London is getting more niche and demanding. People want what they want, when they want.
And now, if you want a Biryani only restaurant, you can now have it. DUM Biryani House on Wardour Street in Soho provides you with exactly this. I was lucky to go last year and have asked its owner Dhruv Mittal to be interviewed, to understand his inspirations as an owner, chef and pioneer of this new restaurant.
After working in the City as a Project Manager, Dhruv decided to follow his passion and change career paths. Leaving City life, he retrained at Le Cordon Bleu as a French Cuisine and Patisserie Chef, going on to work in the finest Michelin-star restaurants with amazing Chefs, including Claude Bosi from Hibiscus, Sat Bains, and Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck.
Again following his heart, he undertook a culinary journey through India to rediscover traditional recipes, while working with The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts in both Mumbai and Agra. With all that he has learnt, he has opened DUM Biryani House on Wardour Street in Soho.
Who inspired you to open a Biryani restaurant?
Karam Sethi is someone I really look up to. The way that he’s transformed Indian cuisine in London, with the focus on fine-dining, really inspires me to do the same, but in a more affordable and casual form for millennials. What inspired me to open a biryani restaurant specifically was one thing: the lack of authentic regional Indian cuisine at affordable prices, and especially ones aimed at the younger generation.
What do you want your customers to think of DUM Biryani?
Casual, intimate, original, and more than anything – true to Hyderabadi biryani.
When did you first want to be a restaurant owner?
I first wanted to be a restaurant owner when I was 16. I was (and obviously still am) passionate about food which is a big reason why it became my dream, but restaurants were also where I had my fondest memories of big family gatherings, where everyone came together over a good meal and enjoyed themselves.
Where do you see Indian food in London going?
I see traditional Indian takeaways and restaurants slowly dying out, due to their lack of authenticity as Londoners continue to become more informed about Indian cuisine in general. I also think there’s a large gap in the market, which is slowly being filled, by modern Indian restaurants and contemporary Indian dining where chefs and restauranteurs are taking Indian food to the next level using modern techniques with traditional Indian flavours.
Why hip hop music in a Biryani restaurant?
Which 5 restaurants are your favourite in London?
Hakkasan Hanway Place
Berber and Q
Dhruv, Thank you so much.
For both the food and for the interview.
Well fed and well spoken, do go to DUM Biryani house. It will feel you up and great music too.