So I visited the Carnaby St Dishoom with my friend Umber during their soft launch because we had never actually been before. It’s always too busy every time I go but thankfully this time was only a 5 minute wait at the bar, plus with the added incentive of 50% off, we couldn’t not go!
We started off with some drinks, I got the Bhang Lassi while Umber ordered Nimbu Pani – mine was sooo nice even though I’m pretty certain they actually gave me the Rose and Cardamom lassi because there was a lot of rose syrup in it and cardamom on top, despite the waitress insisting it wasn’t because the rose one is a different colour? Erm… not sure about that lol. Umber’s was nice too but she said it wasn’t authentic and tbh it was a bit too lemon-y for me!
For our mains, we had a lot of difficulty choosing because everything sounded really good and I was in that kind of mood where I wanted to eat EVERYTHING lol. We ended up going with a half plate of the Sali Boti, Paneer Tikka and Okra fries with some extra roti and some raita as well.
We received the okra fries first which was a really good start to the meal tbh! They were soooo crispy and nicely spiced, like they were a little bit actually spicy as well so they were deffo a fave. A lot of people tend to dislike okra because it gets a bit like soft and mushy I think but you don’t really get that with these, so I recommend them anyway. Also okra is one of my top 5 vegetables!
Then we have the Paneer Tikka, which is grilled paneer that the menu describes as being ‘marinated then gently charred’. Tbh I’ve never had SUCH thick chunks of paneer before and it was too much because despite breaking them into smaller chunks, it was still a bit too flavourless lol. We were stuck between ordering this and the Dishoom Chicken Tikka and honestly, I wish we went with the chicken really, despite how much I love all forms of cheese.
Finally we have the Sali Boti which is apparently the Chef’s Carnaby Special. The menu description for this lamb dish states ‘This is a first-rate Parsi classic, a notable example of which is served in the inimitable Britannia & Co. Tender lamb is braised in a rich and flavoursome gravy then finished with crunchy sali crisp-chips.‘ This description sounds sooo good and it’s the main reason why I wanted to order this, who doesn’t want TENDER lamb BRAISED in a rich and flavoursome gravy!?
Unfortunately, this didn’t actually live up to the hype lol. The gravy was actually amazing and it was definitely rich and flavoursome, but the lamb was definitely not tender – in fact, it was pretty damn disappointingly dry. At least the gravy and the crisp-chips were good but I was really looking forward to the tender lamb lol.
After our mains, we ended up getting dessert and more drinks. We figured, what the hell, it was 50% off so we might as well try it out! So we ordered the Pineapple and Black Pepper Crumble as well as the Malai Kulfi on a stick and I also got a virgin Chaijito to try as well.
The chaijito was such a weird experience, I couldn’t taste any chai syrup at all and it was basically just a mojito with coriander instead of mint. As much as I love coriander and I can just eat a handful on its own… I did not love this lmao. Idk, maybe the alcoholic version is maybe better? But I wish I ordered the other lassi instead hah.
I’m not really a fan of crumbles or actually pies or just any baked fruit desserts but I like the crumble top and the black pepper aspect sounded interesting, which is why we chose to order it. Uuuunfortunately, it was just an average pineapple crumble without any particular distuingishing flavours, let alone any black pepper lol. But the custard that it was served with was good!! And the Kulfi on a stick, which is like a creamier, denser ice cream, definitely made up for the disappointing crumble. This was sooo delicious and creamy and I could’ve eaten like 5 by myself haha. I actually spent all day thinking about it.
When it came to the bill, it was around £30 including service charge and the discount but otherwise it would’ve been £50. Honestly, I was fine paying £15 each for the food we had but I wouldn’t have been that impressed if I had to pay £25 just because a lot of the dishes weren’t as good as they were described lol. Also I think I have an aversion to places like this that are like, ~foreign restaurants~ but the dishes are way smaller and way pricier and most of the customers are white people instead of people from the actual country the food is from lmao.
It was still a nice time and I think I’d probably go back for the drinks because the cocktails sound really good, but I’m not so sure about the food. Like, I’d say try it out if you want but it’s nothing AMAZING tbh.