Where to eat gluten free: Dishoom

Dishoom, Indian Restaurant – 12 Upper St. Martin’s Lane London WC2H 9FB

  • Cuisine: Indian dishes inspired by the traditional ‘all-day’ cafes of Bombay.
  • Price: ££ – individual dish prices between £8 to £11. Two to three dishes per person recommended!
  • Gluten-free: GF menu with 15+ dishes plus five dessert options!
  • Locations: Edinburgh & London – Shoreditch, Covent Garden, Carnaby Street, King’s Cross.

After a trip to the theatre on Friday night, it was time to make a second visit to what has become my favourite restaurant for amazing Indian food. Dishoom! It’s not a place for your standard chicken tikka masala, but dishes that are a bit different and SO tasty. With its swish decor harking back to the style of the old post-colonial ‘Irani Cafes’ of Bombay, eating here feels like a special treat without being fussy or pretentious.

*Apologies for the dark photos, especially this one – it was about midnight and I’ve yet to get a decent camera! Nice glowing sign here though…
Of course the best thing is Indian food loving GF friends have no worries when it comes to finding something safe to eat! Dishoom has a gluten-free version of the menu with GF options helpfully highlighted. There is a good range of  dishes to choose from, including curries, grills, veggie sides and importantly puddings (nothing more frustrating than ending a meal out with just ice-cream or sorbet as a dessert option!)

We (hubby to be & me) rocked up to the Covent Garden Dishoom at about 11pm and got a table pretty quickly (it was still busy even at that time of night!). It’s recommended that two or three dishes are enough per person so we ordered the array of eats below from the GF menu to share between us. A Daal, rice, a chicken curry, chef’s special prawn dish, bowl of greens and a Raita (not pictured).

Now I’m not a spice loving person, in fact I’m a mega spice wimp but this ‘Prawn Moilee’ I could just about handle with its creamy coconut milk texture to temper the chilli & mustard seeds. The Raita I had on the side also helped! Like a broth, this dish inspired by the ‘Malabar Coast’ was absolutely gorgeous, the king prawns so juicy and perfectly cooked.

This ‘Chicken Ruby’ was rich without being too full of cream and the chicken really tender – I ordered it on my first visit and loved it so much I had to go for it a second time! The spice level was gentle enough for me, despite not being described as a ‘mild’ dish.

I’d never had Daal before so wasn’t sure what to expect with the ‘house black daal’, simmered for over 24 hours. I was so glad we ordered it though – so tasty! With such a deep flavour I couldn’t get enough despite its spice level at the limit for me. I would absolutely order it again.

These three dishes were the stars of the show with the rice, Raita & greens (broccoli, snow peas & spinach) great accompaniments. I was pretty stuffed by the time we’d devoured the lot, but couldn’t leave without being a complete pig and having a pudding. I went for a chocolate chai tea & a ‘Malai Kulfi’ on a stick – a thick indian style ice cream that was just what I needed after the heat of the food. Yum!

The big question for me when eating out is, did I miss gluten? Overall at Dishoom my answer is a happy no! The waiters didn’t bat an eyelid at the gluten-free requests, I felt like I had more than enough options to pick from and the food was awesome. It’s certainly going on my list of best restaurants for a ‘late night’ dinner (kitchen doesn’t close till 12am). Super handy if you have been to see a show, as quality GF food is hard to find at that hour I think, even in London. For an earlier dinner I’d say do arrive early because not surprisingly Dishoom is popular and with a ‘no booking’ policy there is usually a queue. They will however serve you chai tea while you wait or else grab a spot at the bar downstairs – cocktails galore!

My two suggestions for improvement? A gluten-free bread of some description would be nice for soaking up those curry sauces, although the rice & a spoon did the job, and one of the ‘mild’ dishes made GF.

I’ll definitely be visiting again, next time hopefully to see what the breakfast and lunch experiences are like for the GF diner!

Thanks for reading! Why not try: Where to travel gluten-free: Tromso, Norway

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