking to us at the time and brought me three chutneys to eat with the naan.. a kind soul.
i went this weekend and really liked it - so much i went two days in a row! i really like the decor/atmosphere. try and sit in one of the booths if you can. i think it'd be a good choice for groups (there are larger booths downstairs).
first visit my favourites were the black lentil dal (nice and earthy), the paneer and mushroom grill (beautifully flavoured textured pieces of paneer) and the lamb samosas (esp. good with the date chutney). chilli cheese on toast was nice but i really didn't like the cheesy naan. in fact i was disappointed with the naan's both visits as they were far too crispy. calamari was okay both times but not really anything special.
second visit, the kheema pau and pau bhaji (no butter for us either zuriga but i thought maybe it was bread made with butter as it reminded me of brioche?!?) were top of my list. prawn and lamb chop grills were just okay for me but others really enjoyed them.
nice chutneys to accompany everything (although we had to ask for them on the second visit).
re: abby d
I'm glad you enjoyed your visits there! I haven't been in awhile but with a relative now in London, I'll probably get there more often. I totally agree with you about the naan... got it once and thought it wasn't very good but figured maybe it was just a one-off. I'm going to tell them about it next time.
It's just such a nice, convenient location and always feels comfortable at whatever time of day.