i'm fat, bitch!

 

I need to get two things out of the way before I get into this:

 

Firstly, I think that Dishoom is a very good name for a restaurant - it makes my heart happy when I hear people say “dishoom” irl.

 

Secondly, I know everyone and their mum has been to Dishoom. However, this was my first time!! I’ve attempted to have a cute pre-gig dinner there before, like a year ago, because everyone was hyping it up and I had a major case of food FOMO. I remember very casually arriving at the King’s Cross branch and saw the longest queue I had ever seen outside a restaurant. My friend and I looked at each other, turned around and walked away in silence. That was not the day. However, 15th May 2018 (my birthday - Taurus gang where ya at?) was THE day.

 

Two of my friends and I arrived at 6:00pm hoping to closely dodge that long-ass queue and we did! No queue. However, we were told we had to wait a lil to sit inside but if we were happy to sit outside we can be seated immediately. We chose to sit outside and soak up the last of the sunshine.

 

I don’t think I will ever not feel weird asking for the vegan menu. I don’t look like a ‘typical’ vegan because I’m fat, bitch! I do find myself asking for a vegan menu or asking about vegan options in a hushed tone when I go out to eat?? (this isn’t really a comment on my experience at Dishoom in particular but clearly the result of deeper rooted issues lol).

@

shalja soni

                             28.05.18

1

Initially, after looking at the dinner menu, there was nothing that really stood out to me. I was hungry and craving something rich - the vegan menu wasn’t really giving me too many options for that. I had a look at the regular menus that my friends were umming and ahhing over and it looked so extensive! I saw a lot of things on there that could have easily been ‘veganised’ with a few substitutions. Alas, I stuck to the vegan menu and ordered the Chana Chaat Salad (£8.50) and the Veggie Samosas (£4.20) for my friends and I to share. We also ordered Thums Up and Limca (£3.20 each)...if you know me, you’ll know that I FUCKING LOVE LIMCA. I was more excited for this Limca than the food, to be completely honest (as expressed here by my good friend).

 

A few things on the menu did catch me off guard though:

East India Gimlet, The Kohinoor Fizz and the Viceroy’s Old Fashioned, described as “like an old Raj club-room, with tertiary colours and artistic composition”. I don’t know what I expected but I wasn’t expecting quirky references to colonialism. Is that naive of me? Anyway, FIRST RED FLAG 🚩.

 

The samosas were good: crispy and light. The veggie filling was well seasoned and the in-house chutneys (chilli, tamarind and mint) complimented it well. I was particularly fond of the tangy-sweetness of the tamarind sauce. However, £4.20 for three samosas is a fucking BUMP.

 

My main course arrived looking super healthy and green. It looked liked what I expected a “chaat salad” to look like. Though looking at these pics, why does it look like someone had already taken a bite out of that piece of bread lol.

This was a very hearty combination of chickpeas, quinoa, avocado, pomegranate and sesame/pumpkin seeds. I felt like I was getting some decent, filling protein but I couldn’t help but feel that it was super “lunchy” - do you know what I mean? The actual flavours and textures were bomb - an undeniable contrast of sweet/savory and soft/crunchy but a part of me just expected...more. I could so easily replicate this at home and for a lot cheaper (ngl I probably will).

I ventured inside shortly after finishing my meal to go find the loo. I was slightly taken aback by the interior because I didn’t quite know what to expect (I hadn’t looked at any pics or anything beforehand). This sounds so cheesy but for a second I actually did feel like I was in India, the attention to detail was alarming. I went to the toilets and as I was waiting for my turn, I could overhear a conversation between two people who were discussing how “the food is so authentic” and that it was exactly what they experienced when they went to India during their gap yah (before you ask..yes they were). GAG GAG GAG. I wish I was making this up. SECOND RED FLAG 🚩.

 

I went back outside and asked my friends if we can get the bill and skaddale. Just as I sat back down, the waitress (who was really lovely btw) bought out a Kala Khatta Gola Ice (£3.50) with a lil candle on it, very cute. I love a gola so was pumped for this - it was also the only vegan dessert option on the menu. My friends sang me happy birthday and we sampled the gola. It was really bad - way too sharp to be even remotely enjoyable. Luckily, it was struck off the bill as a bday discount.

I quite literally left with a sour taste in my mouth. My friends and I walked past the queue that had built up down the road. I was imagining if I had been in that queue and waited that long for the food and experience that I had just had...I think I would have been disappointed tbh. 

I quite literally left with a sour taste in my mouth. My friends and I walked past the queue that had built up down the road. I was imagining if I had been in that queue and waited that long for the food and experience that I had just had...I think I would have been disappointed tbh.

 

I was aware that actual brown people owned this growing franchise but I needed to know more. I couldn’t quite get over the casual references on the menu that painted colonial India as some sort of zany experience. I came across an interview conducted by The MBS Group with Dishoom’s co-founder Shamil Thakrar. He says:

 

To a great extent India and Britain have a fantastic relationship, but it’s quite an old relationship, and old relationships can become quite complacent.

 

Ummmmmm, so….THIRD AND FINAL RED FLAG 🚩.

 

It’s safe to say that I probably will not be going back to Dishoom but a part of me does want to take my parents there so we can bitch about it later.