An ” Irani ” Restaurant in London
April 2, 2013 by eclectic24
Anyone who has been in Bombay , particularly one who was brought up there , has a deep affection for the Irani cafes. We all have fond memories of a home away from home , a place where we could linger over a bun maska and a cup of Irani chai . And each of us has his favorite whether it be Brittania or Yazdan or Sassanian or Leopold or Good Luck. Here is news of Dishoom , an Irani style café whose new branch opened in Shoreditch, London on March 19th.
Dishoom’s flagship restaurant is in Covent Garden but the Shoreditch outpost will be of special interest to Bombayites because of its plates . Baked into each plate is an anecdote or story about an “Irani” experience. The stories are contributed by a surprising variety of people . Most of them are Bombayites but others are from the U.S , Canada , Switzerland etc. Some stories are contributed by ” regulars ” but a few are by owners and workers from these restaurants . Go to www.platewallah.dishoom.com/
and check out the Gallery . Reading these little stories will transport you back in time and may cause severe pangs for a cup of Irani chai
. Incidentally , some of the stories were contributed by me and are reproduced from a three-part series on Irani restaurants that I had written in this blog a couple of years ago.
Dishoom’s menu is highly eclectic . Some of the old Irani staples such as Bun Muska , Bombay omlette , Akuri
, Lamb samosas, vegetable samosas, Keema Pau
and Chicken Berry Britannia are there, and you can wash them down with any of several varieties of chai
, Limca , ThumsUp etc . These however are only a small part of the menu which also features Bombay snacks ( bhel ,vada pau
), Mughlai and North Indian specialties ( Lamb raan , seekh kabab, boti kabab, chhole,kachumber, roomali roti
etc.) as well as fusion dishes such as Bacon Naan roll and the Full Bombay ( Akuri , Cumberland sausage , Bacon , Fire Toast and Grilled tomato) . There is also a full slate of drinks : beers , wines , cider and mixed tipples . Check out the menu at www.dishoom.shoreditch.com
According to several reviewers on Yelp , the food at Dishoom is excellent , not greasy , and reasonably priced ( for London). One customer who signed herself as Desi F . wrote “ Sweet Jesus ! I want to sample everything on their menu !”
Don’t forget to check out the several links on the Dishoom site , especially the blog. Here you will find nostalgic stories about Bombay landmarks and favorite hangouts . I very much enjoyed ” From Bombay to London ” by Pooja Vir and there was an excellent piece about Cafe Britannia and its unassuming owner, another about Bademiya . Happy memories.