Breakfast at Dishoom
There are now no less than four branches of Dishoom in London (Kings Cross, Carnaby, Shoreditch, Covent Garden) but can you bag yourself a table at any of them for dinner without an hour+ wait? No; no, you can't. If you're feeling particularly keen to go then you'll need to get there for 5.30pm, or gather yourself a group of six and book a table like a sensible person.
I did neither of these, and went for breakfast instead. Again, weekends are pretty busy thanks to their consistent topping of 'best breakfast in London' type lists but I'm a work shirker, so happily trotted in at 9.30am one Tuesday like the massive hedonist I am.
It's a beautiful building in old Victorian arches just off Granary Square and really captures the essence of the 'Bombay Cafe' they're going for - all airy, lovely fans, colonial style fretwork and splashes of turquoise. You know what I mean, it's great. Also: the Kings Cross one is huge with three or four completely different floors/zones and two very nice bars indeed. We were seated in the top mezzanine area, which was bustling impressively considering it was a rainy Tuesday. Anyway, onto the food.
I'd gone for a masala chai (£2.50) because Mrs Parmar my next door neighbour makes them for me and I love it a lot. I later discovered that refills are free too. Delicious. A quick conversation with our waitress confirmed that I needed to order the Bacon Naan Roll (£5.50), which is their much-instagrammed signature breakfast, and I was not disappointed. No.
Each naan is hand baked fresh to order, flashed in the tandoor and then smeared with the tiniest bit of cream cheese and some coriander leaves. Then, Ginger Pig (natch) bacon which has been sugar cured is stuffed inside and served alongside some of the best tomato chilli jam I've ever tried. It's the stuff of dreams and I'm embarrassed it has taken me so many years to eat it.
(Also, how nice are their plates?)
The rest of Dishoom's breakfast wares are equally as tempting - the Keema Per Eedu of 'spicy chicken keema studded with delicate morsels of chicken liver, topped with two runny-yolked fried eggs and sali crisp-chips' particularly so, and the Fire Toast of charred bloomer with pink peppercorn pineapple and star anise marmalade deserves a mention too. Ultimately, it had to be the Kejriwal though: described as 'Two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast. A favourite of the well-to-do Willingdon Club, the first such Bombay institution to admit natives; the dish is reputedly named for the member who kept asking for it'.
This plate of joy arrived and we were very happy about it; rich melted cheese spiked with a palpable amount of green chilli and topped with runny eggs is never going to disappoint.
We were feeling piggy, so also ordered in a Ginger Pig sausage (£1.50) and grilled mushrooms (£1.50) too. Both good.
All in we paid just under £20 for this feast and loved every minute. I'm going back for dinner immediately, queue or no queue, as it is a matter of huge importance that I eat the Pau Bhaji.