Goodbye Chowpatty Beach

Dishoom 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?’

Doing it was loopier still. From surreal idea to physical reality, from old grey portakabin to Trippy Indian beach shack at the Festival of Britain, it took just over 3 months to bring to life. It really wasn’t easy, but it was much fun. It’s already beginning to feel like a bizarre, magical dream that we once had.

Naughty coconuts and Golas, drenched in summer alcohol. Endless all-day bacon naan–rolls. Bhel and Thums Up. Bombay Pimm’s. It’s a shame that it couldn’t stay with us for longer than the short 5 months. And it really was a proper London summer, wasn’t it? Rain, the odd sunny spell, and some damp, just for fun.

But we’ll take with us many memories of being tucked into the Indian-Beach-Shack-on-Thames serving up Bombay snacks and plying you with naughty green coconuts. It was lovely to meet so many new Dishoom-wallas and hang out with so many older ones. We Chowpatty-Beach-wallas had a blast with you all. And of course, we must thank you all for making it a great summer party. Chowpatty-Beach-wallas, Dishoom-wallas, Southbank-wallas and any other random-wallaswho washed up on our crazy beach over the summer. Truly, the beach shack was fun because of the people in it. (If you’re feeling nostalgic, or you didn’t come and are just curious, there’s a great gallery of pictures here.)

And as our closing date splutters into view, it seems that at least some of the multitude of Hindu gods are smiling on our last weekend. A few days of glorious, blazing sunshine (touch wood). Temperatures a bit like those on the real Chowpatty Beach. A final splash of heat and colour before we’re plunged into the grey-brown London autumn. What better excuse to celebrate the Indian summer than our send-off for DCB?

We’re calling it ‘the Last of the Summer Bombay Pimm’s’. Two-for-one on Bombay Pimm’s this weekend until Monday 3rd October. Bring a friend, or just treat yourself – you have two hands, after all…

And that’s not even the actual end. On our official closing date – Tuesday 4th October – we’ll be throwing a last Chowpatty party. The food will be on us (we’ll send it out of the kitchen, and you can eat it!) and we’ll be auctioning off some of Dishoom Chowpatty Beach (crazy colourful chairs, mirrors, signs) for the benefit of Plan India, which works to bring clean water to Bombay slums.

So come along, help us to send off Dishoom Chowpatty Beach and bag yourself a piece of Chowpatty Beach history.

RIP Dishoom Chowpatty Beach.

Click here for a nostalgic gallery of photos…

Chowpatty gallery
Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

The Dishoom Canary Wharf story – Chapter Three

The phone keeps ringing shrilly through the flat. Nauzer holds his head in his hands, palms clamped over his ears. “Beta, the phone!” He forgot his mother would still be here. He can’t have her answering in case it is Devia. He runs into the corridor to pick it up. It stops just before he can reach it. Breathless, he looks up and sees his mother in the kitchen. 

Dishoom Canary Wharf – now officially OPEN!

Tucked away in a lovely corner of Wood Wharf, Dishoom Canary Wharf is now officially open and ready to welcome you all. The marble-top bar is ready to hold your drink, the textured, patterned (and extremely comforting) chairs are waiting to be kept warm and the hand-painted mural and carefully curated art – from Bombay and beyond – are waiting to be part of your conversations. 

Dishoom's Chicken Berry Britannia Biryani Recipe

This chicken biryani is our homage to Britannia’s chicken berry pulao, using cranberries in place of the more authentic Persian barberries, which are tricky to find. (Despite much cajoling, Mr Kohinoor has never shared his wife’s famous recipe.) It is prepared in the kacchi style, originating from Hyderabad, in which marinated raw meat goes into the pot, to be cooked at the same time as the rice.

Dishoom's Taj Ballroom Toddy Recipe

No party is complete without some delectable pours to toast the host with the most. For the crafty amongst us, bring out the shakers and strainers and the channel knife and pour your energy into building our festive concoction – The Taj Ballroom Toddy. A warming tipple inspired by The Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where Bombay’s jazz age was born.