I have said it before, my relationship with Dishoom didn’t start well when I first visited their Covent Garden restaurant two years ago and I was let down by the service (one waiter in particular). But I gave my feedback to the manager at the time and went back a few months later to have a near perfect experience (as reviewed here). My friend Pooja was very persuasive and convinced me to give Dishoom a second chance and I have been back several times afterwards, so she was right!

I have always been to Dishoom for dinner, but I was curious to try their breakfast menu, so when they opened a new restaurant in Shoreditch, I made plans to go for brunch.

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The new Dishoom has a great location, just off über-cool Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. Similar to the Covent Garden branch, the restaurant is split into two levels: ground floor and basement. One thing I noticed, as soon as I walked in, was the amount of light that filled the place. The restaurant is so big, it spreads from Boundary Street on one side to Shoreditch High Street on the other, meaning there’s always plenty of light coming in, morning and afternoon.

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I love the beautiful interiors of Dishoom Shoredicth, which was designed by Russel Sage Studio and inspired by the tradition of Bombay’s Persian cafés from the 50-60’s.

Dishoom mirrors the slightly strange combination of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles sitting against aging furniture and dishevelled décor. The restaurant juxtaposes opulent detailing and antique furniture against worn out fittings. […] Visitors familiar with the original Irani cafés may recognise the specific references, such as the large column breaking up the central space, and the numerous sepia portraits of the owners’ ancestors dotted around the walls that pay homage to the old Bombay cafés. [Hidden Art Design]

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Much like Bombay cafes, Dishoom is open all day, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Of course, this is not an authentic Bombay cafe. It is a modern London restaurant trying to recreate that atmosphere and decor, but I believe they have made a pretty great job!

In spite of the fast-paced life of the city, time moves in slow motion in Irani cafes. The few remaining in the city still retain the old world charm with casually dressed waiters, wooden chairs, and marble top tables. People from all walks of life come to enjoy simple, yet tasty food of Iranian cafes. [Mumbai Mania]

During our holidays in Mumbai last November, we went to the popular Irani joint B. Merwan, open since 1914 outside Grant Road station, in South Mumbai. We had bun maska: fresh brioche bun filled with a generous dollop of butter and sprinkled with sugar. The bread was soft and delicious, the perfect snack to replenish my energies after a morning spent haggling in the Manish Market.

The bun maska at Dishoom sadly wasn’t as good as the real thing: the bread was toasted and crusty, rather than freshly baked and soft. It was filled with a slice of butter – no sugar sprinkled here as far as I could taste – and the butter didn’t melt with the heat of the chai. It was just like any bread and butter, while the bun maska at B. Merwan had been for me such a perfect combination of flavours and texture. It was so delicious, I will always remember it as one of the best things I have ever tasted in my life.

With that memory in mind, no other bun maska could have ever compared! :(

On the other hand, I very much enjoyed the chai at Dishoom and their selection of sweet Nankhatai biscuits, sprinkled with sunflower seeds, and salted Jeera biscuits, with cumin seeds.

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After a few glasses of chai and the biscuits, we were ready to order breakfast. I chose the Bacon Naan Roll: a freshly baked naan wrapped around grilled bacon, chilli tomato jam, cream cheese and herbs.

Serena and Sylvia ordered the Egg Naan Roll, where the naan comes wrapped around two fried eggs with runny yolk, chilli jam, cream cheese and spicy green herbs.

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Sandy chose a vegetarian dish from the all-day menu: Chole Frankie, a naan parcel filled with spiced chickpeas, pickled vegetables and chutney.

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Albert was more adventurous and went for the Full Bombay: Akuri (spicy scrambled eggs), grilled bacon, Cumberland sausage, toast and grilled tomatoes. A perfect way to mix traditional Bombay Irani food with the classic British breakfast.

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I didn’t order dessert, but my friends had the Pineapple & Black Pepper Crumble: fresh fruit infused with black pepper and vanilla, topped with oat, seed and nut crumble, served with cinnamon ice cream. It was very tasty, not overly sweet and pungent in flavour!

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I loved the brunch and it was the most enjoyable meal I have ever had at Dishoom. The whole experience was relaxed, calming, which is exactly the feeling I get when I visit the “real thing” in Mumbai. I am happy to see that Dishoom is only getting better and it really takes in the customers’ feedback to always improve and offer a great dining experience.

  • As ever, a wonderful post, with some great photographs! It all sounds very tempting! Thanks, Brian.

  • Adam

    Thanks for a really informative review. Must try this place.

  • Simone

    Thanks Mulia for the interesting report! After reading yuor blog, I’ve decided to visit Dishoom last Friday and we haven’t been disappointed in the slightest – perhaps also ’cause I mentioned to the waitress that I was friends with one of the most famous food bloggers in London :)

  • That’s great to hear (that you liked Dishoom, not that you bragged about me with the waitress, of course)! ;)

  • Interesting! I didn’t quite enjoy Dishoom in Covent Garden as well but heard that the Shoreditch one is much better.

  • Yes, the Shoreditch one is much bigger and brighter! It’s a great brunch spot!

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