Dishoom Manchester, 32 Bridge St, Manchester , M3 3BT – Visit Now
Review by Kate Tighe
It is safe to say that Dishoom was one of the most highly-anticipated migrations to Manchester of this past year. After success in London and gargantuan queues every night of the week, it was clear that our city was hungry for a taste of the old Irani cafés of Bombay.
Once the excitement had died down, we pop over to Dishoom Manchester – housed deep in the bowels of the Masonic Hall on Bridge Street.
The lamb has the beautiful charred taste that only comes from the lick of a raw flame
Recommended by our gracious host, we order the infamous chilli chicken with a cheese naan on the side. Sounding like the best cure to a hangover I had ever heard of, it’s a no-brainer to trust his advice and dive hands first into a gooey flap of cheesy bread with a generous chunk of confidently-spiced chicken thigh tucked comfortably in the middle.
Keema pau is another recommendation that goes down well. Consisting of a small bowl of minced lamb curry paired with a buttery bread roll, this is a dish that is indicative of the Irani cafes that Dishoom takes its inspiration from – and we like it. Simple as that.
To follow, a selection of marinated treats from the impressive list of grills. The masala king prawns are good, but the lamb boti kebab is even better with its melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and aromatic flavouring from the rich paste it had no doubt been wallowing in for a good while. The lamb has the beautiful charred taste that only comes from the lick of a raw flame, making a sublime combination with the rich medley of spices and the natural sweetness of the meat.
One thing that separates Dishoom from every other run-of-the-mill Indian eatery is that on perusing the menu you’ll find a considerable lack of curries. Rather than a near-infinite list of jargon resulting in a range of curries which are suspiciously similar when they arrive, the Dishoom menu hosts just two.
A refreshing finish came from the kala kutta gola ice
The chicken ruby is pleasant enough, with a rich tomato-creaminess – so not to offset our extremely British expectations of what curry should taste like. It’s not bad, not by any stretch, but it might be best to seek something a little more exciting, like another couple of sumptuous small plates or one of their famous biryanis.
A refreshing finish came from the kala kutta gola ice. It’s hard to explain how bizarre it is; sitting somewhere between salty, sour, sweet, spicy and cold (very, very cold). Think of it as the love child of a slushie and one of those miscellaneous polystyrene pots of accoutrements you get from an Indian takeaway. Wait, that makes it sound disgusting. It really isn’t, just don’t come to my door with burning pitchforks if it isn’t your cup of chai.