Irani-Indian restaurant Dishoom recently opened its doors in Manchester and we could not wait to try it out.
Immediately expectations were set high, following on from the success of their London and Edinburgh restaurants, the hype around this particular opening saw people lining up out the doors during the first week.
Let me just say, Dishoom meets and then obliterates these expectations.
Everything from the food, to the service (shout out to our amazing server Alberto) and the detailed decor of this heritage listed building, is exceptional.
Dishoom pays homage to Irani cafes that were vital to life in Bombay during the early 20th Century. Every detail from the pictures on the walls, to the particular fans they have chosen emulate the Irani cafe in Bombay - it’s like stepping through a time portal. The Manchester restaurant is located inside the grade II listed Manchester Hall, which was once a Freemason’s Hall.
But enough about that - on to the most important part...the food.
(Image: Lamb Keema Pau)
All parts of the menu was explained to us by our server who recommended his personal favourites and as Dishoom newbies, we took all his recommendations on board.
To start we had Lamb Keema Pau which is spiced minced lamb and peas with a toasted handmade bun. As a warning, the dish is hot so definitely not for those who have an aversion to spice. However, if you love a bit of heat, it’s the perfect way to start.
We also tried the Chilli Chicken, an Indo-Chinese inspired dish filled with crispy garlic-ginger-soy-chilli-chicken pieces.
The Prawn Koliwada is also a dish I would highly recommend. The recipe, which originated from the fishermen of Bombay’s Wada district, is the perfect balance of spice and flavour and perfect for dipping in chutney.
(Image: Chilli Chicken and Prawn Koliwada)
Then onto the mains. We choose to share the Chef’s Manchester special - the Nalli Naihari Biryani. A tender lamb shank is layered with rice and caramelised onions then sealed beneath a pastry blanket. It is enriched further with kaleji (chicken liver) raita and nihari gravy.
To say this dish is filling would be an understatement. We struggled to finish it between two of us. But it was way too delicious to resist and we pushed through - this is the time when having two stomachs would be amazing.
Now, you would think by this point we’d be too full to fit any more food in - and you’d be WRONG.
Of course, we could not resist the temptation of dessert.
We chose to share the Dishoom Chocolate Pudding which comes with a serving of Kashmiri chilli ice cream. The decadently rich melt-in-your-mouth pudding and the slightly spicy ice cream was the perfect combination and ended the meal so well.
Needless to say, after all this a peppermint tea and a lie down was in order.
Looking back at the menu there are so many dishes that I want to go back and try, and seeing as the prices are very reasonable (roughly £16 for a starter and main). We will definitely be back ASAP.