Edinburgh’s brunch scene is thriving, however, the breakfast offering seems nothing more than functional. If I do eat out for breakfast it wouldn’t usually get more exciting than a bacon roll, with the addition of sausage if I’m feeling particularly adventurous. One thing’s for certain, if I’m eating out for breakfast it wouldn’t be a talking point in the office… until now.
Dishoom’s Permit Room is featured in Edinburgh’s best secret bars
Dishoom pays loving homage to the Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Their faded elegance welcomed all. They were perhaps the only places in the city where people from any caste or class could have an inexpensive snack or a hearty meal, or just seek cool refuge from the street with a glass of chai. Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost four hundred cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now, fewer than thirty remain. Their loss is much mourned by Bombayites. This is the story of Dishoom.
Dishoom Covent Garden was opened in July 2010, followed by the Southbank summer pop-up in 2011, Dishoom Chowpatty Beach. Dishoom Shoreditch followed in October 2012 and Dishoom King’s Cross in November 2014, and most recently Dishoom Carnaby in October 2015.
Dishoom is managed by a team of Babus* led by Shamil and Kavi Thakrar (Head Babus). Brian Trollip (Ops-walla) takes care of the operations. Naved Nasir (Burre Chef-walla) is the Executive Chef, Sara Stark (Chatter-walli) works on marketing and social media and Carl Brown is the Daru-walla (the guy with the alcohol).
This team cares enormously about creating beautiful and democratic shared spaces which pay homage to the old Irani cafés. They also care deeply about creating a company which is an awesome place to work. They’d like to think that a genuine love of people means that anyone and everyone is welcomed to Dishoom with real warmth.
*Babu can be a term of respect in India but is more frequently used to refer to bureaucrats behind desks who don’t do much.
I can’t remember ever getting up and leaving the flat early enough on a weekend to be able to order breakfast. I’d heard great things about Dishoom’s offering, so when we were invited down to sample their breakfast we jumped at the chance.
When I’ve heard people talk about the power of Dishoom’s breakfast they usually mention the bacon naan roll. I had to try this out to see what the fuss was about, surely something so simple can’t be worth all the praise. I ate my words shortly after devouring the bacon naan roll.
Ramsay of Carluke provide the smoked streaky bacon and Dishoom provide the freshly baked naan with chilli jam, cream cheese and fresh coriander. A match made in heaven. Such a simple idea and one well worth getting out of bed for. It turns out bacon sandwiches can be exciting.
Gemma was a little more adventurous with her breakfast decision, opting for Kejriwal (two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast).
Another simple dish which went down a treat, this satisfying breakfast had a mellow spice which was just as well given the time of day. We can’t think of a better way to start the day than eggs, cheese and chilli.
Both our breakfast options had a suggestion of spice, we wanted to crank things up a little to make sure we’d fully woken up…
Pickled onion, lemon, celery and tomato juice all in one handy serving. Vodka is basically potatoes, so that’s all five fruit and vegetables covered off before midday. Efficient.
Made with the ‘feisty Mary-mix of Dishoom’ – these potent breakfast cocktails ramped up the spice levels at our table. We’d officially woken up!
Edinburgh’s brunch offering is under attack from Dishoom’s delightful alternative. I’m glad I don’t work in the city centre, I’d be popping into Dishoom far too often for their reasonably priced breakfast (£4.50 for the bacon naan or £5.50 for the Kejriwal).
The restaurant is huge but you’d be advised to book in advance, it filled up pretty quickly and showed no signs of slowing down as we left.
All of the staff were so friendly and welcoming, we almost returned the same day for dinner!
Dishoom – 3 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD