The Journal

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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.

A moment comes, but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India, and her people, and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

Jawaharlal Nehru, August 14th 1947

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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.

Our Diwali party

Under a canopy of stars and lights, we welcomed our biggest-ever line-up of exceptional South Asian talent to Dinerama for our Diwali celebrations.

Women in Indian cinema

We’re delighted to be partnering with the brilliant HOME on their ‘Not Just Bollywood’ film season as a part of their year-long programme ‘Celebrating Women in Global Cinema’. The season runs from Wednesday 11th September – Wednesday 2nd October, 2019 and champions women filmmakers...

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Our founding myths

When we create a Dishoom, we always imagine it as an Irani café deeply rooted in an aspect of Bombay history. We then sit down and write a story – a different founding myth – which guides every single detail of that space.

Read the founding myths

Next-level naans

Not long ago, a team of enterprising and energetic Dishoom chef-wallas sauntered into the kitchen and put their heads together. They were musing over how to make breakfast bigger, better, more exciting, more delicious for all.

Too Many Critics

On Monday 18th March, Chef Naved enjoyed a well-deserved break from the kitchen. For this one very unusual evening, his chef’s whites remained pristine and pressed in his locker.

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That the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949 has never been repealed is a lovely Bombay peculiarity.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.

377 Scrapped

6th September, 2018 will be marked in Indian history as the day when love won. At 11:30am, the Supreme Court scrapped Section 377 – the notorious law that criminalised homosexuality.

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.

A visit to Seeds of Peace

In July, four Dishoom-wallas went to Maine to visit the Seeds of Peace summer camp. We’ve been working with this amazing charity for three years now, and this was an opportunity for us to learn more...

Our Eid Party

For us and many of our team members, Eid is a really happy, special day; a day where people come together with friends and family and celebrate joyfully with food  – lots and lots of food!

Unlimited Food For Education

Bhawani Singh Shekhawat is the CEO of Akshaya Patra – an extraordinarily brilliant charity that we first linked up with during Ramadan in 2015. At Diwali the same year, we made the partnership permanent.

Bombay’s ‘hot’ Jazz scene

In September 2017, we met top musician, composer and all-round cool cat, Dom James. Countless late-night jazz sessions later, Dom went on to curate the rather excellent music for our one-off, immersive theatre production – ‘Night at the Bombay Roxy‘.

Dishoom Kensington Clock

Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018.

Inevitably, I’m here again in the Permit Room. This time in Dishoom in Kensington. Wondering whether it’sstill 1940s Bombay in here.

Christmas Carols

Cheer-filled carol singing, mince pies, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and Dishoom House Chai... a proper Christmas carolling.

The Bombay Roxy Cast and Crew

The very clever and extremely talented guys from Swamp have been scouring all of London (and beyond) for the best and most talented individuals to bring to life our one-off immersive theatre production Night at the Bombay Roxy.

The Dishoom Kensington story

It is a close and heavy monsoon night on Marine Lines. Despite the weather, there is a jostling of people outside the Bombay Roxy.

The Knot of Protection

Fear; we’ve all felt it. Fear for ourselves, fear for others, fear for the future. It’s a really powerful and unsettling feeling.

Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi, a day marked across India by people of many faiths, is celebrated in the Punjab as the start of the new Harvest. It falls on the 13th or 14thApril depending on the calendar for that year.

A very special award

Last week, a motley gang of Dishoom-wallas found themselves at a glitzy awards do in Battersea, feeling a bit like Peter Sellers at The Party with our slightly-too-tight tuxedos, five’o’clock shadows and squeaky shoes.

Our Holi Parties

In spring 2016, two thousand of you joined us for our biggest and best Holi celebrations yet. We all partied together with open hearts, and open minds – it was wonderful to be part of it.

Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017.

YOU WILL NOT BE SURPRISED to learn, dear reader, that December’s fuggy cloud of tiredness is driving me once again to seek answers here in the Permit Room.

A Year in Dishoom

2016 was a busy year – but an oh-so-very brilliant one in our Dishoom world! Here’s a little look at what we got up to…

Parsi theatre personalities Sam Kerawalla, Shireen Hirjee and Villoo Panthaky

Laughter in the Cafè

Where it stands says so much about a café. Built to hug Bombay’s busiest street corners, iconic restaurants still left gracing a few such prime plots were once considered inauspicious by superstitious sections of the Hindu community.

More Than a Partnership

Magic Breakfast is a charity with one objective – to make sure no child starts their school day too hungry to learn.

Dishoom Diwali Festival

We have always loved sharing the magic of Diwali with our friends and families.

The Dishoom Edinburgh story

BOMBAY, MARCH 1923. Botanist, ecologist, and all-round man of the people Patrick Geddes reclines on a long-armed rattan chair.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord Ganesh sits quietly at the entrance of every Dishoom. The guardian of the door to Parvati’s bath, our much-loved Hindu deity is as brave as he is kind.

The Magic of Breakfast

It’s a funny thing, hunger, isn’t it? Not the everyday hunger that most of us feel before mealtimes, but real, gnawing, empty-bellied hunger.

Homai Vyarawalla

In Dishoom King’s Cross, we pay homage to a particularly special, pioneering woman whose aim was to capture the world through her camera so that important moments in history might always be remembered and preserved.

Navroz

Each year, the spring equinox – when day and night are equal length – marks a transition in earth’s relationship with the sun.

Goodbye 2015. Hello 2016.

Once again, dear reader, I’m back here. I am the weary, be-stubbled regular propping up one end of the bar in the Permit Room at the same time every year. I have a burra peg of something stiff at my elbow.

Creating Slip-Disc

Personally I have always loved piecing together music. Segue-ing tracks or styles together, or juxtaposing different sounds to create something that feels exciting, or surprising. I started doing it in my early teens.

The Combustibles

Our research for Dishoom Carnaby took us down many unexpected avenues. We started to investigate the world of rock’n’roll Bombay in the ’60s and made lots of new friends.

The Dishoom Carnaby story

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.

Slip-Disc

When we began thinking about Dishoom Carnaby, we came across a surprising relationship that flourished in the 1960s, when Western influences kicked off a rocking music scene in Bombay.

History of Raksha Bandhan

On the window of Dishoom King’s Cross, we painted the iconic and resounding words of the great Rabindranath Tagore

Rise

On sunny Saturday 4th July 2015, The Crossing (inside the atrium of the Granary Building at King’s Cross) became an oasis of calm.

Ramadan, The Month of Giving

Compassion. Generosity. Discipline. Honesty. Selflessness. Tolerance. These principles lie at the heart of Islam. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are bound to give, share and take care of others

Play Holi in King's Cross

In March, Lewis Cubitt Square in King’s Cross became the stage for our biggest Holi celebration yet! For the first time, we decided to the take the fun outside and despite the slightly imperfect weather conditions, it was totally, utterly brilliant.

Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015.

Back here again. A burra peg of Horniman’s Old Fashioned at my elbow.

A new home in King’s Cross

NOT SO LONG AGO we were wondering to ourselves: “What might have happened if a young Irani had set up a café in a Godown (warehouse) behind Bombay’s Victoria Terminus, C. 1928?”

The Dishoom King’s Cross story

One January morning in 1928, a young Irani – not long arrived in Bombay – was waiting to collect a parcel at Victoria Terminus. Unusually, the train was running late...

A Special Diwali Recipe

Naved has even kindly shared his own recipe for the Chilli Garlic Crab, so – if you can’t make it to in to see us – at least you can share in our celebrations at home!

Haleem – a slow-cooked delicacy

I love to truly understand and appreciate the origins of a dish, and learn how communities have adapted a recipe over time to make that dish unique to them.

A Story of Independence

An old Irani gentleman and his granddaughter sit in the shade of his café, underneath the least erratic fan. The little girl turns to her grandfather with a quizzical look on her face, and asks him a question

On Not Belonging, Then Belonging

As a young girl with Indian roots, growing up in nineties Britain wasn’t actually too bad.

Holi at Dishoom

Holi party in King's Cross

Cast your sins into the fire. Throw colours with random strangers, and random abandon. Laugh freely and joyously. Dance. Laugh again.

Hello 2014

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014.

About this time every year I do the exact same thing. I sit in the Permit Room, a Viceroy’s Old Fashioned at my elbow, and think about the year gone by. All that’s happened and not happened.

Ginger Pig bacon naan

The Ginger Pig Bacon Naan Roll

There are some things in life so perfectly matched – such winning combinations – that you wonder quite what anyone did before they came along...

Cabinet of curiosity

The London Design Festival

In September 2013, at Dishoom Shoreditch, we’re hosting a ‘cabinet of curiosity’ curated by This is Provenance as part of the London Design Festival.

Eid al-Fitr

The Celebration of Breaking Fast

The festival of Eid al-Fitr (literally “the Celebration of the Breaking of the Fast”) marks the conclusion of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month where restraint and discipline must be practised.

The verandah

The Shoreditch Verandah

Imagine a summer afternoon, unusually sunny; hot, humid and expectant, like Bombay just before the monsoon. The kind of day that might make Londoners stop in their tracks.

Catch a memory

Catch a memory, bake it on a plate

From the moment we arrive, we accumulate our own layers of stories and experiences, remembered events and remembered emotions.

Holi 2013

Play Holi with Dishoom

A glorious, exuberant, colourful, joy-filled mess. Everyone from the tiniest little children to the most elderly aunty-jis had a fantastic time.

Lamb Raan Bun

The Lamb Raan Bun

The story goes that the dish can be traced to Alexander the Great.

Martyr's Day

Martyrs’ Day

Martyrs’ Day marks the anniversary of the day Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (fondly known to many as Bapu) was shot down by Nathuram Godse.

Hello 2013

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013.

2012 strikes us as a year of contradictions. Yes, it was another year of economic turmoil, of grim declarations from a glum Chancellor about “austerity measures” and “belt-tightening”.

Chilli Standoff

The Chilli Standoff

Chilli. Mexican. Or maybe Tex-Mex. Not really Bombay, or indeed Indian, at all.

Vayu Naidu

Diwali and Ramayana

Amber skies, street lights with their haloes, electric signs, and bonfires with their candle flames and smell of cinnamon.

Diwali 2012

Diwali – the Festival of Light

Bombay. This magnificent yet (at times) mad “maximum city” is heaving with people of all backgrounds, races and religions.

Bombay to London

From Bombay to London

Locations made familiar in Bollywood films, Victoria carriages, a melting pot of communities… and for the days I felt homesick I had Wembley, Southall and Brick Lane.

Eccentric old café in East London

The Dishoom Shoreditch story

One day, an eccentric old Irani Café (born circa 1930, Bombay), creaking slightly at the seams, made the long trip from Bombay in 1970 to London in 2012. Tired from the long journey, it shuffled into an empty space in Shoreditch and made itself comfortable.

The bond of Raksha Bandhan

Siblings can be frustrating, can’t they? Know-it-all elder sisters. Pesky little brothers, bullying big ones.

Ramadan

Fasting, feasting – Ramadan & Eid

Last week, millions of Muslims around the world embarked on the month-long cycle of fasting, prayer and reflection that is Ramadan – the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

Delicious summer meals

Our new summer menu

Brian (still daydreaming of his recent, inaugural visit to Bombay): “You know what we need to really crack a Bombay Breakfast? Akuri. Oh man, that scrambled egg stuff made my stomach sit up and sing.

Classic drink, barmy twist

Wow. Thums Up. It’s kind of a Bombay institution, isn’t it? It’s one of those glorious things that never fails to sweep us back in time and conjure up treasured childhood memories of the homeland.

Holi celebrations

The origins of Holi

BURA NA MANO, HOLI HAI!

Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.

Everything seems just a bit different over the last twelve months. There’s a chill in the air somehow.

Christmas turkey at Dishoom

A Bombay Feast at Christmas

Christmas Turkey. Now be honest. Does the thought of it fill you with excitement? Does it make your taste buds stand to attention?

Naughty Christmas Chai

Cold, rainy morning, not very long ago in a comfortable booth at Dishoom on St Martin’s Lane.

Diwali At Dishoom

Diwali draws near again, and with it fireworks, colour and celebrations.

Goodbye Chowpatty Beach

‘What if an old Bombay Café were to take a gentle stroll down to Chowpatty Beach in about 1965 and drop a mild acid tab?’

Caring hands at Ramadan

Ramadan

A time for reflection

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

Tomorrow is the anniversary of India's independence

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to You

A full year has snuck by since we opened up our slightly too small doors to welcome you all in.

Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar

On the Southbank (May 13th – Oct 4th 2011)

Judy Sucks a Lemon

A cocktail inspired by the legendary Cornershop

Cornershop at Dishoom

Exclusive Sunday listening booth 3-5PM, 13th March 2011

Designing Dishoom

A design can also tell a story

Republic Day

Falls on the 26th January

"It's an oasis, it's Dishoom"

A poem by Joe Winter

Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.

2010 was the year that we finally expressed our affection for the disappearing Irani cafés.

It's Diwali (Again!)

Our first Diwali at Dishoom

Almost Ready To Go

A thought. A conversation. A reality.

Leopold's Café and Bar

A literary destination for Indians and tourists

Bademiya – The Great Bombay Grill

Every Bombayite knows Bademiya

Britannia Café – A Vintage Classic

A lot has happened between these walls