Dishoom Co-Founder and certified MurdockMan, Shamil Thakrar discusses how fatherhood has impacted his life
Pop on to Redchurch Street during any given evening and you'll be sure to spot an orderly queue peeking around the corner of Boundary St. These notorious collections of eager diners tantalizingly lead in to our local favourite, Dishoom who have re-imagined and re-energised the capital's desire for Bombay dishes.
As a certified MurdockMan himself, we met with Shamil after his regular appointment with Shoreditch Senior Barber Aaron to discuss Dishoom's impact on London's culinary culture, how he enjoys time away from the business and with father's day on the horizon, how fatherhood has impacted his life so far...
Could you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I run Dishoom along with my cousin Kavi. We have four restaurants across London. I think we really only do two things - make sure our guests are happy and make sure our team is happy!
What makes the Shoreditch restaurant your personal favourite?
Somehow, the Shoreditch Dishoom is the one I have the most affection for. I would even say that some of the other restaurants have more impressive designs and an equally great vibe. However, Shoreditch was our second restaurant and the one where I really think we found our groove. I also love this area which is a very natural home for Dishoom.
A fine array of signature Dishoom dishes - the cheese naans are a must-try to accompany your main dish.
What did you learn from your father and grandfather that helped influence developing Dishoom?
My father and grandfather are enormous inspirations for me. Both were great entrepreneurs in their own right and established great businesses. My grandfather was and my father is incredibly devoted to our family. There are photographs of them in all of the restaurants.
One thing that runs through both of them is that they would make time for everyone, and would help anyone out whenever they could. They have very directly influenced what we do at Dishoom - it’s incredibly important to us to make sure that every single guest and every single employee is completely looked after. We’re humble enough to know that we don’t always get it right, but I firmly believe you have to bake this principle of looking after people into everything you do.
Shamil looking mighty sharp after his service with Aaron in Murdock Shoreditch
Would you say that becoming a father changed you in any way?
Absolutely. I think it focuses you on what's important. You also become conscious that your children will copy your behaviour - good and bad!
What are your top tips for fatherhood?
1. You are better at it than you think you are. 2. Be relaxed. 3. Be sparky!
What differences are there between how your dad/parents raised you and how you bring up your children?
My parents were brilliant. I hope I can be just as good.
What is the greatest lesson you would like to impart on your children?
Three things, actually. 1. Be kind. 2. Be determined. 3. Try and do some good.
Talk us through your perfect weekend...
A lovely breakfast with my wife and three daughters, followed by a walk in Regents Park, and eventually dinner at Portland with some good friends.
Do you have any top picks for someone spending a weekend in London?
Bacon Naan Rolls and bloody Marys at Dishoom (obviously!) A stroll down to Columbia Road flower market, with lunch at Brawn. Then a walk along the canal before chilled out drinks and food at a streetfeast.
Visit Dishoom Shoreditch at 7 Boundary St, London E2 7JE
Top MurdockMan Tip:
You simply have to try the signature Dishoom bacon naan roll - be it as an indulgent breakfast treat or a phenomenal hangover cure. You may struggle to concentrate for the rest of the day, but that early hit of unique spice, soft bread and succulent meat is irresistible! Pair with a smooth chai tea to nurse the spice and help take the edge off.