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

Dishoom's Bacon Naan Roll Recipe

The Bacon Naan Roll has something of a cult following; it must surely be our signature breakfast dish. The freshly cooked naan is graced with a little cream cheese, tomato-chilli jam and fresh coriander, and wrapped around a few rashers of smoked streaked bacon from top supplier Ramsay of Carluke.

How to make Dishoom Chai with your Naan Roll 'at-home' cookery kit

There are many varieties of Chai. The kind we make at Dishoom is the sort of spicy, sweet chai you will find at Bombay's innumerable tapris (street stalls), normally poured with great dexterity and skill from arm's length into a small, stout glass. The powerful concoction of milk, sugar and caffeine is what keeps the city running.

Reflections from Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO at Akshaya Patra UK

We began working with the Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in India. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting friendships with the incredible team and had the sincere privilege of visiting many of the schools and communities they serve in India. Last month, we celebrated reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra through our meal for a meal partnership. Akshaya Patra’s CEO and Trustee, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, kindly took the time to reflect on the impact of the foundation’s life-changing work.

Thoughts from Rachael Anderson, Head of Schools at Magic Breakfast

We began working with Magic Breakfast in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in the UK. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting and loyal friendships with the incredible team and their partner schools. This month, we celebrate reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children in partnership with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. Magic Breakfast’s Head of Schools, Rachael Anderson, has kindly taken the time to reflect on the last six years of our work together, as well as sharing her thoughts on the profound impact the past twelve months have had.