Samyukta Nair and Rohit Ghai, the co-founder and executive chef of Jamavar in London's Mayfair, are to launch a new restaurant in the capital in November on the site of what was Claude Bosi's Hibiscus.
Dabbawala at 29 Maddox Street is named after dabbawalas, men who used Mumbai's local railway to deliver home-cooked meals across the city in tins, each marked with an individual code.
Restaurant Property sold the site off a premium of £1m and rent of £175,000 per annum.
Ghai will re-create some of the city's most popular dishes, alongside family recipes passed down by his mother.
Dishes at the venue, thought to be around 120 covers, will include: misal pav topped with potato salli; kolhapuri spiced spit roasted chicken; and seabass and scallop tawa pulao. A full Dabba box (containing curry, bread, rice, and sundries) will be around £20 per person.
Designed by Fabled Studios, the restaurant will reflect Bombay's train system of days gone by, juxtaposed with the organised chaos of the modern city.
The 3,000 sq ft restaurant will be split over two levels, with a dining room on the ground floor featuring two areas. The first, inspired by an old first-class railway coach, houses a pewter dining bar, along with pale green leathers and a terrazzo and Marmoleum floor. The second room draws on the strong Art Deco presence in the city, contrasting combinations of pink clay plaster walls with bottle green and candy pink leather upholstery, with tables that are marked with the Dabbawalas' alpha-numeric markings, produced for the restaurant by the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.
Commenting on the opening, Nair said: "Mumbai is a city built on traditions, filled by an endless influx of dreamers, working professionals, and those seeking their fame and fortune; a true melting pot. In one moment you can be in old world Bombay and the turn of a street corner will thrust you into an urban amalgamation. In this complex, bustling metropolis, the Dabbawalas are a constant, bridging the distance between work and home, between different cultures and diverse regional cuisines, with their near-clockwork precision, and we hope to bring the same ethos to London."
Ghai added: "Dabbawala will capture the essence of Mumbai, our love of home comforts alongside our rapid pace of life, both existing side by side. The restaurant will be a place just as well suited to a leisurely dinner with friends as a quick lunch for one, always inspired by Mumbai's diverse flavours, and home style cooking."
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