Dishoom Covent Garden

Indian·
££££
·
Bronze Award
·

SquareMeal Review of Dishoom Covent Garden

Bronze Award

The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. It’s been 10 years since we started queuing outside Dishoom branches, bolstered by snacks and warm drinks. Despite the hype-driven impermanence of London’s restaurant scene, we’re still queuing for a taste of black daal, lamb raan and gunpowder potatoes.

On this evidence, that is testament to Dishoom’s quality - you have to have something about you to stick around for this long in London, let alone to have people waiting outside in the cold for a table. Dishoom Covent Garden had a little refurb in 2020 - the new interior retains the Irani cafe vibe, but there’s also homage paid to Bombay’s ‘talkie’ cinemas of the 40s. The diffused, softened, faded feel reminded us of the Blue Parrot Cafe in Casablanca - wrong continent, but certainly the right silver screen decade. 

The menu hasn’t changed much but that’s no bad thing - if we’re coming to Dishoom, we’re coming for the classics. The House Chaat is sadly unavailable, but we dive into keema buns, packed with minced lamb and a crisp, satisfying pile of okra fries. Classics like the chicken ruby, black daal and gunpowder potatoes are unchanged and all the better for it - you could order a chicken curry, dal and a triple carb bomb of steamed rice, naan and potatoes and leave very happy indeed. That said, it’s worth leaving room for a kulfi - we had the excellent pistachio this time around, but they’re all delightful. 

Cocktails are also worth a mention. Half the fun of Dishoom is hanging out in the bar before your table is ready and enjoying a cocktail and a few snacks - for the most part they’re riffs on classics, but they’re very well done. After a welcome refurb, Dishoom still delivers the goods.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Indian
Eat at Home
Home delivery
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Brunch, Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Dates, Group dining [8+]

About Dishoom Covent Garden

The flagship Dishoom in Covent Garden is still a firm favourite for many loyal fans of the restaurant group despite its expansion across London and beyond by virtue of its unwavering popularity. Bringing an authentic taste of Indian street food to central London, Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés that were once an integral part of Bombay’s social culture.

The décor is reminiscent of post-colonial West India, complete with white glass pendulum lights, whirring ceiling fans, marble table tops and Art Deco tiling. On the walls, sepia stained family portraits and vintage advertising posters add to the sense of nostalgia which is reflected in the menu. Open from 8am in the morning until late at night, the restaurant prides itself on offering traditional comfort food that’s perfect for sharing at any time hunger strikes. It’s the relaxed fodder of many an Indian home and diners are encouraged to use their hands for the full authentic experience.

From the grill a selection of meat, vegetable and seafood kababs and tikkas combine aromatic marinades with the smoky charring of an open-fire. Elsewhere diners are spoilt for a choice with a selection of curries, biryani and small plates designed for sharing. The House Black Daal is a signature staple – cooked slowly for over 24 hours, it promises a dark and rich harmony of flavours. Unique to the Covent Garden site is chef’s Mutton Pepper Fry, a South Indian speciality which sees tender pieces of mutton marinated in spices and served with Malabar-style soft paratha.  

The drinks list offers just as many delights with a wide array of alcoholic and virgin cocktails served at the table or in the stylish Permit Room downstairs. Look out for the Debonair, a Covent Garden special that blends orange, marmalade vodka, ginger, star anise bitters and orange cream soda. Naturally there is a good selection of IPA’s and beers to choose from as well as a reasonably priced list of red, white and sparkling wines.

Breakfast at Dishoom has become a bit of a ritual for those in the know, and many are prepared to queue from as early as 8am for a signature bacon naan roll. This humble breakfast has won many an accolade thanks to its streaky rashers, smoked overnight in traditional fashion. At weekends, a breakfast feast offers plentiful portions of everything for guests to help themselves.

Location for Dishoom Covent Garden

12 Upper St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9FB

020 7420 9320

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 08:00-23:00
Tue 08:00-23:00
Wed 08:00-23:00
Thu 08:00-23:00
Fri 08:00-00:00
Sat 09:00-00:00
Sun 09:00-23:00

Reviews of Dishoom Covent Garden

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9 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Amrita K

26 February 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 5
Amazing food but really loud

Love Dishoom food as always but it isn't my favourite branch due to the noise.

Serena K

06 August 2019  
Dishoom is impressive - the huge scale of the operation, the consistent service and food which is never anything less than delicious, the extremely reasonable pricing - there's a reason why every branch has a queue! They deserve it! - can think of very few restaurants at this price point that tick all the boxes of seamless food, great ambience and extremely competent service.

Anon

02 July 2019  
The food is amazing, coming from an Indian person this is a massive compliment! The decor and ambience is different to most other Indian restaurants and it is very reasonably priced. Drinks menu has a wide variety of selections and exciting cocktails.

Jane W

29 June 2019  
Great flavours and ingredients, always fun.

Tarryn G

27 June 2018  
This place makes you feel like you are sitting in India. It has the most amazing dã©cor and always feels like a busy market. The food is to die for, literally, and the staff and ambience is always amazing. Just one of my go to restaurants in London.

Victoria H

21 March 2018  
Excellent food + some unusual dishes, good ambience and amazing decor / architecture (old chapel !), good service, great place for 'special occasions' as not cheap, but was good value when we were there for a Special b'day, very memorable.

Jacquelyn W

04 February 2018  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 3.5
Get transported to India!
This gem is truly authentic - from the decor to the food they absolutely nailed every detail. We had the sausage naan roll, bacon naan roll, darjeeling tea and breakfast lassi, and we felt like we were transported to India!

Alison L

04 May 2017  
Superb restaurant. Buzzing atmosphere at all times of the day. Great staff and service is always quick, friendly and easy-going. Delicious menus and makes a change from some of the more 'stuffy' establishments. I would love to be able to book a table in advance, but understand that it's such a popular place that they are always full, so probably best to just go and wait.it's always worth the wait.

Lucy B

18 December 2016  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Breakfast of Champions!
Oh how I absolutely adore Dishoom and the fantastic pau breakfasts. Thank you for never going out of fashion and keeping London's bellies happy.
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