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Indian restaurant chain Dishoom launches Cambridge delivery service

Successful, long-standing Indian restaurant group, Dishoom, has opened a new delivery service in Cambridge.

A Dishoom delivery. Picture Charlie McKay
A Dishoom delivery. Picture Charlie McKay

Launching in London in 2010, Dishoom pays homage to the numerous Irani cafés that were once a notable part of life in Bombay, offering a curated menu of ‘Bombay comfort food’, which brings together the cuisine of Bombay, from street food staples, to biryani, curries and more.

Since opening its first restaurant 11 years ago, Dishoom now has eight restaurants across the UK – including Manchester and Edinburgh – and eight delivery kitchens: six in London, one in Brighton and now one in Cambridge, which went live last week.

The delivery service was initiated last year while restaurants were closed and has helped the company to stay in business – in fact, no member of its staff has been laid off since the pandemic began.

The service boasts a menu of dishes prepared by Dishoom’s chef-wallas using the same recipes as the café kitchens.

Customers can order from 12pm to 10.30pm daily in many local postcodes, including Eddington and Chesterton, Barnwell, Romsey and Newnham, as well as Trumpington to Cherry Hinton and most neighbourhoods in between.

Shamil and Kavi Thakrar of Dishoom with executive chef Naved Nasir. Picture: Jon Cottam
Shamil and Kavi Thakrar of Dishoom with executive chef Naved Nasir. Picture: Jon Cottam

Co-founders and cousins, Shamil and Kavi Thakrar, and executive chef Naved Nasir, who has been on board since the very beginning, make up the Dishoom team.

Shamil says they are thrilled to be coming to Cambridge but admits that prior to 2020, delivery was not something they had ever really considered.

“We never really wanted to do delivery because our belief was that what we did well was to bring people into our restaurants,” notes Shamil, who spent a great deal of time in Bombay as a child.

“We put a lot of time and effort into it, but now the pandemic has forced us into doing something different – and we’re trying to make it absolutely brilliant.”

Dishoom Delivery chole and biryani. Picture: Charlie McKay
Dishoom Delivery chole and biryani. Picture: Charlie McKay

Shamil, who has a background in business, continues: “I think Cambridge is a good, natural place for us to be. We’ve had a lot of people wanting us to come to Cambridge – I think people from Cambridge have been to our restaurants in London quite a lot and I think they might appreciate our approach.”

The Dishoom delivery menu includes popular favourites such as keema pau, chicken ruby and house black daal. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

The deliveries for Cambridge are prepared in a small kitchen within the city and Shamil says he would also like to open a branch of the restaurant in Cambridge.

“We distribute from the kitchen and we work with Deliveroo as well,” says Shamil. “We’re super excited to bring our food to more people.

“Our dishes are really grounded in Bombay and all the food we eat there, and it’s nice to be serving at this time when everyone’s stuck at home. It’s just nice to do something that might cheer people up.”

A Dishoom delivery. Picture: Charlie McKay
A Dishoom delivery. Picture: Charlie McKay

Soft drinks include Bombay sodas, the lemon-and-lime-flavoured Limca and Thums Up (a brand of Indian cola), as well as Dishoom’s mango lassi. Tipples include Dishoom’s very own IPA and a selection of cocktails.

For each delivery meal served, Dishoom donates a meal to a child who might otherwise go hungry. This pledge began in their cafés in 2015 during Ramadan and was made permanent at Diwali that same year.

To date, with the support of their guests, Dishoom has donated almost 10 million meals in partnership with UK charity Magic Breakfast and Indian charity Akshaya Patra.

All dishes are packaged as sustainably as possible, using cardboard from sustainably managed sources, reclaimed and renewable sugar cane pulp packaging, and carbon-neutral PLA (a smart compostable bioplastic made from plants), all of which are recyclable once rinsed, or compostable.

Shamil, Kavi and Naved have also written a cookbook – a Sunday Times Bestseller – titled Dishoom: From Bombay with Love, available now.

To check locations, hours of operation, eligibility of postcodes for delivery and to place an order, visit delivery.dishoom.com.

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