THE OLD IRANI CAFÉS of Bombay have almost all disappeared. Their faded elegance welcomed all: rich businessmen, sweaty taxi-wallas and courting couples.
Fans turned slowly. Bentwood chairs were reflected in stained mirrors, next to sepia family portraits. Students had breakfast. Families dined. Lawyers read briefs. Writers found their characters.
Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost four hundred cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now, fewer than thirty remain. Their loss is much mourned by Bombayites.
Dishoom has five cafés in London and one in Edinburgh. Like Bombay’s old Irani cafés, Dishoom breaks down barriers: in its restaurants, which employ and serve people from all walks of life, at its events, and through charity (donating a meal for every meal).View this Recipe