On Monday it was my Birthday (Happy Birthday me!). Basically, I think Monday is the worst day to have your birthday on, especially a cold cold dark Monday in February. But I had booked the day off and my husband had got us tickets to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. One of my favourite buildings in London, it’s bloody stunning. I went to the exhibition last year and I’m so glad to have returned. The photography is beautiful, and many important environmental issues are highlighted through the work. Also, there is a young awards category, with a 10 Years and Under section which is brilliant – I can’t even take good photographs of a flapjack! It’s a fab way to spend an afternoon in London. I highly recommend it.
I have definitely been spoilt this year, another gift from the other half is dinner at the much acclaimed Typing Room in Bethnal Green Town Hall. I have wanted to go for a long time and I am really looking forward to this as we’re going for the 7 course taster menu. Unfortunately though they are not open on Sundays/Mondays so had to postpone celebrations to tonight. But that’s not so bad, I get a second birthday! Will fill you in on how good it is next week.
I couldn’t not do anything on my actual birthday though, could I? So I headed to Dishoom in Shoreditch for dinner with a couple of friends. I have heard so many great things about Dishoom, and after seeing the new site open in Kings Cross I put it to the top of my list. Dishoom is an all-day Indian street menu in a Bombay-style cafe with cool vintage décor, marble tables and a veranda.
I wanted somewhere informal that still had a bit of a buzz on a Monday night, and I walked into such a vibrant place! It was packed at 6:30pm, on a Monday. The laid back cafe style was perfect and after a cocktail in the bar we were seated in a lovely booth.
We asked the rather dashing waiter for recommendations – I always do this in a new place. He went straight for the Chicken Ruby, Okra Fries and Lamb Boti Kabab. So all of these were instantly ordered. A friend had heard the Daal was good so we ordred that too. Then we went for the Dishoom Calamari, Murgh Marli and a Naan, Roti and rice to mop it all up with.
The Okra Fries were so good. Like courgette fries but whatever was in the batter, it was divine. They were quickly consumed (definitely ordering two portions next time!). The Calamari were nice and came with a sticky drizzle, but I always order calamari so would go for something different next time.
Then the sea of food arrived! Where. To. Start. On the saucy side we had my two favourite dishes of the night: Chicken Ruby and the Black House Daal. Oh maaa ghaaad. The Ruby had a lovely tanginess that just kept you wanting more, literally could drink the sauce. The Daal was so smoky and rich, it just had such a depth of flavour. Every time I took a mouthful of one I was like ‘this one is totally my favourite’ then I’d go back to the other and say the same. Delicious both of them! You must order these.
The Lamb Boti Kebab was full of flavour and the table loved it. But the Murgh Marli (Chicken thigh meat steeped overnight in garlic, ginger, coriander stems and a little cream) was the non-saucy winner for me. So moist – no dry chicken in sight.
When I was little and my parents office was central, most evenings they worked late so that meant eating out about 5 nights a week and probably two of those was the curry house nearby. One of my earliest memories is having a scoop of pistachio kulfi with cream and being mesmerised by the fact it had gone hard on the kulfi! I haven’t had it for years and I was so happy to see it on the menu. My brother and I went straight for that and it was as good as we remembered.
The food here is fantastic – everything cooked to perfection. The staff are friendly and very helpful. The place itself just makes you want to sit back and relax. I had a great evening and clearly fell in love with the place. Slap on the wrist for not trying it sooner. I can’t wait to go back for breakfast and try their epic bacon naan roll I’ve heard so much about.