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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, 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

All day, every day

Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner and late night 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 20 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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Eclectic gifts and sundries for all persons and purses

An ample selection of finest gifts and sundries are now available by way of the Dishoom Store.

An eclectic and charming mix of gifts to please favoured siblings, exacting Aunties and the hard-to-buy for. From small bestowals to bountiful hampers, there’s something for all persons and purses any time of the year.

All are so lovely you might just want to keep them for yourself! From Chai Hampers and Tea Towel gift-sets to Naan Roll Kits for at-home enjoyment.

Or bring Dishoom home with signature favourites from our cafés. Find House Chai, the signature Masala Dabba, our best-selling Cookery book and calming incense.
Explore the Store

Introducing Permit Room, an all-day bar café

Our shiny new all-day bar-café is a salute to Bombay’s eating and drinking culture, smack-bang in Brighton’s Lanes.

We’ve got round-the-clock deliciousness from morning until late with an all-new menu (alongside some Dishoom favourites). Pop by for a Bacon Naan Roll first thing, grab craveable snacks and savouries for lunch, or hang here till late with seriously good cocktails (Feni Martini or Mango Lassi Punch, though? That’s the question). All while stomping your feet to a playlist of punk, hip-hop, disco and soul.

Expect to have a damn good time.

Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

Our very special Bhatti Chicken

For Chef Rishi Anand Khatri, our newest café special is in fact an old family favourite. His earliest memory of eating Bhatti Chicken is aged 7 or 8, and he recalls his father – the late Khatri Saab – cooking it regularly, thanks to the tandoor on their Delhi terrace. (Bhatti refers to the scorching flame that the chicken is roasted over, until succulent).

Permit Room: the history behind our new Brighton spot

Beaming through a tucked away corner of Brighton’s busy lanes, Permit Room is open and ready to welcome one and all. Not to be confused with the buzzy bars in our Dishoom cafés, this Permit Room is an outpost all of its own. An all-day bar-café, ready to welcome you from a hearty breakfast until our weekly guest DJs spin their last record of the night. 

Dishoom Loves. Issue XIII.

With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.

A Little Magic

“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.

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
See our awards

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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