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.
With each new café that we open, we write a story deeply rooted in Bombay history or culture. This story, known to us as the founding myth, informs all aspects of the restaurant’s design. We spend months researching the Bombay of the period and combing the city for the right furniture, both vintage and new. In a way, you walk across our thresholds into our stories.
Bedecked in their annual finery of baubles, tinsel and lights, our cafés are ready to receive you for your Christmas celebration. So too are our chefs, who have assembled a most excellent array of festive fare for your table.
Our soft launch will run from 27th November to 2.30pm on 5th December. And to express our gratitude for being among our first guests, all food can be enjoyed at 50% off across breakfast, lunch and dinner – yes, really.
Stop by any Bombay tapri (street stall), café, or home, and you will likely find yourself with a gently steaming glass of chai in hand. Before the invention of chai, Bombayites drank kadha, an ayurvedic remedy for coughs and colds made of boiled water and spices like cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Eventually locals started adding tea leaves, milk, honey and sugar to their ‘kadha’. Chai was born.