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Dishoom Manchester

IN WHICH AN ELUSIVE Irani dupes Sexton Blake in a Freemason's hall.

It is a hazy November morning and it is already warm. The roads are thronged with bullock carts, cycles and pedestrians. There is bustle and noise all along the pavement, which is shared both by those who walk along it and those who make their living there. Barbers deftly wield razors, while the chappal-seller unpacks neat baskets of shoes from the shoemaker. Women in saris sit on flower-shrouded mats preparing garlands of roses and carnations and men in white kurtas dash around on errands. Spice, jasmine and dust mix in the air. Circling crows caw.

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    Groups of any size may book during the day. After 6pm, only groups of 6 or more may book. Walk-ins always welcome.

    It is a hazy November morning. The roads are thronged with bullock carts, cycles and pedestrians and there is bustle and noise all along the pavement. Barbers deftly wield razors, while the chappal-seller unpacks neat baskets of shoes from the shoemaker. Women in saris sit on flower-shrouded mats preparing garlands of roses and carnations and men in white kurtas dash around on errands. Spice, jasmine and dust mix in the air.

    Slightly away from the scene outside, a smartly dressed Englishman with pomaded black hair and a lantern jaw, sits on a bentwood chair in Café Excelsior, an Irani café on Ravellin Street. He takes a sip of his strong chai and studies the character of the Irani café and its patrons. Families enjoy their morning tea and talk. Students (chatting more loudly than they need to) tuck into their plates of omelettes. In a corner, a well-dressed businessman reads The Bombay Chronicle, while a ‘modern’ woman opposite coolly waits for her breakfast. As new customers enter, they exchange loud greetings with a wizened Irani sporting a prominent moustache and thick steel-rimmed glasses. He is perched behind a desk near the entrance, and appears to be the owner.

    The man observing is Sexton Blake, the world-renowned detective known for his penetrating intellect and his taste for fine cigars. He arrived in Bombay that morning, summoned by the note from enemy-turned-ally, Beram. Its few but forceful words are etched into his memory: “You must come to Bombay. Meet me in the Irani café behind the Freemasons’ Hall – I will know when you are there. Your debt has been called.”

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Food & Drink at Dishoom Manchester

BEGIN YOUR DAY AT DISHOOM with breakfast, which might be a Bacon Naan Roll, a Kejriwal or a Big Bombay. Then lunch lightly on Roomali Rolls and Salad Plates, or linger with a feast. Refresh your afternoon with a drop of Chai and a small plate or two. Dine early or dine late. Or just join us for a tipple - perhaps an East India Gimlet, a Viceroy’s Old Fashioned, or our very good Dishoom IPA?

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Menu

Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, dinner and late tipples.

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Sir Manockjee Cursetjee

Sir Manockjee Cursetjee

Brother Manockjee Cursetjee (1808–1887) is considered the father of freemasonry in Western India.

A well-known judge and social reformer, Cursetjee was initially refused admission to Lodge Perseverance in Bombay in 1828. Urbane and adamant, he proceeded to Europe, where he was initiated as a freemason in France. In Bombay he was instrumental in establishing the Lodge Rising Star of Western India, the first Indian Masonic Lodge.

Through the design and artwork of this café – itself built within a former Freemasons’ Hall – we hope to share a little of the story of Freemasonry in Bombay. With thanks to the District Grand Lodge of Bombay and Michael Holland (a Bombay and Manchester Mason) for their kind help.

PICTURED: The father of Freemasonry in Western India.

Contact Details

32 Bridge Street
Manchester
M3 3BT

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Tel: 0161 537 3737

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Opening Times

Monday – Thursday
8am to 11pm
Friday
8am to midnight
Saturday
9am to midnight
Sunday
9am to 11pm
Bank holidays
Open as usual