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Dishoom

From Bombay with love

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The old Irani cafés of Bombay

ABOVE: The legendary B. Merwan on Bombay’s Grant Road dates from 1914 and is still open.

THE OLD IRANI CAFÉS have almost disappeared. Their faded elegance welcomed all: rich businessmen, sweaty taxi-wallas and courting couples. Students had breakfast, families dined, lawyers read their briefs and writers found their characters. Fans turned slowly. Bentwood chairs were reflected in stained mirrors, next to sepia family portraits.

Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost four hundred cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now, fewer than thirty remain. These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. They were the first places in Bombay where people of any culture, class or religion could take cool refuge from the street with a cup of chai, a simple snack or a hearty meal. People from all walks of life shared tables, rubbed shoulders and broke bread together.

Shared spaces beget shared experiences, and Bombay was more open and welcoming for the existence of these cafés.

Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of all Bombay.

THE OLD IRANI CAFÉS of Bombay have almost all disappeared. Their faded elegance welcomed all: courting couples, sweaty taxi-wallas, students, artists and lawyers. These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. Bombay was more welcoming, more cosmopolitan, for their existence. Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of all Bombay.

Food & Drink

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Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner and late tipples. Available for delivery.

Food & Drink

Breaking down barriers

Food is a way of breaking down barriers, and this is at the heart of what we do. Since Ramadan 2015, for every meal we serve, we donate a meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. So far, we’ve donated 10 million meals (...and counting.)

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Celebrating differences

Our events bring people of all walks of life together to celebrate culture and food. Whether it’s bringing together non-Muslims to celebrate Eid, non-Hindus to celebrate Diwali, or people of every possible background to tie Knots of Protection – we create shared spaces where differences are celebrated rather than judged.

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The Dishoom Store

For your at-home pleasure, our online store offers Dishoom delights for lucky recipients – yourself included.

Avail yourself of an at-home meal kit – choose signature Naan Rolls or a mighty Dishoom feast to finish and share at home.

You may also find House Chai, the new-and-improved Masala Dabba, e-vouchers, copies of the best-selling Cookery Book and our very own LP amongst other eclectic gifts and sundries.
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Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

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Pineapple & Black Pepper Crumble Recipe

During this long, dark month, you may find much-needed comfort in this Pineapple & Black Pepper Crumble recipe. It’s almost too easy to make, and will warm, soothe and satiate. (It can also be made vegan with simple substitutions.) May the vibrant pineapple inspire joyful memories of faraway places and warmer climes!

Finding meaning at the bottom of a glass in the Permit Room

IN THESE DYING DAYS of ’21 I am here again, dear reader, at the bar in our restaurant in Shoreditch. I am the stubbled and scruffy regular, squinting at the bartender through slightly wonky glasses, brooding over the year gone by.

Reflections from Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO at Akshaya Patra UK

We began working with the Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in India. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting friendships with the incredible team and had the sincere privilege of visiting many of the schools and communities they serve in India. Last month, we celebrated reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra through our meal for a meal partnership. Akshaya Patra’s CEO and Trustee, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, kindly took the time to reflect on the impact of the foundation’s life-changing work.

The all-new Biryani Feast

In Bombay, vegetarian dishes abound. From street food stalls to lavish banquets, there is no need of meat to provide a fulsome feast, and many Bombayites forgo it happily. This is one of the reasons our restaurant and delivery menus are so vegetarian-friendly, and so it was obvious, in hindsight, that the Dishoom Store needed to catch up.

Awards & Accolades

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Best Small Group

Good Food Guide UK

2017

Ben McCormack

Squaremeal

Dishoom was a game-changer: stylish, affordable and with a defiantly youthful outlook that was more focused on how Londoners wanted to eat in the 21st-century than outdated British attitudes to both Indian cuisine and India itself.

Ranked #4 Best Company To Work For

Best Companies

2021

Winner of Best Breakfast & Brunch

HARDEN'S

2019

Richard Vines

Bloomberg

The staffers are friendly, the prices are low and the food is first-class. I had one of my most enjoyable meals of the year here. Dishoom well encapsulates the current trend for quality without fuss.

Awards and accolades

Ranked #4 Best Company To Work For

Best Companies

2021
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Rewarding Careers at Dishoom

Seva badge - Big Hearted & First Class

If you’re a big-hearted person looking for a first-class career in hospitality, read on.

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