It feels like forever since I did a proper restaurant review – especially for a Birmingham restaurant. This feels very 2017 and I’ve been quite excited to venture out into my home city and enjoy it in this weird 2020 world! Dishoom Birmingham is finally here and honestly, I’ve been excited for it to join the ranks of wonderful restaurants in Birmingham. On Wednesday, Adam and I ventured out for our first date night since February and as Dishoom Birmingham was offering 50% off food for their soft launch and Adam has never been to Dishoom, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to venture out for some sense of normality!
If you’re not familiar with Dishoom, it’s a set of restaurants (mostly in London but they have one in Edinburgh, Manchester and now Birmingham) that pay homage to the Iranian Cafes in Bombay. Cafes that brought people of all cultures to enjoy good food together.
Dishoom Birmingham – A Taste of Bombay in the City
As I said, Dishoom Birmingham is currently offering 50% your food bill as part of their soft launch. They’re encouraging feedback from guests and ask that you help them iron out their kinks in service. Their official launch is 6th August and they’ll be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served until 11.45am every day and they have plenty of outdoor seating for the warm summer months.
You can find Dishoom Birmingham located in the new Paradise complex (RIP Paradise Forum) in between the beautiful Birmingham Library and the Council House in Victoria Square. When we arrived, we were greeted outside but a lovely host in a headset who let inside staff know we were here. If you’re familiar with Dishoom, you’ll know that some of them offer walk in only and queuing outside is the done thing. Dishoom Birmingham is offering reservations at the moment and it will be interesting to see if this changes in the post covid world.
Once inside we were shown to our table, a huge elevated booth with great views of the restaurant. The decor is wonderful. dark woods, green, yellow and blue upholstery and bright windows with nods to Bombay cafes all over. As we move into this new COVID world, social distancing is important and Dishoom Birmingham is doing the utmost to make guests feel safe. Extra screens, staff in face masks and dishes being dropped to the end of your table instead of the waiter having to lean over to you are just some of the precautions they gave taken.
We ordered drinks – Adam went for the Dishoom India Pale Ale (£5.30) and I opted for a Colaba Colada (£8.70), Dishoom’s take on the pina colada – pineapple and coconut cream with coriander, chai syrup, lime juice and two rums. It was icy and creamy and the perfect foray into our Dishoom adventure!
Not wanting to overload ourselves, we only opted for one small plate to start – the Chilli Chicken (£6.90) which had been recommended 100 times over from various of our Dishoom fan friends! Sticky bites of chicken which packed a bit of a punch – probably something to do with the fresh chillis, ginger and garlic topping. The older I’ve got, the more I can tolerate my spice but I was glad of my icy Colaba Colada drink which was the perfect mouth cooler!
Onto the mains, and we took full advantage of the 50% offer and ordered a mini feast. I went for the Chicken Ruby (£12.50), a good old fashioned curry – tender chicken in a rich silky ‘makhani’ sauce. It’s not spicy and is very suitable for people who like their ‘traditional’ chicken tikka masala dishes. It was incredibly creamy – something I suspect is to do with the amount of butter and cream in the dish but it was delicious and the garlic naan (£3.50) mopped up the sauce perfectly. Worth noting that one naan is enough for one if you like a hearty helping of the bread!
Adam opted for the Paneer Pineapple Tikka (£9.20), a vibrant yellow vegetarian dish of marinated cheese served with pineapple. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it myself. The cheese was light and chewy and the dish wasn’t too heavy. It wouldn’t have been enough for a main on its own, but combined with our side dishes, it was the perfect accompaniment.
Now onto what I would consider ‘sides’… We ordered a Steamed Basmati Rice (£3.50) to go with my Chicken Ruby but also the Gunpowder Potatoes (£6.90) which actually sit under the ‘Grill’ section of the menu. New potatoes with their skin still on, grilled and broken apart and tossed with butter, green herbs and aromatic seeds. They were nice. Could have done with a bit of salt in my opinion but enjoyable and a great side dish to our mains.
Finally, I couldn’t take Adam to Dishoom Birmingham and not introduce him to the famous House Black Daal (£6.90). This Dishoom signature dish – dark and rich, and deeply flavoured by marinating for over 24 hours makes the perfect addition to your meal. You’ll want to order more naan bread to mop this beauty up – which is exactly what we did!
We finished our meal feeling full and satisfied. The plan was to order enough to bring home leftovers for lunch the next day but it was so good we polished everything off that evening. Dishoom Birmingham will bag up your leftovers so all you have to do is ask.
Overall we really enjoyed the experience and I’ve also been back for the breakfast – the bacon and egg naan which I highly recommend – the perfect stop for a hangover breakfast or brunch with friends.
Dishoom Birmingham does accept walk-ins but it’s highly recommended that you book so you’re not waiting too long – I have a feeling that as the world begins to return to normality, this little hot spot is going to be very popular! I also picked up the Dishoom cookbook so I’m looking forward to delving into that this summer.
Address: Dishoom Birmingham, 1 Chamberlain Square, Paradise Birmingham, Birmingham, B3 3AX