A new hyderbadi biryani house in London, authentic food from India just the way it should be, Dhruv who owns it is a really good friend of mine, we met at Cordon Bleu. His background in hospitality speaks wonders, having trained and worked for some of the best chefs.
The name of the restaurant comes from the cooking of the dish – kept on “Dum” which means it is steamed on a low heat for a few hours until the rice and meat is cooked together to perfection.
It may look small from the outside, press the bell, and the door will open, descend down the steps, its spacious, open, and comfy. The decor is one of a kind, true authentic Indian ways, pictures of his uncle, grandfather, how indian parents portray their children, in the hopes of what they “should” become when they grow up.
It is a small menu, which in my own opinion is better, pick the best dishes, put them on a menu. Better as theres no confusion on what to get, and you’re filling up on the main course.
As it was the soft launch I attended, I pretty much tried the entire food menu as well as the drinks menu, and by the time I left, not only was my stomach the size of an elephant but so were my alcohol levels!
I LOVE LOVED the Andhra Prawn Fry – Stir fried king prawns in red chilli and coconut. Fresh prawns cooked to perfection, the balance of coconut to chilli is perfect, if you like spicy food, then this is the one, shreds of coconut mixed in with the garlic. There is plenty of it for your 5 prawns!
Dahi Kebab – fried yoghurt dumplin served with and andhra tomato and curry leaf chutney. The best vegetarian dish!
The chicken wings are nice, juicy, succulent, fell off the bone so easily. Tossed in a spicy sour masala. Was my least favourite as there was far too much salt. But will try again.
The mains are huge!! For £12 you are getting your monies worth!! When you read the menu, you almost get a sense of what will be on your plate, but then not really! I wasn’t sure what the accompaniments were with the biryani, when the plate was brought out, i was so shocked! It was a “thali” but done very differently. I ordered the lamb shank – mirch unda salan (spicy curry with padron chilli and half boiled egg) and baigan raita (smoked subergine dip). My other half got the Seasona Veg Biryani, which by the way he loved so much.
Each biryani is seved with a raita, kuchumber (salad of cucumber, onion and tomato), and a spicy curry accompaniment. The roti is made from pastry, and then on the side pappad.
As you unravel the pastry, fragrance of saffron, spices come alluring out. I’ve eaten biryani at a lot of places and nothing has come far fetched as Dum, probably the best in London. The biryanis are recommended as a sharing dish! if you are feeling brave, then eat alone!
The lamb was so tender, flavoursome, melts in your mouth.
The rabdi, I hated! Not a fan of indian desserts.
Lets move onto cocktails, considering I drank everything, my favourite was the Desi Barbaadi – ophir gin, fever tree med tonic, raspberries and shatkora zest. It was strong, it was gentle and went down quite well. The old monk rum is definitely the one to try, I highly recommend drinking it neat with ice, its mellow, packed full of flavour, and just melts in your mouth. Their spirits are made in house, the rum is infused with saffron.
Also the champagne is highly recommended. Most standard champers are dry, leaves this weird texture in your mouth. However the Thiernot Brut at Dum is by far the best! Many bubbles, not dry, one glass is simply not enough. It beats the most expensive champers by far!
The indian favourite soft drinks such as thums up and limca are also served, and chaas (lassi)
Overall Dum London is a pleasant place, service is on point, the owner, restaurant manager, staff, are all very nice.
Prices are exceptionally good for Soho and London area, cocktails are priced at £8 which is cheaper than most places. Beer on tap I think is roughly £4 a pint. Starters are priced at £4.50 onwards.
The restaurant is offically open: 187 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 8ZB to reserve a table simple email: Hello@dumlondon.com