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Journal entry

Introducing Dishoom Carnaby

IN WHICH AN IRANI IS CALLED HOME FROM LONDON

November. 1967. Heathrow airport. A young man leans against the Oceanic terminal’s high windows, waiting for the final call for BOAC flight 774 to Bombay. He takes a long drag on his cigarette and stares into the heavy rain driving down onto the tarmac.

The passing travellers are openly curious to see a tall, striking Indian (actually, an Irani – not that they’d understand the distinction) dressed in stylish clothes. The women’s eyes linger on him. They look away. Look again. Smile a little when he catches them. Today he doesn’t smile back.

In his breast pocket sits a folded telegram. He can feel it there like a weight, a palm-print of heavy sadness on his chest. It arrived three days earlier with the news that would send him into a tail-spin of grief, guilt and confusion. “Your father has passed. Come home. We need you.”

It has been several years since he first came to London from Bombay. Since his family waved him off, their pride and joy, gone to study in England. Only for him to be seduced by the city, first making excuses to extend his stay and then breaking the news that he could not, would not, return to the life his parents had laid out for him. His mother had begged him to come back. His sister had written endless imploring letters. Most painful of all, his father had gradually just stopped communicating with him.

But how could he have walked away from this whirlwind of excitement, so different from deeply conservative India? The music that gave him the chills… The parties, the clubs, the cocktails, the beautiful uninhibited girls, even (occasionally) the drugs… He had found himself drawn into a world where anything and everything was possible. Heady discussions into the early hours about changing the world, music and revolution, dancing in Ad-Lib next to David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton, tripping at sunrise on Primrose Hill…

But deep down he had always known he was living on borrowed time. Mixed in with his grief was a feeling that his life as the charming Londoner, the exotic and accomplished songwriter with a flat off the King’s Road and a beautiful blonde girlfriend, was drawing to an end.

His father’s passing would leave a gaping hole in the family. His mother and sister would be utterly devastated. They would need to be looked after. He was not even sure he had yet understood the fact of his father’s death. He just felt numb. After all these years, he suddenly had so much to ask him, so much to say to him.

His father had been bread-winner, protector, head of the household – even a figure in the community. And of course, Irani café owner. It was a role his father – and his grandfather before him – had taken very seriously. Their dedication and loyal service to guests had seen the family business grow from a scruffy street-corner café to a smart new premises in Churchgate.

Final call. He sighs heavily and stubs out his cigarette. He picks up the small leather case carrying his favourite threads from Mates Boutique and Lord John. He travelled light; most of the things he loved had been left behind. He thinks of his guitars, the trunks full of LPs, the artworks he has carefully collected.

He is suddenly conscious how absurdly foreign his English possessions would look at home. He remembers India as backwards, dull and insular, painfully restrictive. He allows himself to imagine that perhaps things may not be as they were. He has heard about some of the ‘beat’ music bands from some Bombay musicians who came overland to London in a VW camper. His sister had mentioned in a letter that his old friend Ramzan had started a club, not far from their café, where these bands played covers of Western hits.

He turns and walks slowly towards the gate. The air stewardess smiles at him and checks his boarding pass. This time he smiles back, but he can’t hide the deep sadness in his eyes.

He pauses for a second and pulls the papers out of his breast pocket. He gazes at the return ticket in his hand before he puts it back his pocket, alongside the telegram. He steps out into the rain and onto the dark wet tarmac to board the plane home.

Dishoom Carnaby is now open! 

22 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QP

0207 420 9322

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Alicia Fernandes

Please send an update about the Dishoom Carnaby Street launch!

Natwar Mody

So how many Dishooms now?

Alex khan

Exciting news!

Astha

More details on the launch please

Ruth Mayorcas

I absolutely adore Dishoom food and style and recommend it to everyone!! My favourite is King's Cross currently but cannot wait for Kingly St - home of my favourite Blues Bar - please send me details of opening!!

Mrs Bijal Shah

Looking forward to the opening of Dishoom Carnaby Street!

Danielle wareham

This is excellent news and I'm so pleased you are doing so well to open another venue. I loved your Covent Garden one, then fell in love with your Shoreditch one thinking it couldn't get any better until you opened your kings cross venue which literally transports you along a taste & sense tantalising journey as though you're in India! Looking forward to see what indian delights your Carnaby venue brings.... Good luck and keep us posted on opening dates!!

BINA PANDIT

When I grew up in Bombay, we had many Irani cafes. Now they are all gone and the only vestige is Dishoom here in London. Very Best Wishes to Dishoom in Carnaby

gareth

intriguing...

Toby Clayton

Please add me to the newsletter and let me know about upcoming events, particularly at the new Carnaby location. This write up is awesome.

matt.reade@worldpay.com

Please can you let me know if you are planning to have a soft launch

Liz Cheadle

Hello, please can you sign me up to receive info on the opening of your new restaurant in Carnaby Street, thank you.

SONIA

LOVE this prose. Beautifully written. Can't wait to visit Dishoom Carnaby. I've never actually been to one before!!

AHMAD JUGON

Looking forward to the opening !

Kimora Gill

I cant wait to attend your fabulous establishment and please keep me posted on events

Robert Bean

Is the denouement to the story that he endures a few hard and uninspiring years overseeing his Dad's cafe before, no longer able to quell his yearnings for a return to the high life, he strikes on the brilliant idea that he could just pick it up and re-plant it in not just London, but Carnaby Street? I do hope so. Peace and success to all of you.

HANNAH BARKER-WYATT

When is it opening??? Can't wait!

Dev lakshman

So pleased to know that you are invading central London, easier for us followers to get to!

Charanpal

Very impressive and very exciting. Well done Team Shah

dinita

Hi I work near there and it is my birthday in October too so I am so excited!

james b

get the dhobles lined up... ;)

Lyn cecil

Please add me to your mailing list

Dr Yasmeen Khan

congratulations team Dishoom!

Pau Pau

I'm werry werry hungry now...

Harry Mehta

Love! Love! Let's have more detail.

David Mills

Look forward to seeing Carnaby site open as always enjoy Covent Garden site.

Helen Meikle

Please let me know when you are opening in Kingly Street? I'm a vegetarian so looking forward to trying the food!

Jaspreet Saini

Hello! I'm a big fan of Dishoom (Covent Garden) but I would like to book a table at Carnaby Street for my birthday this year. Do you think it would be possible to book a table for either lunch or dinner on Saturday 30th October for 10-12 people?

sheetal

What a wonderful way to return back to London with your fathers Cafe' booming! If this is real, then the boy turned man did a great job in keeping his fathers cafe' and business alive.

Manjit Thandi

I'm SO very excited to see how this story culminates. I'm a great fan if Dishoom and it's wares. Looking forward to the next chapter!!

Manjit Thandi

I'm SO very excited to see how this story culminates. I'm a great fan of Dishoom and its wares. Looking forward to the next chapter!!

Marcus Child

Love the story...can't wait to hear more!

Gilly Perrett

Exciting! Love your Kings Cross cafe and so looking forward to your new venture! All the best - sure it will be a great success!

J. Hingorani

Woohoo! Finally one in Soho - will be my local (indian Bistro) now. Can't wait. Do let me know if you'd like me to bring the hordes, or just come along to give you my considered (invaluable) opinion! haha!! Best of luck and can't wait.

katie

Please let me know when it's opening!

Fiona Hayne

hello,, Massive Massive fan!!! please let me know when the launch is as I'll at the front of the Que.!! keep up the good wrk! fi

Mano Caderamanpulle

A lovely short story . The couple look fabulous . Back pack wearers take note of the soft casual look.

Naina Chauhan

So will your next one be Burmingham?

Den

Kings Cross (North), Shoreditch (East), Covent Garden (Central), Soho (Central) - Dishooms everywhere - keep going guys!! :-)

Kiran Panjabi

Love the prose.. and super excited about the new opening. Look forward to visiting it soon.

Nina Panesar

Looking forward to the new Dishoom - shopping and good food at the same time. I am a happy bunny! Good luck and best wishes. 🙏🙏🙏

Michelle faithfull

How exciting! Interested in attending the launch! We love your restaurants

Aman

Look forward to trying the new Dishoom soon!

Hannah Mac

Omnomnom

Kalpna Bains

My favourite place to eat pav bhaji! Always soo yummy. 😐 Can't wait to visit the new restaurant in Carnaby Street.

Paul Higson

Walked down Kingly Street today - can't be long until everything is ready for opening. Very exciting!

Sheetal Gohil

Afternoon, I am so excited to know you are opening another branch near my work place. I would like to arrange our department Xmas lunch on December 18th if possible from 1-5pm for approximately 30 people. Please could you send me any details about this. Look forward to hearing from you. Sheetal.

Simon Quayle

Can't wait!

Amit

Looking forward to this one now!!

kay michael

cant wait to visit...

Hartley Anderson

When are you opening up in Sydney?

Sara

Hi Sheetal - please email reservations@dishoom.com for availability.

Sara

Hi Jaspreet, I'm not sure bookings will be open by then but drop an email to reservations@dishoom.com and we'll look into it!

dennis van laer

exciting!

Cliff Hargrave

I look forward to visiting Dishoom when I next visit London

David Skinner

Please keep me informed on the launch of Dishoom Carnaby? Hope I can make the opening.

Beth Morris

please let me know when the Carnaby Dishoom is opening

Kate Brierley-Downs

Love your food and would love to be kept in touch with details of your launch

Jason Underhill

Please send an update about the Dishoom Carnaby Street launch! Jason

Theeba S

Hello, I'm excited to know what date you are opening? My birthday is on the 22nd October and I would love to celebrate it at your new location of Carnaby Street. Look forward to hearing from you soon!

Wahida

Me and my husband love Dishoom! So excited about the Carnaby St one!!

Smriti

Looking forward to dine in new venue.. Love your food and scrumptious cocktails..

Ian

please keep us informed opening Carnaby Street cheers

Mr Dass

Fantastic news. Please send an update about the Dishoom Carnaby launch!

Angela Wills

when can I book a table at the Carnaby Street restaurant ... please email me !

Joanne bussey

What date in October done you open

Ellen T

I await the next instalment. I misspent much of my youth in Ramzan's fabulous club, and knew every Irani joint between Bandra and Colaba.

khojema .a m. golwala

looking for job oppurtunities at your esteemed self .i aged 46 ,b.co(+15),with 16 years experience at the various trades .my interest at the hospitality industry ,for which i do collect cuttings from newspapers and magazines relating to the recipes .

Kam Nagpal

Looking forward to Carnaby. Please let me know when it opens!

Ronald marshall

I want to come to your soft Launch. Love your food

Jenna Mason

Would love to know more about the opening weeks of this location!

Priti kara

Please can I reserve a table for 1pm On Thursday 1st October for three or four people.

Raj

Looking forward to the opening of Dishoom Carnaby Street!

Peter bramley

Please add me to your newsletter

Nicole Herschman

So excited for dishoom Carnaby to open!

Tejel Patel

Love love love!! Can't wait to check it out

Maryam

I absolutely love Dishoom can wait for carnaby to open , would love to be updated as to when it opens .

Sara

Hi Priti, I'm afraid we are not open yet, please come and see us in a few weeks!

Kelly Ruane

I would love to visit this new Dishoom. Iranian food is my favourite and this chain excites me!

Sima

Hi please can I reserve a table for 2 anytime on the 31st October for my husbands birthday?

Sara

Hi Sima, please email reservations@dishoom.com - thanks!

indranil

Hi,i would be grateful to be signed up to the newsletter.Thanks.

Daniel

Will there be a soft launch at Carnaby?

Stephen Alade

Hi there I had a trial shift at the kings cross store and was told I would hear from someone regarding my trial shift for the new D4 store opening in canrby street. Regards Stephen Alade

Blaithin Tansley

Please keep me updated on your launch date.

Kat Caprice

Hi, big fan of Dishoom and would love to write a review once this opens. Please get in touch, my blog is www.katcaprice.com x

sheena

great news! look forward to visiting the new restaurant

Bhawna Sharma

Absolutely loved the food and ambience... Staff is anazing and really friendly.. Can't wait for another great place to dine in!! More updates on launch dates please !!!

Luke Douglas

CANNOT WAIT....CHAI FOR BREAKFAST HERE I COME!

Ram Salemnick

Very good news . Good Luck !

Bina

So looking forward to visiting the Soho branch!!!!! When are you opening??

Dominic Nancekievill

Confirmation of official opening date or soft launch would be most appreciated.

mike

Hi My name is Mike. I´m a gastronomic photographer and food stylish. I would like to speak with the manager. I will be in London next week and I´m offering the chance to make some pictures during that time, in case you need them or want to take the chance. Thank you Mike My profiles are: www.mikewater.com https://www.facebook.com/mikewaterphoto

M Madhavi

Congratulations! I have often taken pride in showing the place off while introducing friends to Indian delicacies.I do hope the menu has a few happy additions though as one is quite limited for choice. Look forward.

Sudhir kapoor

Great news

Shiraz

During the soft launch will it include 50% off drink?

Ginny

Hey there...it will be 50% off food for the soft launch :-)

Ginny

Hi Mike, drop us an email to hello@dishoom.com

martin aubrey

congratulations,very pleased you have such a successful operation but why wouldn't you, the concept is wonderful and under exploited and the food is great.

Amy

I would like to book a table for 21/11 20.00 for 6 people for a very special birthday Please confirm this is possible? Amy

Arifa Naeem

Look forward to the tasting!

Sunil

So excited about this - and only 2 minutes from my office on Wardour Street!

Hollie Collins

We would love to come & check out the new restaurant. How can we book?

Shefa

Is your meat halal?

Dwaign

Congrats

Zainab Patel

Can't wait! Please do let me know if we have to reserve a table on the 15th of Oct.

Laura

Do let me know about your Carnaby Street opening. We'd love to come. So exciting!

Sahil Mehta

Hi Guys! Looking to come down on Saturday with a party of 15 for dinner, what is the best time to come to guarantee a table? Best wishes, Sahil

Barbara Greenway

Loved Dishoom in Kingly Street earlier this week. How do I book a table there for a christmas lunch?

Nimrata Gujral

I went to check out the NEW Dishoom Carnaby Street, although there was a huge queue, it was well dealt with and plenty of chai , tipples and nimbu pani was given. Once in the bar , the service was quick , although a few 'far far ' would have helped to settle the rumbling stomach after 2 hours waiting. Once seated the food was very quick and efficient , and very tasty . I would definitely recommend the new dishoom

Jonathan

Hi Long shot I know but I have just found out my friend is back from Australia on Friday, 23rd October for a few nights and we were hoping to get a reservation at the new Carnaby Street restaurant for 6 people on that night as we are huge fans of Dishoom. Please can you help? Kind regards Jon

Ginny

Hi Jonathan, Email reservations@dishoom.com to see if they can help :-)

Ginny

Hi Barbara, Email reservations@dishoom.com. So glad you liked it!

Ginny

The earlier the better. If someone can arrive before 6pm then that would be best :-)

Ginny

Hi Zainab, Email reservations@dishoom.com to see if they can help :-)

Ginny

Hi Shefa, The meat on our all day menu is halal, we do however serve pork on our breakfast menu until 11:30am. All equipment is then changed for halal food. Hope this helps :-)

Ginny

Hi Hollie, Email reservations@dishoom.com to see if they can get you a table :-)

Ginny

HI Amy, Please email reservations@dishoom.com to see if they can get you a table :-)

amandine mackwood

How can we book for Carnaby now ? Thank you, Amandine

Diana Dabrera

Please keep me updated with Dishoom activity - love it!

Charles Hazzan

Please can I book a table of 4 for breakfast Tuesday 20th October at 9.30am. Please confirm by email or call me on 0207 534 8873. Thanks, Charlie

Justine

Hi im booking up to come in December, im very excited to bring 8 friends with me, are you doing any discount vouchers for new customers please? Thankyou

Diane

Love this place! Dishoom may be expanding but the Food, service, atmosphere, decor remain faultless. Can't wait to go back!

Ginny

Hi Justine, Thanks for getting in touch! I am afraid we do not do discount for new customers, but we very much look forward to seeing you and your friends :-)

Ginny

Hi Charles, Please email reservations@dishoom.com and they will be able to help you :-)

Ginny

Hey Amandine, Just email reservations@dishoom.com :-)

Amy

I'd like to book a Christmas lunch for 7 of us on the 21st December if possible please? From 2pm until around 6pm would be great! Love Dishoom!

Sara

Hi Amy - please email reservations@dishoom.com or see www.dishoom.com/reservations :-)

Patrick

Hi, is there a contact number for the Carnaby branch? I sent in a reservation yesterday, but haven't received a reply yet

Ginny

Hi Patrick, Sorry for the delay - the reservations team will get back to you as soon as possible. The phone number is 0207 420 9322 :-)

Anna Semenova

Hi! I would like to know whether it is possible to book a table for tonight (1 november, sunday) for 3 atbaround 7 pm. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best, Anna

Ginny

Hi Anna, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. If you would still like us to look for a table for you, feel free to email reservations@dishoom.com. Thanks, Ginny

Mital Raithatha

Hi I have booked brunch for this saturday, however one of the guests is on crutches and struggles to go up and down stairs. Please could we have a table that is on the ground floor. Please could you also let me know whether there are stairs to access the restaurant too? Thank you Mital

Ginny

Hi Mital, Sorry for the late reply, I do hope you were well looked after when you visited. Dishoom Carnaby is all on one floor and we have a disabled loo on the ground floor, which your friend could have used to save him going downstairs to the bathrooms. Thanks, Ginny

Lizzie

Hi am I able to book a table 15 Dec for 6 people at 7pm ? thanks

Sean Drumm

We need one in Dublin!!!!!

Ginny

Hi Lizzie, Email reservations@dishoom.com and they will be able to help you :-) Best wishes, Ginny

fritha hookway

Hi - are you able to cater for private (or sectioned off) dinner parties? Up to 35 people?

Ailesh Kotecha

Love the food and the authentic vibe.....! About time to open a Dishoom in other parts of the UK?

Ginny

Hey Fritha, Afraid our max group size is 12 and we don't have sectioned off areas. If you email reservations@dishoom.com they can talk you throw any options :-)

Camilla Buckthorpe

Good afternoon, I am looking to make a reservation for roughly 15 people on Friday 15th at 12:30pm. May you please advise of availability ? Many thanks, Camilla

Ginny

Hey Camilla, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - if you would like us to check for availability for you, please email reservations@dishoom.com. Thanks and best wishes, Ginny

Ailesh Kotecha

Love the food and vibe. About time you opened one in Birmingham? Looking forward to my visit...!