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.
IT HAS BEEN an annual December habit of mine, these past ten years since we embarked upon this restaurant business, to sit alone, with myself, and reflect on the year gone by. I am grateful to be here in the Permit Room in our restaurant in Shoreditch scribbling and writing, the oddly enjoyable taste of splintering wood from my chewed up pencil smoothed by my decently strong drink.
These are the last few days, the dregs of 2019. It’s my habit to sit here in the Permit Room at this time. I am the be-stubbled and dishevelled regular, cherishing his precious drink at the end of the bar. Weary, I sit here pondering the year, attempting to figure out what it was trying to teach me. What wisdom can I glean from it?
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.
We have arrived at a very sad, but inevitable and clear choice. As of now, all Dishooms are now closed to diners.