Believe the hype. With delicious food, stylish décor, and a relaxed atmosphere, here’s my guide to the amazing Dishoom Edinburgh…
So why visit Dishoom in Edinburgh? The better question is why not?
With some of the most delicious curry I’ve tasted in ages, bottomless cups of chai, stylish contemporary décor and the relaxed yet charming service, there was nothing I could fault. Add in the incense burning in various spots around the restaurant, and it all took me right back to my trip to India last year.
If you can get a reservation for here then you won’t be disappointed. I loved it!
What is the story behind Dishoom?
Dishoom is a nod to the old Irani cafés of Bombay that were at their peak back in the 1960s. There’s a lovely article on their website that beautifully tells the story of these cafes – much better than I ever could – and really gets to the beating heart of what Dishoom is all about.
In short, these cafes were run by immigrants from Iran and were characterised by their faded elegance, sepia-toned family portraits on the wall, and the fact that they brought people from all walks of life together in a way that hadn’t really happened before.
Reading this helped me dive beneath the surface and understand the restaurant a little bit more; particularly some of the charming décor choices which I’ll talk more on later.
What about Dishoom Edinburgh?
Well, Dishoom has a strong botanical theme running through it – due to the fact that it’s inspired by the famous Scot, socialist, botanist and ecologist, Sir Patrick Geddes.
Born in Aberdeenshire in 1854, he studied biology under Darwin’s champion, Thomas Henry Huxley and he later became a professor of botany at the University of Dundee. He later became known for urban planning and was responsible for opening the first student halls of residence in the capital in 1887. He lived in India between 1917 and 1924, where he made planning suggestions for a number of Indian cities – including Bombay.
When did Dishoom Edinburgh open?
Dishoom first opened its doors in Edinburgh back in 2016.
How is Dishoom Edinburgh rated?
Well, 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor isn’t bad, does it? If you haven’t been to Dishoom Edinburgh before then head over to TripAdvisor to quell any doubts about the standard of the food and overall experience here. From comments that say everything from “the breakfast hype is totally worth it” to ‘the best food in Edinburgh” they give a good flavour of the vibe in Dishoom. To be honest, reading them again just makes me want to go back!
What is Dishoom like inside?
OK, let’s do a little scene setting before I get to the main event…
There are three levels to Dishoom. The ground floor level is where you’ll find the entrance, and it features an open kitchen along with a couple of window seats, which I imagine is their space for walk-ins. In the basement level you’ll find a wall-to-wall bar alongside cosy booths, which seems like the perfect spot to sip on cocktails until well into the wee hours. It’s a little darker down here and it feels atmospheric and romantic – mood lighting to a tee.
Arguably the best spot in the first floor of the restaurant, which is where we were. Boasting large windows with views of St Andrews Square, the whole floor is bathed in natural light.
The décor at Dishoom
The décor is opulent and rich, yet contemporary. My favourite part was the soft pistachio coloured leather seats running all the way down one side. I loved the botanical theme that is woven through the interior of Dishoom.
The richness of the wood panelling, dark walls, and mahogany woodwork are offset by the pops of leafy plants dotted around the space, which add freshness and a contemporary touch. There’s also rattan, hexagonal floor tiles, artfully distressed mirrors and huge booths where you can imagine cosying up with your friends for an indulgent dinner.
I also loved the clusters of black and white photographs framed in gold and displayed in little pockets of space along the walls. They’re all of people and somehow feel incredibly personal, like they’re from a family album that’s been dug out of the archives, and are a nod to the old Irani cafes the restaurant is inspired by.
It feels bohemian and fashionable – yet packed full of history and character too. In fact, I would go so far as to say I prefer this to the décor of Dishoom in London. Shhh!
Dishoom Edinburgh book: how to book a table
It’s super easy to book Dishoom and their fully automated system means that you don’t even have to talk to a person. I booked our table when we were still in lockdown which meant that we had a table on the first weekend that things opened up again – result!
There used to be a rule that you could only book table of six and over and that any smaller table sizes would have to be walk-ins only. Not great if you want to make plans. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case the moment in light of the Covid restrictions.
Want to book a table at Dishoom in Edinburgh? Just head on over to http://www.dishoom.com/reservations
Dishoom Edinburgh dress code
So… is there a dress code at Dishoom Edinburgh? Well, having snapped a picture of the Rules of Dishoom displayed on the wall inside I didn’t see any mention of a dress code.
Seriously though, there are a few queries on this subject on the web. I couldn’t find anything ‘official’ from Dishoom in terms of a dress code. That said, I did manage to unearth a tweet from their central account from way back in 2012 which said that PJs are welcome!
I wore jeans and a jumper and no one batted an eyelid. However, my advice would be to go for smart casual if you want to alleviate any concerns about rocking up in your scruffs!
What should I order at Dishoom?
The biggie: what should you order from Dishoom? Well, the menu is pretty extensive and if you’re anything like me you’ll be ever so slightly overwhelmed by it. That’s why I did my usual trick and simply asked the waiter if he had any advice on what to choose.
I love doing this because you always get the inside scoop on what’s good and what’s really good. Our waiter was more than happy to oblige and pointed in the direction of a number of dishes, which he helpfully marked on our menu. I think he did ever-so-slightly overestimate how much we could eat and but in the end we opted for the following dishes…
- Keema pau
- Okra fries
- House black daal
- Chicken ruby
- Roomali roti
What would I order again?
The Keema Pau… wow! It consists of minced lamb and peas and comes with a toasted bun. It was absolute perfection – rich, buttery, and delicious! I would definitely get this again. The okra fries were nice but I’d probably try something else next time.
The daal was a funny one. I never really love daals that much but this was a signature dish and so I was compelled to try it. Again, it was nice enough but I didn’t fall in love it.
The chicken ruby on the other hand was so good! It was the perfect pop of warmth and I found myself dipping everything I’d ordered into it. I honestly would have licked the plate!
I also enjoyed the roti as a slightly lighter option to naan bread – we were there for lunch so I didn’t want to completely stuff ourselves too much. With that said, you don’t get too big a portion so you may need or order two, which I realise completely defeats the purpose!
We skipped desserts and instead went for a masala chai each – which comes with free refills. So naturally we had two. They actually have a really nice selection of chai – including a chocolate chai and a Baileys chai which I would definitely love to try next time!
Dishoom Edinburgh menu(s)
Want to browse the all-day menu yourself? You can have a peep here
There’s also a vegan menu at Dishoom as well as a gluten allergy menu and a dairy intolerance menu. And one for children. And one for big groups. All the menus!
Dishoom Edinburgh breakfast
We also have to talk about the breakfast menu at Dishoom in more detail…
My sister (who lives in Edinburgh) has got me well up to speed on the decadence of the breakfast at Dishoom. The bacon naan rolls sound like the scene stealers for me, with smoked streaky bacon wrapped up in naan breads – what could be better?
There’s also a variety of other delicious-sounding goodies on the menu. Kejriwal, which is chilli cheese toast is one and Akuri, which is spicy scrambled eggs with homemade buns, is another. Aside from the food is also the bottomless cups of chai masala… mmm!
Dishoom breakfast menu
Have a browse at what you can order for breakfast at Dishoom here
What time does Dishoom breakfast finish?
You can order breakfast at Dishoom during the following hours…
Monday-Friday, 8am to 11.45am
Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 11.45am
Dishoom Edinburgh drinks
I’ve already talked about the variety of chai on the menu. That and the cooling lassis – one of my favourite things from my trip to India last year – definitely caught my eye.
But you might be after the harder stuff. And if you are then there’s plenty to choose from.
The cocktail list is extensive, with slings, coolers, fizz, sours and even punch on the menu. From East India Gimlet, which was apparently devised by sailors so that they could evade scurvy to a Bollybellini made with a heavenly combination of raspberries, lychees, rose, cardamom and sparkling white wine, you will be positively spoiled for choice at Dishoom.
Aside from that there’s the usual suspects of beers, wine, and the heavy stuff.
Oh, and you’ll also a whole selection of virgin cocktails – or teatotal tipples as they call them – which all sound incredibly tempting. Teetotal monsoon martini? Yes please!
Have a peep at the drinks menu at Dishoom right here
Dishoom Edinburgh vouchers
Can you buy gift vouchers for Dishoom Edinburgh? Yes you can! There’s a gift voucher page on their website and you simply choose an amount, add in an optional message, and you’re good to go. I know what I’ll be hinting for when it comes to my next birthday!
Does Dishoom do takeaway?
Unfortunately not. Dishoom was doing a collection service during lockdown but according to Google they’ve now gone back to in-house dining. To be honest, eating in is part of the experience so I wouldn’t want to miss it!
Dishoom Edinburgh Covid-19 safety measures
One final thing to mention is how Dishoom is keeping people safe right now.
You may have some questions about safety measures at the restaurant and be wondering how Dishoom Edinburgh implementing safety measures as a result of Covid-19? Well, I’m here to tell you. Here’s some of the things Dishoom is doing to keep everyone safe…
- Staff required to wear facemasks
- Socially distanced dining tables
- Staff required to regularly wash hands
- Tables disinfected between guests
When I was at Dishoom there was a member of staff waiting outside who checked your booking and then directed you inside the restaurant – you couldn’t just wander in.
Getting to Dishoom
Where is Dishoom?
Dishoom is located on the St Andrews Square in Edinburgh, which is a fantastic central location in the New Town of the city. It’s literally a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverly Station, which was ideal for me as I was coming from Dundee.
Dishoom is also located just along from another fancy restaurant, The Ivy Edinburgh, on the south side of the square. You can read my review of The Ivy right here!
Dishoom Edinburgh parking
OK, so you want to go to Dishoom… but where do you park? I’m not an obvious asset in this conversation as I’ve never driven to Edinburgh in my life. I’d usually go by public transport.
Here are a few options for parking that I’ve researched however…
- Q-Park at the Omni Centre
- Carlton Road Parking
- Waverly Gate Car Park
If you’re like me and you’re more inclined to use public transport then, good news, Dishoom Edinburgh is a mere five-minute walk from Waverly station. If you arrive by bus then the restaurant is also perfectly placed and is only a five-minute walk from the bus station.
Dishoom Edinburgh: key information
Address: 3A St Andrews Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD, Scotland
Telephone: 0131 2026 406
Opening times: Monday-Friday 8am-10.30pm, Saturday & Sunday, 9am-10.30pm
If you’re looking for other things to do when you’re in Edinburgh then why not check out my guide to Bruntsfield and Morningside? Want to try another fancy restaurant? The inviting Ivy on the Square might be for you!
If you want to read more about Edinburgh you may enjoy these posts…
- Your complete Edinburgh Fringe guide
- Halloween in Edinburgh: 20 spooky things to do in Edinburgh
- My review of the cat café in Edinburgh
- Exploring Bruntsfield: brunch spots and boutiques