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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

All day, every day

Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner and late tipples

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 7 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 Cookery Book

At long last, we’re delighted to say that we’ve written the Dishoom cookery book, with over 100 recipes for the Bombay comfort food and drink that we love.

Through the course of this eccentric and charming book you will be taken on a day-long tour of south Bombay, peppered with much eating and drinking. Starting at breakfast, through to lunch, dinner and nightcaps, we share recipes for beloved dishes such as Masala Chai, the Bacon Naan Roll, Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani, and Lamb Raan, along with delicious coolers and cocktails. Read more.

The Dishoom Cookery book

Christmas feasts at Dishoom

In every community, eating brings people together in celebration. We are particularly good at this in India. Celebrations generally have food right in the middle of them, leaving us all thoroughly sated and burping gently (considered a courteous gesture). 

And here in London, there is no greater occasion to celebrate with a feast than Christmas. We get very excited about this time of year. Our Bombay Christmas feasts are honestly some of the best food and drink we ever do. Read more.

Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

The Dishoom Manchester story

It is a hazy November morning and it is already warm. The roads are thronged with bullock carts, cycles and pedestrians.

Stories of a new nation

“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny; and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom...

The Dishoom Bacon & Egg Naan Pizza

Its not often you get the chance to make 1 + 1 = 3, but if you ever do - you should grab it with both hands. Because these are the moments you will remember, the ones you will cherish, the ones that makes it all worthwhile.

Classic Drinks, Sober Twist

That the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949 has never been repealed is a lovely Bombay peculiarity. This piece of legislation states that officials must issue permits for alcohol, and even then only in emergency cases.

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.

Winner of Best Breakfast & Brunch

HARDEN'S

2019

100 Best Companies To Work For

The Sunday Times

Ranked #19, 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

Winner of Best Breakfast & Brunch

HARDEN'S

2019
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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