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
IT HAS BEEN an annual December habit of mine, these past ten years since we embarked upon this restaurant business, to sit alone, with myself, and reflect on the year gone by. I am grateful to be here in the Permit Room in our restaurant in Shoreditch scribbling and writing, the oddly enjoyable taste of splintering wood from my chewed up pencil smoothed by my decently strong drink.
These are the last few days, the dregs of 2019. It’s my habit to sit here in the Permit Room at this time. I am the be-stubbled and dishevelled regular, cherishing his precious drink at the end of the bar. Weary, I sit here pondering the year, attempting to figure out what it was trying to teach me. What wisdom can I glean from it?
I love to truly understand and appreciate the origins of a dish, and learn how communities have adapted a recipe over time to make that dish unique to them.
We have arrived at a very sad, but inevitable and clear choice. As of now, all Dishooms are now closed to diners.