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September 27, 2016
Will diners get an 'Ooooh' with Chaakoo Bombay Cafe?
Will diners get an ‘Ooooh’ with Chaakoo Bombay Cafe?

The team behind the Topolabamba Mexican restaurants don’t let the grass grow under their feet.

Mere weeks after opening the Edinburgh Topolabamba, they are hard at work planning the launch of an all new restaurant brand in Glasgow.

Chaakoo Bombay Cafe is taking shape on St Vincent Street, next door to Pizza Punks.

According to their signage, they will be serving from breakfast right through the day. Guests can look forward to hot naan rolls, ‘humble curries, Irani kebabs, Bombay bakery, Calcutta small plates, café puddings and chai’.

Irani cafes

We’re going to take a flying guess here and humbly suggest that the new venture has, in some part at least, been influenced by the old Irani cafés of Bombay.

According to Wikipedia, these Iranian style cafés were opened by Zoroastrian Irani immigrants in India.

Once extremely popular, they appear to be dying out. At one point there were around 400 of them in Bombay. In modern day Mumbai, less than thirty survive.

There’s an article on some of the last ones standing here.

As far as I can tell, their USP is that they were/are cheap, open all hours and accessible to everyone. I’m thinking they are perhaps the equivalent of a old school diner.

The Refinery set for Edinburgh

In London, the Dishoom restaurant brand has thrived by giving customers their take on Irani cafés.

Edinburghers will soon get a chance to try Dishoom dishes when a branch opens for business in St Andrews Square.

It will be the fifth restaurant in the Dishoom family. There are already outlets in London’s Covent Garden (pictured), Shoreditch, King’s Cross and near Carnaby Street.

We’re not sure which will open first but we understand that the new Dishoom will have a neighbour in the form of The Refinery – a bar and kitchen from the Drake and Morgan hospitality company.

Apparently, The Refinery is planning to launch in November and offer everything from ‘business breakfasts through to long lunches, cocktail celebrations and lingering dinner dates’.