Dishoom is preparing to open in Canary Wharf in November this year; their first London opening in five years. Nestled in a corner of Wood Wharf at 13 Water Street, the 8,000 square foot site will occupy a striking double-height building overlooking the water.
Dishoom Canary Wharf, like all Dishoom cafés, will share the team’s deep love for Bombay – its food, its history, its culture, and its quirks – whilst paying loving homage to the city’s Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. It will include a Permit Room cocktail bar in the atrium, several spaces for all-day dining, and an outdoor verandah suited to year-round enjoyment.
The opening of any Dishoom restaurant always begins with writing a story. A founding myth, some might say, which deeply roots every aspect of the new café in Bombay and guides its entire design. Dishoom Canary Wharf’s founding myth takes it to the 1970’s in South Bombay with its modernist aesthetic. The story is rooted in the Fort area, in a café imagined to be next to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Dalal Street.
Bombay in the ‘70s was by no means a glamorous or wealthy place. However, on the Stock Exchange, large fortunes were being made and lost and, as ever in Bombay, there was a fast and glitzy scene in which financiers and industrialists mixed with Bollywood stars.
The canny and ambitious son of a humble Irani café owner is imagined to be at the helm of Dishoom Canary Wharf, and whilst he boasts a knack of making fast money in the markets, he ends up in way over his head…
Tuesday 12th April – 1973
It’s getting light outside. It must be about six. He’s been awake half the night trying to figure out what to do. Lying on his bed, he stares at the rotating blades of the ceiling fan which merely stir the close warm air of his room. He must think – he’s running out of time. But his eyes sting and his head throbs.
He gets up – his legs feel shaky. He’s panicking, even though it can’t fix what he’s done. He’s tried to reason it all in his head, to tell himself that there was no other way, that either all was lost, or he had to try to do something. But he knows he did the wrong thing. He was so so embarrassed – his shame was so deep and his pain so great that he couldn’t face anyone. He certainly couldn’t face the truth. And now when he looks in the mirror, he doesn’t recognise the face looking back at him.
A cold dread compresses his heart. It’s surely only a matter of time before everyone finds out. His life will be over – worthless. And his mother, what will she think? He’s got to tell her, before it’s too late, but a wave of fear washes over him. He should have stopped at the first whiff of trouble. He’s not a criminal. He just got in over his head and now he needs a solution. He needs to finish it.
The phone rings. And rings and rings and rings.
Kindly read more here: www.dishoom.com/canary-wharf
- The Design of Dishoom Canary Wharf
Dishoom co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar worked closely with long-time collaborators, architects Macaulay Sinclair, on the design for Dishoom Canary Wharf. As part of their rigorous design process, weeks were spent exploring and discovering Bombay’s best examples of a mid-century design period, focusing on the architecture and interiors of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Their quest for inspiration led them to find countless buildings and landmarks that encapsulate the aesthetic of this cosmopolitan Bombay era – such as the West End Hotel, Cotton Mills, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Aurora Cinema, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, and of course, the remaining Irani cafés.
Colour and texture play an important role in this suitably retro café. Restrained material palettes – typical of the time – are complemented by chrome, geometric patterns and bronzed mirrors, alongside warm timbers accompanied with tones of ochre, vibrant green and orange. Low-slung soft furnishings feature textured upholstery, set underneath slowly rotating ceiling fans – a Dishoom essential – and alongside rattan panels used throughout the space. In the ‘family room’, its colours take reference from the stairwell at the Parsi Lying-In Hospital in Bombay, whilst The Permit Room’s vibrant green gloss wall is based on the terrace doors near the pool at the Willingdon Club in South Bombay. Split terrazzo colours at the café staircase replicate the steps found at The West End Hotel.
A number of room dividers create pockets of space, which is very nostalgic of 1970’s space planning. A terrazzo and iroko clad bar with back lit panels, softened corners and a bespoke lozenge clock (influenced by the lozenge timber clock in the foyer at The West End Hotel) sits centrally and divides the Permit Room bar from the rear dining spaces. There will be a number of different spaces for all-day dining, separated by screens which reference the wall panelling within the Cotton Mills in Bombay, and stained-glass panels with earthy tones.
Dishoom Canary Wharf’s interior design and its principles are firmly rooted in the findings of the team’s meticulous research. As always, they visited all the remaining cafés, met with the owners, and spent a lot of time seeking out antiques that would have felt at home in an Irani café of this particular era. Over 50 pieces of furniture and artefacts have been lovingly restored to furnish Dishoom Canary Wharf, including fans, dining chairs, tables, armchairs, pendant lighting, scales, switches and more.
- Food & Drink: Bombay comfort food, top-notch tipples & Canary Wharf specials, including a brand-new dish and a very special cocktail!
As ever, the Dishoom kitchen will be open every day from early until late, serving Executive Chef Naved Nasir’s breakfast menu followed by the all-day sharing menu of authentic Bombay comfort food – small plates, grills, biryanis, salad plates, rolls and curries. Like all other Dishoom cafés, Canary Wharf will have its own signature dish (more details coming soon!). The Permit Room bar will serve a brilliant list of delicious tipples, as well as some brand-new cocktails.
As with all Dishoom restaurants, for every meal served in Canary Wharf, the team will donate a school meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. Dishoom works with two fantastic charities – the Akshaya Patra Foundation in India and Magic Breakfast in the UK – who provide nourishing meals to children in schools. So far, Dishoom has donated over 14 million meals (… and counting!)
Just like the old Irani cafés of Bombay, the Dishoom team love nothing more than bringing people together over food and drink and are extremely excited to warmly welcome guests from far and wide to their newest home in November.
13 Water Street, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5GX
For further information, please contact:
Notes to Editors
Dishoom pays loving homage to the Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost 400 of these cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Today, fewer than 30 remain.
These cafés broke down barriers by bringing people together over food and drink. They were the first places in Bombay where people of any culture, class or religion could take cool refuge from the street with a cup of chai, a simple snack or a hearty meal. People from all walks of life shared tables, rubbed shoulders and broke bread together.
Like the old Irani cafés, Dishoom breaks down barriers: in the restaurants, which employ and serve people from all walks of life, at events, and through charity, donating a meal for every meal served – 14 million meals so far. Dishoom serves a lovingly curated menu of Bombay comfort food and award-winning drinks in beautiful restaurants, each with a unique story. Everything Dishoom does shares their love for Bombay’s culture, heritage and people, and everyone is welcomed with warmth.
Dishoom is managed by a team of Babus* led by co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar. Naved Nasir is the Executive Chef. The first Dishoom opened in Covent Garden in 2010, and Dishoom now has five cafés in London, one in Edinburgh, one in Manchester, and one in Birmingham, a dozen delivery kitchens and an online store. Shamil, Kavi and Naved published their first book, “Dishoom: From Bombay with Love” in 2019.
*Babu can be a term of respect in India but is more frequently used to refer to bureaucrats behind desks who don’t do much.
Twitter / Instagram: @dishoom
For more information on Dishoom’s long-term partnerships with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra, please visit: www.dishoom.com/charity
About Canary Wharf Group:
Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and over 1,100 Build to Rent apartments.
CWG is the largest sustainable developer in the UK and also excels operationally as it has purchased 100% electricity from renewable sources since 2012 and sent zero waste to landfill since 2009.
CWG has created a 24/7 city where people can live, work and thrive on the Canary Wharf estate and enjoy all the benefits: great transport links, access to green spaces and waterside living; and a wide range of amenities including an award-winning arts and events programme. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises over 300 shops, including grocery stores, pharmacies, health clubs, bars and restaurants, all within 15 minutes’ walk.
The Company’s current £2bn construction activity and pipeline includes more than 500k square feet NIA of commercial properties and over 2,300 new homes for sale and rent.
Instagram: @canarywharflondon / @eastwintergarden / @woodwharf
Twitter: @YourCanaryWharf / @CanaryWharfGrp / @Level39CW / @Wood_Wharf