We’re not very sure where all the time went. We can’t even make up our minds whether it feels like an eternity or an instant.
Either way, tomorrow we’re celebrating Dishoom’s first birthday.
A person with good sense – that friend you go to for reliably sound advice – would have told you that opening a restaurant was a silly thing to do. Fraught with risk, crazy long hours, stressful business, they would observe, sagely. If you then added that you were trying to pay homage to some disappearing café culture from Bombay and that the name you were considering was Hindi onomatopoeia for the sound of a satisfying punch, they might start pitying you. Poor chaps, they would mutter under their breath.
In the end, of course, we didn’t listen to that sensible friend of ours. And we’re just really happy and grateful that we’re here on our first birthday.
We also know – as a concrete-clad fact – that the reason we’re here at the passing of the year is the talent and trust of so many. We’re extremely fortunate to have had such a number of great Dishoom-wallas to help redeem us and make it OK that we ignored our sensible friend.
The skill of our chefs. The flair of our designers. The stamina of our managers. The cheeriness of our waiters and barmen. The patience of our families. We could go on. You all have that Dishoom, that spark. In buckets. Thank you, and thank you again.
But those Dishoom-wallas who have truly redeemed us are our guests. You, who trust us with your wallets and stomachs time and again. Who enthusiastically praise us when we get it right, and who have been frank with us and allowed us to put it right when we got it wrong. Who respond to our random tweets, and make our Facebook page a happy gathering, laughing obligingly at our jokes. Who indulge us when we announce that we want to take Dishoom on a summer stroll down to Chowpatty Beach (well, to the Southbank) to drop a mild acid tab. You all breathe ultimate life into what we do, and you have our sincerest gratitude.
We’re truly humbled to be surrounded by such a big number of pukka Dishoom-wallas. We’re glad to have been of service over the last year and we’re looking forward to serving you for many more.
So here, after one year of Dishoom, it’s not really Happy Birthday to us. It’s actually Happy Birthday to you.
Thanks for everything.
(PS. Because it’s happy birthday, we’ll be buying you food and drink over the next few days – ‘like’ and watch our Facebook page for details. Starting tomorrow and Saturday morning with Breakfast naan rolls, onto a lazy Sunday with Bombay Pimm’s and a Vada Pau Monday….)
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.