A Nostalgic Return - Dishoom Brings You Back to the '70s

Dishoom Canary Wharf is a new London restaurant, its design imagining a 1970s Irani café near the Bombay Stock Exchange in India. 

Opening on November 30th, Dishoom Canary Wharf is the new hotspot from restaurant co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar. Situated in the heart of Wood Wharf, it draws on the concept of a financial fraudster from the 1970s who owns a café. Taking inspiration from the aesthetic and feel of this time period in Bombay, this establishment is like no other. The moment you step inside, you are transported to a different world; surrounded by retro furnishings, a mix of wood and marble table tops, and artwork from Bombay’s modern art history, you will feel that you have stepped back in time. Home to a main dining room, a Permit Room cocktail bar, several indoor spaces to eat, and an outdoor veranda that can cope with all sorts of weather, there is an abundance of spots to sit down and soak up the atmosphere.

The Dishoom restaurants first launched in 2010 and are based on the Irani cafés that used to be common in Bombay. This all-day Bombay café brand is the 6th Dishoom that has been opened in London already and the first opening in five years. Clearly, this sense of history and storytelling appeals to the London public. Thakrar hopes to have created a stronger sense of 1970s glamour here than in any other restaurant. "It feels like one of the richest designs we've created," he said. "The room furthest back feels to me like the Air India first class lounge circa 1973, although I'm too young to remember this of course…I also love the artwork, which works again to reinforce the character and the time setting of the protagonist in our story."

Much of the furnishings were carefully sourced from antique dealers in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and then restored and shipped back to the UK. The biggest find was a vintage diamond-shaped clock, which is now the focal point of an impressive bar that can be seen from all angles and viewpoints while you eat. This recalls the lobby clock in Mumbai's West End Hotel, which is located in the same neighbourhood as the Bombay Stock Exchange. Other finds include vintage chairs, lighting fixtures, and unique ornaments. The overall effect is immediately immersive, the scene set. All that’s left to do is eat.

So what’s on the menu? The special is Malai Lobster because Bombay has a special fondness for seafood. Sustainably caught in British waters and coming fresh each morning, this dish is sourced from Billinsgate Market. But there is a wide variety of options, many of which feature at the other Dishoom restaurants as well (including its best-loved dishes). Take a peek at their menu to see what catches your eye.

Demand for the brand is only growing since it originally opened 12 years ago. It’s still hard to get a table at one of its restaurants at peak times. This newest addition is sure to only increase the demand even further, introducing its story in its own unique way. 

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