The London Design Festival

Cabinet of curiosity

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.

Our cabinet was once used for family heirlooms in India. Today, we’ll be exhibiting a series of illustrated plates which attempt to capture the memories of those who know and love the original Irani cafés of Bombay. These plates were created in collaboration with OgilvyOne and by gathering the stories of hundreds of people who have spent time in the Irani Cafés.

The stories are truly touching: one contributor remembers a poorer customer pouring their chai into a saucer to share it with a friend, another recalls the delight of her first taste of tutti-frutti ice-cream. Still more remember turning points in their lives – a revelation about one’s path in life, a coming of age – taking place in the shade of the cafés. Together, the plates represent the collective memories of those who ate, drank and lingered in these disappearing spaces. You can see the full range of plates here.

The cabinet will also display work from two designers inspired by the subcontinent. London-based Jasleen Kaur will display her ingenious Tala Curry Measure, a tribute to how recipes are passed down through the generations in Indian families. Australian designer Sian Pascale, who lives and works in Bombay, will be exploring individuality and disposability with her contemporary interpretations of traditional earthenware chai cups.

We’re proud to be part of Encounters with Provenance and the London Design Festival this year, and we’re inspired by the great designers working in Shoreditch.

Stop by this week for a chai – we’d like to show you the treasures in our cabinet.

Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

Chef Rishi, on grilling

As a thirteen year old boy in Delhi with endless energy and appetite, I treasured Sunday mornings. I’d wake up early, jump on my rickety Hero Cycle bicycle and hurriedly pedal five miles to a park close to Shantivan and Raj Ghat. There, me and my friends would set-up makeshift stick stumps and play cricket for hours… or until our minds and bellies turned (inevitably) to food.

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.

Dishoom's Cheese & Masala Sticks Recipe

In India, mealtimes are very much a family affair and everything is shared which makes these cheese-and-pastry twirls perfect for making together this half-term. They’re incredibly easy to make, which make them just right for keeping little hands happily occupied during the holidays.

Chand Raat

The culmination of Ramadan will bring with it Chand Raat (the night of the moon), an evening of great excitement and unity. It’s the eventide or moment the first crescent moon of the month is observed, which marks the end of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, a period of fasting, prayer and reflection, and the start of Eid, the beginning of great festivities.