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Dishoom is pleased to announce the upcoming opening of two new Permit Rooms, inspired by the permit rooms of 1960s and 1970s Bombay. Following the success of its first opening in Brighton in November last year, the new all-day bar-cafés mark the second and third neighbourhood locations for the team, with Permit Room Cambridge opening its doors on 20th June and Permit Room Oxford in October 2024.

The Permit Room is an all-day bar-café serving up delicious breakfasts, seriously good bar snacks, moreish curries, plates for sharing (all with a selection of signature Dishoom delights). There’s a knock-out line-up of cocktails to wash it all down with. It is Dishoom’s tribute to the way Bombay kicks back and cuts loose – a salute to the city’s permit rooms, beer bars and drinking holes.

Shamil Thakrar, co-founder of Permit Room & Dishoom, comments on the approaching Cambridge opening: "I've had quite a few friends living in Cambridge over the years. When I think back to my early twenties, Cambridge pub crawls and gate-crashing the odd college party are a happy feature. I have rosy memories of hanging out there, and I’m very excited for the chance to return with our own Permit Room. I'm also looking forward to hosting our own pub crawls this time around.”


In 1949 Bombay, The Prohibition Act was passed and the sale of liquor was banned. Yet amidst these restrictions, undeterred citizens found their haven late into the night, with the clink of ice in glasses and the constant refilling of snacks. Aunties were the secret joy keepers, deftly serving up cocktails and ice-cold beers from the comfort of their living rooms, slipping the odd hafta (bribe) to a police officer.

As time passed and the 1960s and 1970s ushered in a new era, restrictions on drinking began to ease. The Permit Room of Bombay arrived.


At Cambridge and Oxford, an abundance of drinking food from Snacks, Chaats, Salads and sharing plates of Ruby Murray will be served. Wrap up the evening with a delightful dessert on the Sweet Things menu, and for the next morning after a late night of revelry, comforting breakfast Naan Rolls and plentiful cups of Chai are on hand.

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Menu highlights include:

Spicy Chicken Puff

An Irani bakery favourite, a pastry puff with hearty filling of Keralan pepper-fry chicken. Warm and spicy.

Crispy Spinach Chaat

Crispy-fried babyleaf spinach with yoghurt, chutneys, spices, seeds, sev and fresh pomegranate. A light and tangy delicacy for the perfect drinking accompaniment.

Aunty’s Anda Egg Curry

A tribute to the infamous bootlegging Aunty Bars across the city: Egg curry and a very traditional curry of boiled eggs hidden in a rich dark tomato sauce. (In Bombay, if you see the boiled-egg vendor, there may be an Aunty Bar nearby!)

Coconut Caramel Custard

Parsi Parisian pud of egg custard, set to wobble, caramelised with jaggery, and spring of brittle hammer-smashed coconut chikki.

Introducing menu additions, including Chicken Keema Pau (a brand new breakfast dish), spiced minced chicken topped with a fried egg for yolky-richness served with freshly baked plump pau; Patra, Colocasia leaves stuffed with a spicy mix of gram flour, tamarind, coconut, and spices, and cooked until crispy; Shakkar Malai Toast, creamy-sweet, jaggery-sprinkled malai spread thickly on a toasted bun, a dish that stirs up cherished childhood memories, and exclusive to Cambridge; Mango Lassi Soft Serve in a waffle cone and garnished with sugar coated fennel.

Cocktails and Drinks

Drinks play an equal part in the spirit of Permit Room. Cocktails pack a punch and tell the tales of Bombay’s rich and colourful history of revelry, crafted perfectly to complement the menu. From invigorating Highballs, reimagined Twisted Classics, On the Rocks, and Teetotal options. Local collaborations are integral, featuring a rotating selection of IPAs and lagers from Cambridge brewers including Wylde Sky Brewing & Taproom, plus coffee from Saffron Walden roastery, Wood Street Coffee.

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Highlight drinks include:

Thums Up Sazerac
This unique twist on the classic New Orleans cocktail pays tribute to the much-loved Indian soft drink, Thums Up. Thums Up is part of the DNA of Bombay, evoking nostalgia for delighted Desis and non-Desi friends alike.

Mango Lassi Punch
This clarified and balanced cocktail is inspired by the popular Indian drink of the same name. Made using Old Monk Rum (a Bombay favourite), yoghurt and spicy mango syrup.

Orange Wine Margarita

Orange wine and its syrup, almond bitters for nutty depth, a touch of citrus. The classic margarita can retire.

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The inviting, retro interiors of Permit Room Cambridge and Oxford will feature artwork by Bombayites, artists local to both Cambridge and Oxford, plus emerging South Asian talent. Cambridge, located on Trinity Street, boasts 156 seats on this lively thoroughfare in the heart of the city, while Permit Room Oxford, offering 126 cosy spots, can be found on New Inn Hall Street.


Music lies at the heart of Permit Room with weekly sets featuring DJs, both local artists and seasoned ones. Much like the menu, there are no boundaries when it comes to genres; an eclectic playlist blends Bombay to New York through funk, punk, hip-hop, disco, and soul. A program of local vinyl DJs in partnership with a local Cambridge record store will be featured, with further details to come soon.

For more information please contact
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