Emulating a “financial fraudster from the 1970s“, Dishoom Canary Wharf is the Bombay café’s latest, and possibly most exciting opening yet.
Stepping into Dishoom in Canary Wharf is like taking a free ride back in time (or more accurately said, priced at whatever a dinner at the restaurant may cost). Paying homage to Iranian Cafés and Bombay food, you may already be familiar with their Shoreditch and Covent Garden locations, but this November 2022 has added yet another London hotspot to the already extensive list; Canary Wharf.
The Iranian Cafés
The whole idea behind Dishoom is to emulate Iranian Cafés, perishing spaces that would welcome “rich businessmen, taxi-wallas and courting couples.” They were examples of togetherness, spaces where people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds would gather around a table and share a meal. In many ways, they represented a more diverse Bombay, one open and accepting to differences.
The 1960s were their glory days, with more than 400 cafés to chose from, of which now less than 30 remain. “The children of the cafe owners don’t want to be cafe owners, they want to be bankers or accountants, so there is an adverse trend there,” Thakrar told Dezeen, Dishoom’s owner.
The Canary Wharf Venue
Designed around a “financial fraudster from the 1970s” the space was created to resemble an Iranian café in Bombay’s stock exchange, an interesting reference to its current location near London’s banking headquarters. The result is an intriguing space, decorated in dark greens and wood and a spectacular vintage diamond-shaped clock. Curated detailing, intricate textures, colourful upholstery and hanging lamps make the restaurant’s design rich and full of culture.
Rattan panelling, rotating fans and a large focal bar bring an undeniable elegance too, which has been extensively researched by its designers; Macauley Sinclair. From the detailed artwork, the plant choices and the lighting, the space feels vintage to its core, successfully bringing anyone into the glorious café times in Bombay.