Welcome to The Monsoon where our restaurant is located in the heart of the vibrant Brick Lane in London.
East End has been a cradle of migrants through various centuries and Brick Lane in particular has staged enriching performances of cultural transformations. In the wake of racial tensions and demonstrations against the National Front members, Shams started working at the famous Clifton restaurant in 1978. Borders of the pinstripe suit City boys, contrasted and collided with the grunge and homies of Tower Hamlets. The fortitude of plenty jostled with loose change and rich imagination of communities of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. Bangladeshi community is one of those proponents that lent a defining experience of five senses in this setting called Brick Lane.
1994 Shams got featured in a short animation film Sweet & Spicy made by motiroti for Carlton TV. The film exposed fictionalisation of ‘authentic Indian cuisine’, catering predominantly to office workers from the city who wanted to eat cheap, eat exotic and quench vindaloo fire with chilled beers. A year later, again with Ali Zaidi of motiroti, Shams took part in an arts project called The Seed The Root, in which he and his family, served home cooked food as opposed to the usual menu catering to the British taste. The Bangladeshi vegetables and fish were around in the local shops but not served to general public. Audiences debated questions of assimilation and authenticity, encouraging him to extend the menu. In 1996 he started The Famous Curry Bazar and soon set up Café Bangla. Thanks to the collaboration with Ali, and encouragement of audiences, he denounced ‘ authentic Indian', and was the first to proclaim Bangladeshi cuisine. Almost a decade later, in his footsteps most of the restaurants on Brick Lane now proudly declaim themselves to be serving Bangladeshi cuisine. In 2001 he moved to the present day premises and Monsoon was born. It has expanded vertically and continues to tickle tastebuds longitudinally and latitudinally.
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