These past months have brought strangeness and uncertainty for so many of us. Since we shut the doors of our restaurants in March, we haven’t felt like ourselves at all. The very point of Dishoom is to welcome you through our doors and to serve you the most delicious food and drink we can summon up in the warmest possible way.
Now, a few months on, we’re extremely happy to be firing up the stoves, brewing large pots of chai and warming up our welcomes so we can open our doors to you all!
Our re-opening dates are as follows:
We’ll be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the same hours as before.
Dishoom Birmingham (lovely, new!) was mid-way through its launch with its excited new team when the coronavirus shut us all down. Dates and details of the soft launch, with 50% off food, will be sent shortly.
Meanwhile, the original Dishoom Covent Garden remains closed for refurbishment. (Were it not for corona, we'd have been relaunching the New Dishoom Covent Garden this month. Ah well.)
As part of our measures to keep everyone safe during the time of coronavirus, we are now taking reservations at any time of day for any size of group up to a maximum of 6. Walk-ins will always be welcome, but booking is particularly recommended for busy times such as evenings and weekends.
We know this is a significant change to the way we run the restaurants, but we believe it makes sense for now.
We’re trialling reservations for the month of July only, and they are open now (in line with the opening dates above, online bookings only). In due course, we will likely open up reservations for August and onwards.
With all sincerity, there is nothing more important to us than keeping everyone in our restaurants safe, whether guest or team member. This was true before corona and is absolutely true now.
We also think deeply about how we serve. More than anything else, we love serving you first-class Bombay comfort food and thirst-quenching drink with the warmest hospitality in lovely restaurants. So, we asked ourselves how we can do exactly this while holding a new and sharp focus on safety during the time of corona.
We’ve been working closely with leading safety specialists, and with their guidance, we've implemented comprehensive Dishoom corona safety standards. These include new roles, policies, processes and equipment, back and front of house, visible and less visible (in some cases, well beyond government guidance) to make sure our restaurants have the highest standards of health and safety for this time.
So, when you come through our doors to your reserved, safely-distanced table, you can expect the same warm hospitality from the same big-hearted Dishoom-wallas (we've managed to keep everyone's jobs through this time). However, you may see a bit more signage and guidance on what to do and not do. You may notice a few adjustments to our service which might even feel a little odd at first. Fortunately, our restaurants are spacious enough that we can take out quite a few tables and also add additional screens for safety. We’ve installed new systems for reservations and pay-at-table. We’ve increased the rate of air circulation and added new ultra-violet and ionisation filtration systems of the kind that are used in medical facilities to eliminate viruses. There are myriad other procedures that deal with hygiene, wellness, safety and distancing that we’ve implemented in the way we work and will be auditing continuously and thoroughly. If you’re interested, you can find out more about them here.
We also do understand that at this time, individuals’ concerns are many and varied. We’ve tried to anticipate things but if you have any specific questions or requests, we’ll do try our best to accommodate you.
Home delivery was never part of Dishoom in the old world, but since early June we’ve been sending food from our kitchens in Shoreditch King’s Cross and Kensington. We understand that some of you will still be more comfortable at home, so we’re going to keep delivering. (Unfortunately, there will be no collection from the restaurants once they re-open).
For those outside our delivery areas, the next best thing is making our food yourself. Make it from scratch with the help of our cookery book, or let us do some of the work with our newly-launched Bacon Naan Roll Kit! We’ve worked hard on making it almost idiot-proof to make a naan (which we can both vouch for!) and the praise so far from those who have tried it has been gushing. (Whisper it quietly, but it’s very nearly as good as Bacon Naan Rolls from the chefs in the kitchen!)
After these months of hibernation, we must confess to being a touch nervous as we come out blinking in the sunlight. We’re getting pretty busy now, checking checklists, bringing teams back together, doing safety trainings, turning on the lights, firing up the tandoors and anxiously watching to see whether bookings trickle in. We’ll be hoping that our business still makes sense in the time of corona.
More than anything, though, we’ve missed the restaurants full of you, our guests. We’ve missed our team, the lights that glow golden, and the music and the bustle and the comforting fragrance of fresh chai.
We’ll be here with big smiles whenever you feel ready to return and we can’t wait to welcome you back.
Much love to you all
Shamil, Kavi and the whole Dishoom team
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.
Since 2015, for every Dishoom meal you’ve enjoyed (whether in the cafés, via delivery, or as a meal kit), we’ve donated a meal to a child that might otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. This month, as we reached the milestone of donating 10 million meals, we had occasion to catch up with our dear friends and long-term charity partners, Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. The work both charities do to end hunger as a barrier to education is simply incredible and we’re extremely proud to be able to support them and the communities they serve in the UK and India, respectively. We kindly invite you to take a moment to hear their reflections on our partnership and on the impact of the very important work they do.
Uttapam are a fluffy savoury dosa, made with rice. They're usually enjoyed with savoury toppings but we particularly like ours with lashings of jaggery syrup and a thick, strained yoghurt. Chef Naved has shared his recipe for making an extra fluffy stack at home.
Our Old-Fashioned bottled cocktail takes its name from the Permit Room bar, found in every Dishoom and so named after the official term for all Bombay drinking establishments, in which, according to the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949, only permit-holders may consume alcohol. Herein, liquor can be sold and imbibed, but only for the goodness of one’s health.
Though the doors of the Permit Room are closed for now, you can still enjoy our tipples in bottled form at home. Follow our lead to achieve the perfect pour, and transport yourself back to a cosy corner of the bar.