The Combustibles

Our research for Dishoom Carnaby took us down many unexpected avenues. We started to investigate the world of rock’n’roll Bombay in the ’60s and made lots of new friends. Nissim Ezekiel, of The Combustibles, is one such friend. While we were putting together the restaurant and the Slip-Disc LP, he kindly shared much memorabilia of the ‘groovy scene’ in Bombay in the 60s and has now been kind enough to share his blog from The Combustibles’ own website. 

Dishoom – London’s extremely popular and highly regarded chain of restaurants modeled on the fast-vanishing Irani cafes of Bombay – opened its newest location on Kingly Street in Carnaby on October 14, 2015. As its owners explain: “When we began thinking about Dishoom Carnaby, we came across a surprising relationship that flourished in the 60s, when Western influences kicked off a rocking music scene in Bombay. We were drawn in by this cul-de-sac of history and contacted Sidharth Bhatia, author of the book ‘India Psychedelic’ as well as many of the musicians of the time.” The Combustibles are proud to have been part of this project and thrilled to have a number of the band’s images appear on Dishoom Carnaby’s Wall of Fame as we call it!

Everett (and wife Valerie) and Lionel (with sister Ellen) attended the opening party for Dishoom Carnaby and thoroughly enjoyed being treated like celebrities again after a somewhat short hiatus of four decades or more! Enjoyed sharing the limelight with Reynold D’Silva – formerly with Brief Encounter in Bombay and now Founder/CEO of Silva Screen Records (London)

Ellen was always an integral part of The Combustibles experience in the good olde days – with a strong claim to have come up with the band’s name! Now, she’s again a part of the celebration in London.


Autograph time again??

Not having been in Bombay during the band’s heyday, Valerie now experiences Everett’s celebrity status in London!

For those of our fans and friends who get the opportunity please do visit Dishoom Carnaby, enjoy the incredible food and get some photos alongside some of The Combustibles images on the ‘Wall of Fame.’ Remember to send them to us at info@thecombustiblesband.com and we’ll put them on the site!

Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

Thoughts from Rachael Anderson, Head of Schools at Magic Breakfast

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.

Children sit cross legged at school

10 million meals for children

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. 

Dishoom Uttapam Stack Recipe

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.

How to Serve the Permit Room Old-Fashioned

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.