As One Door Shuts, Another Opens for Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala

Cyrus Todiwala has revealed that Café Spice Namasté, the renowned Indian restaurant in London that he has run with his wife Pervin for 25 years, will close at the end of January 2021. However, it is not the end of the road for the restaurant.

No sooner had this news become public three friends got together to launch a help fund to enable Cyrus and Pervin to find a new home for their beloved restaurant in nearby Shoreditch.

The trio – Nick Gooding, John Minton and Howard Townson – told Hospitality & Catering News

 We have been patrons of Café Spice Namasté for well over 25 years going back to the earlier Namaste (the Todiwalas first restaurant in Alie Street). We have always found it an exceptional restaurant, not just for its first-class food but because of the warm-hearted welcome and genuine hospitality which we think second to none. Cyrus, Pervin and all their staff have always treated us not only as welcome guests but as their good friends. We are sure that many of you have found the same.”

Cyrus Todiwala said

After 25 years, the time has come to bid goodbye to our beloved Grade II-listed former magistrates court in Prescot Street. It has been and will be a very difficult time for us, but there is hope too. Our anniversary falls on the Festival of Diwali where light overcomes darkness and brings hope over gloom.

This couldn’t be a more appropriate metaphor of positivity at a very difficult time and the generosity of Cyrus’ friends a gesture of appreciation for all he has done to galvanise and support the hospitality industry over the years.

Cyrus continued

We are extremely grateful to Nick, John and Howard who came up with the idea to launch a Friends of Café Spice fund. Theirs is an incredible gesture, which has bowled us over. We can only say at this point a humble thank youif you choose to become a Friend of Café Spice Namasté in this way too. The funds will be tightly ring-fenced for the costs of moving and setting up a new home for Café Spice Namasté. Your generosity will forever be etched in our hearts, and as we navigate the current situation, we will be looking at several ways, linked to our food and service, that we can thank you for believing in us.”

Pervin Todiwala added

It pains us to announce that we will be closing the doors of Café Spice Namasté on Prescot Street at the end of January 2021. But we hope before then all of you can come and join us when the lockdown is lifted.”

Catherine Farinha of The Chefs’ Forum said

“We have worked with Cyrus for the last few years in supporting young chefs from catering colleges across London.  We also held an event at Café Spice Namaste that gave students from West London College and Westminster Kingsway College the opportunity to work with the highly esteemed chef Cyrus Todiwala and his talented team.  We very much look forward to working with Cyrus going forward and will do all we can to support the appeal to help find and fund a new site for Cyrus and Pervin’s beloved restaurant.”

Cyrus has worked tirelessly to support the industry, both in terms of young chefs with his Zest Quest Asia culinary competition and for the industry charity Hospitality Action, raising vital funds to support his chef peers who fall upon hard times – A true industry hero.

Cyrus concluded

“What I may add to the above is that Café Spice Namasté has given me an opportunity to do so much within and for my industry that no other platform could have. Through this building we have forged relationships that are unsurpassed and over the years the things we have done and achieved will always be etched in our hearts and memories. This I shall miss so much and the camaraderie and the number of schools, colleges, students and young budding chefs we have helped may not now have the same opportunity.

We have grown into the industry and the industry has grown into us. Long may that continue, and we hope to continue much of the good work, once resettled.”

“The pandemic has taken away any resources we would have otherwise had to fit out a new restaurant and that is now our greatest challenge. Hopefully we shall get there and come away smiling at the end.

The emotions we have felt in the last two days since the announcements are not describable as the support and the kind words from across the industry have been over whelming and has knocked us both to tears more often than we ever have had before, so I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone.”

The Chefs’ Forum will be following Cyrus’ journey to a new site and wish he and Pervin all the very best at this difficult time.  To donate to the Café Spice Namaste Appeal, click here.