In the past few days and weeks, coronavirus has blown our world apart. Last week already feels like a year ago, the present is unrecognisable, and the future is extremely uncertain. And the decisions we are faced with are incredibly tough.
We have arrived at a very sad, but inevitable and clear choice. As of now, all Dishooms are now closed to diners. This includes Dishoom Birmingham, where the launch (including soft launch) will be postponed. It feels like the right thing for us to do.
It goes without saying that we also need to do the best that we can for our team – their wellbeing, their livelihoods and the families they support. We have our charity commitments to honour. A finite amount of pounds in the bank, and only pennies coming in for the foreseeable future. A brand-new team of people eager to open a restaurant in Birmingham. An old restaurant in Covent Garden, half-demolished and beginning to be rebuilt. And so on.
Our big-hearted, first-class team are as devastated by this situation as we are, and we’re working really hard to do the best that we can for them.
It goes without saying that this will be incredibly challenging when our restaurants are closed and perhaps even for some time after that.
We will doubtless have even more difficult decisions to make, but right now we’re keeping everyone close, in the hope that some government support will be offered in the next day or two, to help us to help the people in our teams. (Please, Rishi, be generous.)
We are still struggling to understand a world with no restaurants in it. The industry that we’ve proudly been a part of for the past decade will likely be permanently changed. Most of our friends and neighbours have already closed, and we hope and pray that they will make it to the other side of this severe storm.
We'll be there too, on the other side, welcoming you back with very big smiles, pots of chai and enormous warmth. It's going to take some doing and a fair wind behind us, but we'll be there, firing up the stoves, opening up the doors and waiting for you.
Until then, we sincerely wish you and your loved ones the best health and as much happiness as you can muster for the months ahead. Please look after one another. We really do miss you already, and we can’t wait to see you on the other side.
With much love to you all
Shamil, Kavi and the whole Dishoom team
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.
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.
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.
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.