WHERE IT ALL STARTED
It all started in a small restaurant called ‘Namasté in Alie Street in the early 1990’s where Cyrus Todiwala, newly arrived from Goa in southern India, was working as head chef. It wasn’t long before legendary restaurateur turned entrepreneur, Michael Gottlieb, invited Cyrus to join him in 1995 as executive chef and partner in a much larger restaurant called Cafe Spice Namasté. In 2005, Cyrus and Pervin became sole owners of what would become a 100% family-owned enterprise and the longest running Michelin BIB Gourmand (‘good food, good value’) restaurant in the respected Michelin Guide.
After an early, glowing review by one of London’s top restaurant critics, Fay Maschler, the Todiwalas never looked back. Word soon spread and Cyrus’ innovative, sophisticated approach to Indian cuisine raised expectations of Indian cuisine in the UK. Café Spice Namasté became both a destination restaurant and a regular haunt, with thousands of food lovers passing through the doors of its iconic premises on Prescot Street in the City of London — a Grade II-listed former magistrate’s court — during a quarter of a century.
More than a Restaurant
Café Spice Namasté also helped to introduce Parsee food – the cuisine of Cyrus and Pervin’s centuries-old culture – to new audiences. Lamb Dhaansaak, the traditional Parsee Sunday roast, was never off the menu, and encouraged by a regular customer, the Khaadraas (Greedy Pigs) Club showcasing Parsee heirloom dishes, became a popular monthly fixture.
More than a restaurant, Café Spice Namasté has been recognised as a culinary institution with excellent quality, service, sustainability and education and training at its heart. We are the first restaurant to ever receive a National Training Award and to become an Investors in People Champion. Both the London Evening Standard and Conde Nast Traveller have singled Café Spice Namasté out as one of London’s most sustainable restaurants.
An award-winning range of food products, including pickles, chutneys, spiced oils and spice blends are created by hand in Café Spice Namasté’s kitchens, which in November 2021 migrated to the Royal Albert Wharf. During the pandemic, Café Spice Namasté pivoted to offering meal kits and food boxes. These are all available under the Mr Todiwala’s banner and via our on-line shop.
Happily ensconced in our new home by the water, within sight of the City of London’s runway and against the Docklands magnificent skyline, we carry on with what we do best, but now we do things even better! Keep your eyes peeled as we won’t stand still.