7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 9324
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9am - 11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
This Shoreditch offspring to its Covent Garden parent has expanded the 'Bombay Cafe' theme with a far larger site over two floors. To the uninitiated, Dishoom (a Bollywood term analogous to 'Ka-Pow') mimics the Irani cafes of Old Bombay in style, quirky decor, furniture, food and even a collection of house rules that includes 'No Spitting', 'No Mischief Making' and 'No Flirting with Cashier'. In contrast to the parent site, whose bar is hidden below stairs, a large bar on the ground-floor has become the focal point at the new site (there's a second bar below stairs). Neither are conducive to our favourite drinking position directly at the bar - in fact those strictly enforced house rules also include no sitting at the ground floor bar even when the bar is empty.
Despite that frustration and the lamentable lack of seating in this area (named the Permit Room after the zones where alcohol can be served for health reasons only even in modern-day Mumbai), Dishoom is otherwise a refreshing take on Indian cuisine. The cocktail list (presented eccentrically on an old piece of corrugated cardboard) twists classic cocktails with Indian flavours, from native spirits such as Amrut whisky to sub-continental spices, house-made herb and Thums Up cola reductions and the esoteric intensity of ingredients like paan. We generally found these original and intriguing flavour pairings sensitive, accomplished and well-balanced.