One plus one equals two, that happens every day, that is not magic. That's the grind. That's when you get up, one. Go to work, one. Go to bed, two. But when one plus one equals three, that's when you see everything new, when you are visited by visions. It is the essential equation of love. It's the essential equation of art. It's the essential equation of rock 'n' roll. It's the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible.
– Bruce Springsteen
It's not often you get the chance to make 1 + 1 = 3, but if you ever do – you should grab it with both hands. Because these are the moments you will remember, the ones you will cherish, the ones that make it all worthwhile.
We first approached Shamil and Kavi, incidentally two of our (and London’s) food heroes, in 2017 with the idea of a collaboration. Our Shoreditch branch is over the road from Babu House, so we often have the pleasure of seeing some of their team having a cheeky pizza on their lunch break. It's always been really clear to me that like us, Dishoom massively cares about welcoming all comers with open arms, and putting their heart and soul into everything that they do – from the food they serve, to the drinks they pour and the welcome of their team. Put simply, love is at the heart of what we do – it's an essential ingredient – and we wanted to find a way to celebrate that.
Needless to say, over the past two years, there have been plenty of discussions, testings, debates and yet more testing. And we were, for lack of a better couplet, ‘dead chuffed’ when we finally got to a place where we all felt we had something special. Thus... the Bacon & Egg Naan Pizza was born. And oh is it a prized dish! Clarence Court eggs and bacon from top-notch butcher, Ramsey of Carluke, atop a base of tomato sauce and cream cheese, a lick of Dishoom chilli tomato jam and a sprinkling of fresh coriander and green chilli.
Whilst on first inspection Indian and Italian cuisines seem a world apart – scratch the surface and you quickly see this isn’t the case. Both have strong regional variations in their cuisine, both rely heavily on chilli and tomatoes in their dishes, both have a strong matriarchal presence in their kitchen culture, and food is a huge part of bringing people together in both cultures. Ultimately, that was our aim in collaborating with Dishoom – to bring people together over delicious food and drink.
This was a great project to work on! A labour of love (and pizza). I have often dreamed of Dishoom’s Bacon & Egg Naan come dinner time – so I was super pumped to finally make that dream a (sort of) reality as we've made the iconic dish available for the whole day for the first time!
Needless to say the reaction has been phenomenal – and people have travelled far and wide to taste the pizza. The team have been massively energised in coming together to make sure every single one is delivered with love – alongside the more traditional Neapolitan options on our menu.
And most importantly – it is all for an amazing cause. For every pizza sold, we will donate two “Magic Breakfasts” to hungry or disadvantaged children across the UK – one from Dishoom and one from Pizza Pilgrims. Magic Breakfast is a truly brilliant charity – their aim is to end hunger as a barrier to education by providing free, nutritious school breakfasts to hungry children – and we couldn’t be prouder or more humbled to contribute to this, albeit it through a slightly barmy pizza/naan mash-up!
So, if that is not 1+1=3, I don’t know what is.
Thanks so much to everyone at Dishoom for letting our little idea become a reality.
Pizza & Love!
The Dishoom Bacon and Egg Naan Pizza was available from 21st October until 17th November. And we're absolutely delighted to share that in total, we donated 10,000 'Magic Breakfasts' – one from us, and one from Pizza Pilgrims – to hungry children across the UK. We're blown away by this. Enormous thank you to all guests that made this possible (by eating our somewhat barmy creation) and extra special thanks to Pizza Pilgrims for hosting such a barmy idea!
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.