Dishoom is a legend in its own lunchtime and that’s exactly how it likes things. It’s not enough to serve up top-notch Indian dishes in grand surroundings; there’s a story behind the menu too. But when the food is this good it doesn’t need to hide behind tall tales.
And the food is this good.
The menu is bursting with small plates arriving at the table as and when, plus biriyani, curry and grilled gubbins as well as all sorts of sides and sundries. If you’re part of a big group (or obscenely greedy) it’s possible and even preferable to order something from each section.
Dishoom is all about sharing so despite the classy period setting with dark wood panelling and stained glass (the restaurant is in Manchester Hall, the plush former Freemason’s Hall) a meal at Dishoom is always a relaxed affair. Given that Dishoom is meant to recreate the fast-disappearing Irani cafés of Mumbai, a comfortable buzz of satisfied chatter is exactly what you need and it’s exactly what you get. Dishoom is special enough for a birthday do or a date yet everyday enough for a drizzly Monday lunchtime with just you and a good book.
Typical dishes include lamb samosas, pau bhaji and Dishoom’s house chaat from the small plates section, murgh malai and pineapple paneer tikka from the grill, chicken ruby and mutton pepper fry from the curries and, perhaps the standout, Dishoom’s Manchester special: nalli nihari biryani. It’s a special twice over. Special for the slow-cooked lamb shank that’s synonymous with celebration and special for the biryani, a traditional feast dish.
Make sure you leave room for pudding though because Dishoom’s desserts are a cut above. No matter how full you are, there’s always room for kulfi.
It’s not just lunch and dinner. Dishoom is famous for its bacon naan so get your head around masala for breakfast and make Dishoom an all-day go-to. All night too with late dining and some serious cocktails.
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