Last week, Le Cordon Bleu London was invited to the soft opening of a new casual Indian restaurant in the heart of Soho, by the owner, and Le Cordon Bleu alumnus, Dhruv Mittal. Dhruv’s restaurant DUM Biryani House, focusses on Hyderabadi Biryani, snacks and starters from the Andhra Pradesh region of India, and of course, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to indulge in authentic South-Asian cuisine, especially when that cuisine has been lovingly prepared by a former student.
Dhruv graduated from Le Cordon Bleu London with a prestigious Grand Diplôme®, and went on to work in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants across both the UK and India, where he gained invaluable experience and was able to refine his culinary skills and techniques. Whilst in India, Dhruv also learned more about regional Indian cuisines, and really explored the ingredients, and recipes used to create authentic, traditional Indian dishes.
After returning to London from India, Dhruv began running The Chaiwalla Supperclub from his home, presenting the very best of Indian street food and regional specialties that he had learned about from his overseas training, which really showcased flavours and an authenticity that is rare to find in the UK. And it was indeed the success of this supper club that lead Dhruv to fulfil his dream of opening his own restaurant in its perfect central London location, just off Oxford Street.
The concept behind DUM Biryani House is all about tradition and authenticity and this was definitely apparent in the delicious food that the restaurant had to offer. The starters consisted of Kodi Vepudu (chicken wings in a spicy and sour masala), Dahi Kebab (fried yoghurt patties with an Andhra tomato and curry leaf chutney) and an Andhra Prawn Fry (king prawns cooked in coconut and red chillies). The flavours were fresh and vibrant with the spices giving the dishes a real kick.
The starters were followed by a choice of two mains, either Lamb Shank Biryani with Mirch Unda Salan (spicy curry with padron chilli and half a boiled egg) and Baingan Raita (smoked aubergine yoghurt dip), or a Seasonal Vegetable Biryani with Mirch Salan (spicy curry with green padron chilli) and Bhindi Raita (fried okra yoghurt dip). Again these dishes possessed a fantastic combination of flavours and textures, with the succulent lamb in the first biryani literally falling from the bone, and melting in the mouth.
Dessert consisted of a beautiful Rabdi (Indian milk pudding), which Dhruv explained, is made using condensed milk that has been left to simmer in a pan for approximately four hours until it becomes a thick and creamy consistency. Dhruv flavoured his Rabdi with cardamom, saffron and pistachio shavings and it truly was the perfect ending to a beautiful meal. There was also a selection of wines, bespoke spice-infused cocktails, and Indian versions of classic soft drinks, such as Limca (Lemonade) and Thumbs Up (Coke).
DUM Biryani House truly is a unique restaurant that introduces unfamiliar traditional Indian dishes, to a new audience in a warm and inviting environment. Dhruv, is a prime example of a Le Cordon Bleu success story as he demonstrates what can be achieved after gaining the world-renowned Grand Diplôme®. Le Cordon Bleu London wishes him the best of luck with this new and exciting venture, and we are looking forward to seeing all that he achieves over the next few years!