|Monday - Thursday||08:00 - 23:00|
|Friday||08:00 - 00:00|
|Saturday||09:00 - 00:00|
|Sunday||09:00 - 23:00|
|Budget||Reasonably Priced (£30 - £40)|
|Nearest Station||Oxford Circus|
Oxford Circus Station: 4 Minute Walk
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.
It’s 1968. Imagine yourself lounging in a stylish Irani café-bar in Churchgate, Bombay. Late night, low lights… Nearby, the young café owner is holding court with a group of friends. They are smoking Simla cigarettes and sharing an illicit bottle of Old Monk while discussing the recent victory of the Savages at the Sound Trophy Contest, and the record they are now due to cut with Asha Puthli. Their English is accented but their threads might not be out of place on Carnaby Street. The Jukebox is playing a track by the Stones; for the most part, the singer hits the right notes.
Dishoom emulates an Old Irani Café in Bombay - faded elegance, slow fans, brentwood chairs and stained mirrors amidst sepia family portraits. The loss of these eclectic cafés need not be felt by Bombayites or Londoners. Step into Dishoom on Carnaby Street and be encapsulated in 1968, lounge in a stylish Irani café-bar and ask yourself - is this Bombay, or London, or somewhere in between?