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Restaurant review: Jim’s Delhi Club is a food gem in Dundee’s city centre

The Munro special.
The Munro special.

One of the thrills of writing about food is discovering great new places, and last week was rewarding because I tried two which I can heartily recommend.

That’s not to say that both businesses are new; I seem to be one of the last people in Dundee to become a devotee of Jim’s Delhi Club, a wonderful endeavour run from the tiniest of kitchens on Albert Street in Stobswell.

Although it was new to me, Jim’s actually opened last year and has been quietly making its mark on a growing list of devotees since then. I am happy to join that line of fans.

I was tipped off about this remarkable place by the effortlessly cool Richard Cook from Dundee’s Spex Pistols shop, a man who knows his Mikli from his Mugler – and, as it turns out, his masala from his Madras.

Jim Ferrie is the owner of Jim’s Delhi Club.

It didn’t take long for me to become intrigued when Richard started talking about the great food served from this compact gem and how you had to be quick because it always sells out fast. Oh, and it’s only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Walk-ins only. No booking.

To visit here requires planning and anticipation, qualities I have always loved.
In my youth this kind of thing was so much part of my life that I’d queue for hours for a fashion showroom sale that was only advertised by word of mouth.

The thrill was in the chase.

Now though, at a time of my life when I’m more likely to play Miles Davis than Miley Cyrus, I don’t feel I have to be first in the queue when the doors open anywhere – except to get into Europe as a European once more.

So even though I was hugely excited to hear about Jim’s Delhi Club, I didn’t actually get there until the start of April – in time to try the new menu, which is available all this month.

One of menus at Jim’s.

Great as April’s dishes proved to be, how I wish I’d also gone at the end of March because then I could have sampled four more delicious delights from this joyful venture. I list the March menu here in the hope that some of the dishes return later in the year; North Indian loaded naan, smoked garlic beef madras, baked cauliflower korma soup and Bombay chilli cheese toast.

The latter seems especially delicious, comprising grilled bread, spiced potato, mozzarella, green chutney, green pepper, red onion and ketchup. This culinary nirvana could have been attained for a mere £5.50, a cheap price to pay, even just to cure my aversion to ketchup.

Anyway, that was then, and this is now and here I am rocking up to Jim’s just after he opens at noon on a Thursday, my assumption being that I’d be one of the first customers of the day and wouldn’t have to queue.

How wrong could I be?

The shop itself is small and yet you get a lot of smart bang for your buck – not least in the sight of an amazing scooter parked outside, and a pared-down but knowing design sensibility when you get through the door.

Inside the small venue.

Inside there are four seats at the wooden counter, a chill cabinet next to there and a couple of cool lights hanging over everything. The feel is simple and yet sharp; the seats look like school chic vintage and the lights are quasi-industrial.

There’s a confidence behind the simplicity here, probably best summed up by the drinks fridge at the back of the space. This is filled with a selection of Coke and Irn-Bru, stuff you’d find in a regular café or chip shop.

The short food menu on the wall ends with four drinks – mango lassi, cherry lassi, iced chai latte – and cans.

For some reason this juxtaposition of Indian drinks, global corporate culture and Dundee vernacular made me smile, seeming to sum up this place which breaks the rules in a way that doesn’t seem at all pretentious or mannered.

Jim making up some of the dishes.

Here it really is all about the food. Joining the queue, I must confess I was ready to love Jim’s and I only hoped that the food didn’t disappoint.

Cooking your lunch here is a guy who gave up his career as a social worker to follow his dream of opening his own food business, even though he had never been involved in commercial catering before. That in itself is to be admired.

But Jim Ferrie also chose to open his restaurant in a part of Dundee that still feels real and un-hyped, and for that he is to be especially commended; this is the way things change and this is the way streets and neighbourhoods stay alive and become regenerated.

The food

The food was great.

You order from a “menu” handwritten on a roll of brown paper suspended from a shelf like a blind. Three pot plants sit above. It’s all so brilliantly simple – and insanely perfect.

When I posted a picture of this menu on Instagram, chef/broadcaster/Great British Menu presenter and all-round amazing woman Andi Oliver messaged that she “loved this menu, what’s on it and the roll of paper too!”. She’s right!

There are four choices here and I ordered every one of them, partly so I could write about them but mainly because I just couldn’t consider getting home knowing I’d missed out on anything.

As it turned out, the last dish on the menu was my favourite, although it was a close call between that and the butter chicken naanwich (£8) which already seems to be becoming a bit of a cult classic.

The butter chicken naanwich and mango lassi.

However, the keema kati roll (£5.50) was the star for me, so delicious that I wolfed it down in about three seconds. What you get here is lamb mince, chapati, yoghurt mint sauce, red onion, red chilli and coriander and it’s so deliciously moreish, so harmonious, so RIGHT that I would urge you to order one as soon as Jim opens next.

That popular butter chicken naanwich is equally special, melding chicken, sourdough naan, mozzarella, mango chutney and coriander into something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Keema kati roll.

Veggie curry (£6.50) and the Munro Special (£9) are both also worthy of your attention and, with prices this low, you can afford to pig-out as I did. Have the rest for dinner if you don’t finish it at lunch.

While waiting you get to watch Jim cook your food. Helped by his charming mum, all you can do is gaze in wonder as the wizardry evolves in front of your eyes.

As your taste buds salivate it’s impossible not to covetously count off the number of dishes being cooked and the number of people waiting and then suddenly it’s your turn as everything comes together in a wonderful alchemy.

Amid this quiet bustle, Jim’s mum even found time to make a cherry lassi (£2.50) for me. It was absolutely delicious.

The veggie curry.

The verdict

Jim’s Delhi Club is special, so special that when I posted about it on Instagram people asked me not to review it, lest it become even more popular. This is the kind of place that feels like your own secret and yet deserves the widest audience possible. It’s exactly what Dundee needs. I love it.
An altogether quieter experience was provided in the beautiful barn space now housing the Baern Cafe at Bowhouse in St Monans.

This place opened recently in the premises vacated by the excellent chef Jess Rose Young. Now reconfigured to accommodate a new kitchen and counter space, Baern is simply wonderful.

Firstly, it just looks so good, set at the end of a lovely courtyard with wide-ranging views over the surrounding countryside. You can eat outside on warmer days.
The expansive upstairs area is still gorgeous in its simple aesthetic, as if designer

Margaret Howell had designed a space in the middle of the East Neuk.
This is an intensely calming respite from the bustle of everyday life.
The food is delicious – just the kind of menu I love. Loosely divided into three sections, there is much to please everyone at different times of the day. The menu changes weekly.

Baern Cafe

As I was having a solo breakfast on a Sunday, I had both available dishes; the yoghurt, spent grain, rhubarb and hops (£6) and the bacon, tattie scone and fennel (£7).

The yoghurt with spent grain was as pleasing a dish as you could wish for. Made using spent grain from next door’s wonderful Futtle Organic Brewery (spent grain is the malt left after a brewery has made beer and is deemed ‘spent’ because it can’t be used to make more beer), this was a light, subtle breakfast that was perfect for a spring day.

The food

The bacon dish I had was slightly altered, served not on a tattie scone but on the delicious home-made focaccia, baked using flour from the neighbouring Scotland the Bread mill, also part of Bowhouse. Although I enjoyed it, I do think it would be better to serve the bacon hot, traditionalist that I am.

The yoghurt.

Maybe it’s the look of that wonderful, gleaming, atty bacon oozing from the ace bread, but I got a bit of a jolt when I discovered it was cold. I personally love that juxtaposition of hot and cold that you get from something like a classic Salade Tiède and, even though this dish tasted gutsy enough, I felt that texturally it was a bit of a one-hit wonder.

Two sandwiches I took away for lunch – a chicken, tarragon and turnip (£9), and a falafel, wild garlic and rhubarb (£8) – were good but it was the pork, radicchio kimchi and pear sausage roll (£5) that I still remember as I type this.

One of Murray’s sandwiches from Baern.

The menu offerings change throughout the day and encompass such delights as a roast onion, Isle of Mull cheddar and apple butter scone (£3.50), a parsnip and burnt lemon soup (£6) and a blood orange and spelt cake (£3.50).

Modern Standard coffee is notably good, and I only wish I’d noticed the blood orange and rosemary juice at the top of the drinks menu (£3).

The verdict

Hazel Powell and Giacomo Pesce are doing something lovely here.

Influenced by producers within Bowhouse and the wider local area, and informed by their already impressive tenures at stellar restaurants like Ballintaggart, Fhior in Edinburgh and Twelve Triangles Bakery, also in Edinburgh, much was expected of Baern.

That it already delivers so brilliantly, mere weeks after opening, makes this very much one to watch as it evolves.


Address: Jim’s Delhi Club, 72 Albert Street, Dundee DD4 6QH

Instagram: @jims_delhi_club

Thursday and Friday, noon to 7pm; Saturday, noon to 5pm. No bookings

Price: Dishes from £5.50


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Surroundings: 5/5

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