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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 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 13 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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Christmas at Dishoom

If you haven’t enjoyed a Christmas with us before, you absolutely must! Christmas parties at Dishoom are a convivial affair, awash with warmth, good humour and the very best food and drink we ever do. All will leave thoroughly sated, some slightly tipsy, and most sporting a rather fetching Santa hat.

Those looking to host seasonal shin-digs at home must also try our all-new Festive Raan Feast, where a generous selection of first-class café favourites accompany a truly top-notch centrepiece of tender Turkey Raan.

We can also lend a hand with all of your gifting needs this holiday season. You may find an eclectic collection of gifts and sundries suitable for all persons and purses by way of the Dishoom Store.

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Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

A guide to Christmas gifting by Dishoom

Neatly wrapped presents sitting patiently under the tree. Excited hands, a quick tug of the string, a sharp tear of paper, the reveal of a thoughtful gift, a smile and soft contented sigh. For those after such gifts that fill the room with joy, may the Dishoom Store be your guide. Brimful with barmy gifts and sundries, contents that guarantee that no one is left displeased. For inspiration, have a little scroll. 

Let the festive feasting commence

The trees are going up – topper included, strings of sparkly lights are being strung and festive tunes are starting to gently waft around amidst busy kitchen clattering. In our cafés, Christmas is almost here and with it, copious amounts of cheer. Behind the scenes, our Chef-wallas are busy introducing a hint of Bombay to this year’s festive delights, including the never-seen-before Bacon, Brie and Cranberry Naan Roll!

The Dishoom Canary Wharf story – Chapter One

Thursday 12th April – 1973, BOMBAY. It is almost light outside. It must be about six. He’s been awake half the night trying to figure out what to do. Lying on his bed, he stares through the rotating blades of the ceiling fan which only serve to stir the close warm air of his room. He needs to think – he’s running out of time. But his eyes feel salted and his head throbs. 

Dishoom's Chicken Berry Britannia Biryani Recipe

This chicken biryani is our homage to Britannia’s chicken berry pulao, using cranberries in place of the more authentic Persian barberries, which are tricky to find. (Despite much cajoling, Mr Kohinoor has never shared his wife’s famous recipe.) It is prepared in the kacchi style, originating from Hyderabad, in which marinated raw meat goes into the pot, to be cooked at the same time as the rice.

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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