Hindoostane Coffee House - George Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.034 W 000° 09.402
30U E 697268 N 5711178
Quick Description: This green plaque, erected by the City of Westminster to the Hindoostane Coffee House, is located on the north west side of George Street. The plaque is within an office but can be seen from the street.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 1:33:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMKZX2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
Views: 2

Long Description:

The writing on the plaque tells us:

City of Westminster

Site of
Coffee House
London's first
Indian restaurant.
Owned by
Sake Dean Mahomed
1759 - 1851

The Portman Estate

The BBC website tells us:

An Indian entrepreneur who opened one of the UK's first curry houses has been honoured with a green plaque.

In 1810 Sake Dean Mahomed established the Hindoostane Coffee House in George Street, central London.

He is also reputed to have introduced therapeutic massage or "shampooing" to Britain and was the first Indian writer to be published in English.

The plaque, which celebrates the achievements of former Westminster residents, was unveiled on Thursday.

At the age of 11, Mahomed joined the East India Company Army and rose to the rank of captain.

 He fought in a number of campaigns until 1782 when he resigned from the army and two years later arrived in Britain.

Staying in Ireland he wrote and published his book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet.

He later moved to Portman Square where he became an assistant to Sir Basil Cochrane at his vapour bath.

This is where Mr Mahomed is said to have added an Indian treatment, champi (shampooing) or therapeutic massage, to Cochrane's bath which became very fashionable.

In 1810 he opened the Hindoostane Coffee House serving Hookha with real Chilm tobacco and Indian-style dishes. The premises is now a building called Carlton House.

To many who are now part of the city's expansive curry house business, Mahomed was a pioneer.

Although forced to declare bankruptcy in 1812, he created a concept that was to become something of a phenomenon 100 years later, said Vivek Singh, chef at the Cinnamon Club, a Westminster restaurant serving New Indian cuisine.

Mr Mahomed's plan had been to serve "Indianised" British food which would appeal to the Indian aristocracy in London as well as British people who had returned from India, he said.

"The Indian aristocracy however would not come out to eat in the restaurant because they had chefs at home cooking more authentic food - it was just not a big enough draw to come out."

A few years later he opened special treatment baths on the seafront at East Cliff, Brighton.

He died in 1851 and was buried in St Nicholas' churchyard in Brighton.

Blue Plaque managing agency: City of Westminster

Individual Recognized: Hindoostane Coffee House

Physical Address:
102 George Street
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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