Arguably the most attractive of all the Dishoom locations with its quirky colonial décor complete with Bentwood chairs, leafy corners, mahogany bookcases and window seats overlooking St Andrew’s Square; Dishoom Edinburgh was the chain’s first outlet outside of London. The restaurant’s design and the artwork adorning the walls pay homage to Sir Patrick Geddes; a Scottish botanist and sociologist whose great work improving living conditions in the Scottish capital led him to found the department of Sociology & Civics at Bombay University in 1915. Now a firm favourite on the Edinburgh dining scene, the restaurant offers food and drinks inspired by the early Irani cafés that populated the streets of old Bombay.
Start with a tipple in the classy low-lit basement bar of this three-storey building. A Scottish special comes in the form of Horniman’s Old-Fashioned – a smoked oak-aged rum blended with pineapple syrup and bitters. Classics from the cocktail list include the Chai Paanch, East India Gimlet and Dishoom Espresso Martini but there are plenty of non-alcoholic options too with a list of Sharbats, Copy Tipples, lassis and coolers to pick from.
The food menu is every bit as exciting with a whole host of authentic Indian dishes from curries to salads and everything in between. Chef’s Edinburgh special is Salli Boti – a Parsi classic of tender lamb braised in a rich and flavoursome gravy and finished with crunchy salli crisp-chips. It comes served with a light and buttery roomali roti and can be ordered as a half or full plate depending on your appetite. Murgh Malai is a highlight for meat-eaters – chicken thighs marinated in garlic, ginger coriander and cream then flashed on the grill, and for vegetarians the house black daal is a much-loved signature.
As with the other sites, breakfast is a popular occasion at Dishoom and if you’re not looking to takeaway then booking is recommended. The bacon naan roll has earnt a worthy reputation but for something more intrepid try the Keema Per Eedu – chicken keema studded with delicate morsels of chicken liver, topped with two runny-yolked fried eggs and Sali crisp-chips, served with fluffy home-baked buns.