I have been to Dum before when it first opened, went for the soft launch. I went back last week after a long time with family who had wanted to go for ages.
This gave us a chance to try everything, as great as it was the first time, I couldn’t remember the taste. Located on Wardour Street, a tiny little door which takes you down the stairs to the basement. In you are, a room full of colour and great illustrations. As we were a large group, we were first seated in a den away from everywhere else, seemed cold there. I spoke to the manager and asked if we could be moved to the main restaurant. He was understanding, put a few tables together for us and we felt normal again, surrounded by other people.
As we waited for some of the family to arrive, the menus were presented to us, we ordered our drinks and were checking out the food. The illustrations on the wall are quite funny, Indian humour, of what Indian parents want their sons and daughters to be! For drinks, I opted for Desi Barbaadi – Opihr gin, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, Raspberries, bay leaf. It was quite refreshing, not too strong. As the majority of the family arrived, we ordered the food. We got the: Dahi Kebab – fried yoghurt patties, Andhra tomato chutney. Gobi Manchurian – crispy cauliflower topped with a soy and green chilli sauce. Masala Paneer Pav – spiced paneer, toasted bun. Kala Channa Fry – black chickpea curry, paratha. Andra Prawn Fry – king prawns cooked with red chilli and coconut. Nizami Chicken Lollipops – chicken lollipops tossed in a hot and sour schezwuan peppercorn sauce. Pattar ke kebabs – stone-flower seared lamb shoulder, fenugreek pachadi. For mains, we, of course, had to get the biryanis: Lamb Shank Biryani, Chicken Biryani and Vegetable Biryani. Oh and Kadhai Paneer – stir-fried paneer in a hot and sweet chilli sauce.
Let’s start with the starters; I very much enjoyed the chicken lollipops; the masala was divine, not too spicy, just the right kick to keep you going back for more. The Gobi Manchurian was interesting, large pieces of cauliflower, not my absolute fave but was nice. The Andhra prawn fry was lovely, the coconut sauce brought it to life, not a heavy dish either. Masala paneer pav reminded me of Paneer Bhurji, crumbled up paneer in a masala sauce. It was ok, it lacked flavour, but the toasted bun was large enough and nice. I enjoyed the paratha from the kala channa fry, small and cute; I ate it with the chicken masala. The dahi kebab was unusual but very lovely and moreish. The lamb was tough; it was as though it had been overcooked, lovely flavours coming through from the fenugreek.
Mains was the highlight though, let’s face it, if we didn’t get the starters, we would have each gotten a biryani. The lamb shank was juicy, tender and fell straight off the bone. My favourite! The beetroot raita was delish, my favourite again, so morish and with the rice, match made in heaven. I loved that it came with papad and the mango pickle which is very Indian like! The chicken biryani was excellent too, the puff pastry top, breaking into it, the steam comes out slowly with the aromas of the spices — very tender and moist chicken. I have had the vegetable one before, and that too is lovely — 10/10 for the biryanis.
If you don’t like to drink, order the mocktails and soft drinks. They serve Indian favourites such as Thumbs Up which is like spicy coca cola. Or try the Limca, better than any sprite by far! The chai is also delicious, definitely, one to warm your coggles.
Last but not least, desserts! Pistachio Kulfi with Mango Coulis – Pistachio ice cream, mango coulis, rose petals. Gulab Jamun, honey shrikand – sugar soaked milk doughnut with cardamom and honey yoghurt. OH, MY WORDDD, the gulab jamun was my favourite, I am such a sucker for Indian desserts, the honey yoghurt was beautiful! Gulab Jamun is my ultimate fave, and this hit the right spot! The pistachio kulfi was nice with the mango coulis; it was different, didn’t taste like an ordinary kulfi. I think it was the mango coulis that made it unusual. I really enjoyed it though.
We were also taken care of nicely; the manager kept checking up on us, service was excellent. And the overall atmosphere was enticing.
I highly recommend DUM, fantastic food, great cocktails and take a large group, that way you can eat the entire menu! Also great for date nights. On that note, they also do brunch, so do go check it out!