When chef and owner Prasad set up his eatery in Dunfirmline it was the realisation of a 20-year-old dream.
Over 35 years in the business he had helped open 52 restaurants – but always for other people. Prasad came to the UK in 2000 and for 18 years he worked in Dunfirmline but had a unique idea for a restaurant and in December 2018 that became a reality.
“I wanted to make this place different from everybody else,” Prasad explained. Whilst most Indian restaurants serve very similar menus where a basic sauce could be served in a variety of different ways – this is an anglicised version of curry and not the kind of food that would be eaten in India.
Dhoom, at New Row, Dunfermline, takes its influences from the streetfood of North, South, East and West India.
You won’t find a chicken korma here or a prawn madras, but you will find exciting dishes that you’ll never have tasted before.
Ninety per cent of the menu is dairy free, gluten free and nut free and there is a vast choice for vegans and vegetarians as well as meat-eaters. It’s healthy, and as authentic as he can make it, given that it is made outside India.
“Nobody can ever say it is totally the same as Indian streetfood – the lamb is different for example, and the water here is different, but it is as authentic as we can make it.
“We don’t do many curries,” he explained. “Our lamb curry for example, is marinated for 24 hours – no other places do that.
“We get people coming here from all over – they’ll travel from Glasgow and Edinburgh, even Aberdeen the other day, and they come back.
“People come for the experience, not just the food.”
Every three months the menu will change and Prasad visits different parts of India, tasting food and trying new recipes to recreate authentic tastes.
The latest menu is the seventh and takes its influence food found in Delhi- the place Prasad was born. On his last trip he visited 90 different places in Delhi to try different things before he devised the latest menu, which is called Delhi6 .
“We have had 70 and 80 year olds coming for the first time to Dhoom, and saying that this was the best meal they have had,” he says.
The restaurant – which can seat up to 110 people and is open every day except Tuesday and serves food from noon to 8pm (8.30 on Fridays) – has the feel of a bazaar in India. When it first opened it had benches and was more like a place you would take a snack – a real steetfood experience. But customers wanted more and to linger longer, which is not surprising when you see the extensive menu, so now it is more like a restaurant and serves not only food but amazing Indian cocktails, incorporating spices for a truly unique taste.
“Every dish is my selection,” Prasad says. “I am trying to bring food out that is not just food but a journey from north, south, east and west India. “Our first menu was north Indian and 90 per cent of people from the past three to four years have said that they have not had this kind of food before.
“People talk about this place, and that’s because this is not the same gravy on 15 different dishes. It’s about the whole concept, Whatever you do in life you want to do something different, to make your mark.”
In June this year Dhoom Indian Street Restaurant was named Best of Southeast and Best Indian Restaurant in Scotland in the Scottish Curry Awards held in Glasgow.
You won’t be able to order your ‘favourite dish’ for long – three months down the line there will be a new menu, but that’s how Prasad – and his diners – like it.
“I don’t call them customers, they are my guests, they are family!” says Prasad, whose own family including his wife and medicine-student son, also help out in the business.
“This is a favourite place among people for the experience, not just the food.”
That’s partly the reason why there is no takeaway or delivery service here – it’s about the experience.
A year after opening the restaurant was named Best Newcomer, then the Best in Fife, and now it’s the best in the country. But Prasad feels he has enough awards on the shelf.
“I am not working for awards,” he said. “For the next two years I’m working for the people who come here.”
To find out more about the menu and the dishes on offer on the Delhi6 menu visit the website here.