A meal at Dum Biryani House, Soho
***this restaurant has since closed down***
I have never been to India, and I do not know that much about the country either, although I have eaten Indian food plenty of time of course, often also making home made curries following Anjum Anand‘s recipes (which I find perfect for home cooking). One of India’s regions (and a large one with a long heritage behind too) is Andhra Pradesh, which is on the south east coastal side of the Indian subcontinent. Reading a little about it, it seems a really beautiful place, full of religious temples (majority of the population is Hindu) and lush, green nature reserves.
The food from the region is slightly different from the more well known, touristy focused Indian curries we’re familiar with perhaps in this country, and was therefore a pleasure to try some of these dishes at recently opened Biryani house Dum London, in Soho.
The restaurant is in a lower ground floor venue which used to be a bar. It’s spacious, and dimly lit with some interesting modern art works on the walls and low lights. The menu itself is quite small, with few options but somehow that makes it more authentic in my view. No the hundreds of dishes, but a few freshly made curries and biryani to focus.
We shared a couple of starters: Dahi Kebab, fried yogurt patties with Andhra tomato chutney, which were lightly fried, and lightly spiced too, and very pleasant although 3 for a single portion would probably be too much for one person. We also shared a hot and sour masala chicken wings (Kodi Vepudu) which were really good, the spice mix flavour so strong yet beautifully blended.
We opted for the meaty Lamb Biryani (the other option being vegetarian). It came served with half boiled egg in curry and green chili, smoked aubergine raita and mirch salan spiced sauce. We both really enjoyed it, the lamb was well cooked and super tender, and the rice was a perfect complement and aromatic, as well as the sauces in accompaniment, and the raita which cooled down the palate from the delicate hot spices of the dish. @bmcboy really liked the fact that it comes served like a British pie, topped with flaky pastry. It reminded him of home, comfort food.
I was full by now but wanted to try the only dessert they have on the menu, just to see what it was about as last time I tried an Indian dessert I was incredibly surprised. I really enjoyed the Indian milk pudding: pretty, small and perfectly formed, I liked its consistency (like a mousse but not as fatty), and loved its subtle aromas of rosewater, cardamom and the pistachio crumbs on the top that gave it texture.
We had a chance to chat to owner Dhruv (Cordon Bleu alumno) to learn more about the regional food he wants to bring to London with Dum, the traditional dishes such as the Biryani and the types of spices. The service was great and friendly, and the drinks list quite extensive. I had a salt mango lassi which I thought went well with the hot food. The prices are overall very fair.
We were offered complimentary food by Dum London, but paid for our drinks and service; I was not asked to write this post, opinions are my own.