Café Spice Namaste in Whitechapel East London is without doubt one of the warmest welcomes in hospitality. Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala for 25 years welcomed diners in a way only they can.
Unfortunately today we have the responsibility of announcing the closure of Café Spice Namaste. Early in the New Year, the Todiwala’s will be moving to different premises, not too far away in Shoreditch.
Having enjoyed the privilege of dining at Café Spice Namaste on numerous occasions its unique blend of hospitality is still hard to describe precisely, perhaps that was part of its charm, you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it had, but it had it.
Hospitality is defined as: “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” At Café Spice Namaste it was always delivered as soon as you entered, and you always left with a doggy bag of it.
Having spoken with Pervin and Cyrus we know just how hard closing the doors and moving on will be, but new doors will open, and we are delighted to also break news of ‘friends’ of the Todiwala’s helping them to be opened.
Timed to coincide with the actual date of Café Spice Namaste’s 25th anniversary on 14th November, three of the iconic Indian restaurant’s staunchest patrons have launched a heartfelt Friends of Café Spice Namaste appeal to help Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala and their team as they prepare to move to new premises in the new year.
Nick Gooding, John Minton and Howard Townson have released a message and accompanying video to support their appeal. They stress how much Café Spice Namaste — which remains 100% family-owned by the Todiwalas — has helped to enrich their lives over the years, and highlight the difficulties borne by restaurateurs like the Todiwalas due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Gooding, Minton and Townson have each made a personal donation to kickstart the appeal.
In the text of their appeal, Gooding, Minton and Townson said: “We have been patrons of Café Spice Namaste for well over 25 years going back to the earlier Namaste (the Todiwala’s first restaurant in Ailie 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.
“Now times are hard for them all. This is true in the restaurant trade generally and most are struggling to survive. The Café Spice Namaste team are simultaneously facing other difficulties which, despite their conviction to ride out the Covid storm, are making it hard for them to go forward.
“The thought of life without Café Spice namaste fills us with dismay! So, we have decided to offer what may be small help but, we hope, large encouragement by setting up a ‘Friends of Café Spice Namaste’ collection. We are each contributing to the fund a sum of £100…
“Please do join us in helping them. Café Spice Namaste has enriched our lives and we want it to continue to do so.”
The launch of the Friends of Café Spice Namaste appeal also coincides with the Hindu festival of Diwali, and the Todiwalas’ announcement that they are vacating the landmark building in East London that they have occupied since 1995. Café Spice Namaste has held a Michelin BIB Gourmand since the award was created in 1998.
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.
“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 you’ if you choose to become a Friend of Café Spice Namaste 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 Namaste. 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 said: “It pains us to announce that we will be closing the doors of Café Spice Namaste 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.”
Donations to the Friends of Café Spice Namaste Appeal can be made here
H&C News would like to wish Pervin and Cyrus every success with their new venture, and we look forward to reporting on its opening.
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