DUM Biryani x Beer52
Thursday 08 November 2018
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Beer and food
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The relaxed and friendly Dhruv Mittal has brought his enviable gastronomic track record to the heart of Soho, with the aim of seeing biryani done right; the name ‘DUM’ refers to the method of cooking biryani in which meat or vegetables are layered with rise and steamed together for several hours, in the Hyderabadi style.
The restaurant itself is very welcoming and homely, and we’re immediately presented with a full biryani which is as attractive as it is delicious; served in the sealed dough case in which it was cooked. In a UK market still dominated by largely homogenised ‘Indian’ restaurants, it’s always a treat to find somewhere that proudly focuses on regional variations and properly differentiated flavours. This is true for the biryani, of course, but also for the accompaniments and sides; you know you’re in good hands when something as simple as a smoked aubergine raita sends a shiver of pleasure up your spine.
This is absolutely at the heart of Dhruv’s approach and philosophy, and he has actively pushed back against the norms and clichés of UK-Indian cuisine, in every area from the food itself to drinks, presentation and service. He is clearly passionate about giving his diners a more authentic expression of the gastronomic traditions he loves, and this comes across in every aspect of the experience.
Creating the beer – Chris J.J. Heaney
“Given Dhruv’s approach, I knew we’d have to come up with something more creative than the standard curry/lager combination, but of course we don’t want to alienate those people who understandably want something crisp and refreshing with their meal. I’ve always believed that saisons go exceptionally well with rich, spiced food, and Dhruv agreed this would give us a suitably novel way of approaching the problem. We went with French saison yeast, so it’s clean and very dry, with some lip-smacking estery fruity top notes. We then used a very light touch of some of those classic spices you find in Indian cuisine, but which also that pair very well with saison yeast.”
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