dishoom, parsi cafes in bombay
Nice article. I love the Parsi cafes of Mumbai to bits - but none of them seemed eager to upgrade or modernize, preferring, instead to remain rather comfortably frozen in time and rather dilapidated. Mumbai's young social set nowadays prefer hip, trendy eateries where Golgappas are spiked with vodka and salmon tandooris hold sway, eschewing these Parsi joints which harked back to an older, gentler era. Maybe Dishoom should open a branch in Mumbai!
I don't claim to be remotely familiar with Irani cafes, but went for lunch at Dishoom in Shoreditch today and it was tantalising. I sense I would be very wrong to label it Indian, but it was definitely refreshingly different to similar such culinary offerings from India, that I have had.
We were four and ordered quite a lot, but the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the mahi tikka. And I hate fish! It was perfectly cooked, well seasoned, and just the most delectable showcase of mild and understated flavours. Could eat this all day, every day.
The pau bhaji was another winner - great heat, good textures (with the chunky vegetables), and lovely soft, well baked buns.
The mattar paneer was also a hit - fantastic spice flavours, and really moreish consistency in the curry.
I wasn't a huge fan of the paneer and mango salad, but then, I don't generally like salad. It went down well with my companions, who enjoyed its light, fresh flavours. Though we all did note the mangos were a little under par - which I think is to be expected since we are in London, but I think if you're going to make something a headliner in the dish, it should be at least good.
The lamb raan bun was another one we didn't love. We found the flavours too bold as compared to the rest of our meal, and the meat slightly dry. We thought this was perhaps more of a case of the rest of lunch being so outstanding, rather than the raan bun lacking in and of itself. Was a popular item today though - saw lots of this going out to other tables.
A more thorough write up is available at www.alwayspacking.com.
I'd be intrigued to discover if there are any places in London where I can sample true Irani cafe offerings?