On 22 May, London's Bombay Bustle, the Indian restaurant inspired by the Dabbawalas, the institution of men who use Mumbai’s famed local railway and bicycles to deliver home cooked meals across the city, will launch a delivery service in keeping with this ethos.
In light of the Covid-19 crisis, the dabbawalas are unable to work with the city coming to a standstill and so to help them during this challenging time, Bombay Bustle will donate a percentage of sales to The Nutan Mumbai Tiffinbox Suppliers Charity Trust in an attempt to give back.
Traditionally towered boxes brimming with food made in the homes of the working community, dabbas are transported to their intended recipient through a complex route of local trains, handcarts and bicycles.
The path of each tin is carefully navigated by the Dabbawalas, with each being marked by an individual code; a carefully crafted system which has been at the centre of day to day life in Mumbai for decades.
The Dabbawala delivery menu by Bombay Bustle will aim to re-create this with every order delivered to London doorsteps to reveal boxes of small eats, tandoors, curries, breads and rice.
Executive Chef Surender Mohan has created a menu with some of the city’s most loved dishes alongside family recipes, including small plates of Masala Pao, Rarah Keema Pao, Malabar Chicken Wings and a new trio of samosas with fillings of Adipoli Beef, Duck Chettinad and Aloo Masala.
For something a little heartier there will be a selection of Tandoors, Curries and Biryanis with dishes including Achari Lamb Chops, Tandoori Chicken for two, Paneer Tikka Masala, Kerala Fish Curry, Dum Keema Biryani and Prawn Pulao.
To accompany, there are sides of Kairi Ki Dal, Aloo Mutter, pickles, chutneys, rice, rotis and naans, and for something sweet: a trio of desserts including Date and Cinnamon Pudding.
For those who want to enjoy the Bombay Bustle bar experience from home, The Retiring Room has created a selection of pre-mixed, ready to drink cocktails including a Tequila Riser, Paan Collins, D’Rum Punch and Old Gold Fashioned for two, as well as a range of Lassis for the summer months.
There’s also homemade mimosa mixers, including Peach and Cardamom and Andhra Chilli Spiced Mango, to be poured at home with prosecco or Champagne, and a concise wine list, carefully chosen to drink alongside Indian flavours.
Co-founder Samyukta Nair said, “Everyone, across the globe, is facing huge changes to their daily routine, with many unable to continue working and doing things they enjoy.
'The dabbawala community is part of the fabric of society in Mumbai and have continued to provide something constant in the complex, bustling metropolis of the city, bridging the gap between work and home, between different cultures and diverse regional cuisines, with their near clockwork precision.
'We owe so much to them, they were the inspiration for Bombay Bustle and helped us immensely during our research. We want to offer them some help during this challenging time, in the hope we can make a small difference.”
Delivery will be available for lunch and dinner, Monday to Sunday across London.