A remarkable lunch at Kricket, Brixton

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Bhel puri: raw mango, tamarind, yoghurt

Today I lunched with Dan Keeling at Kricket, a small Indian small plates restaurant in Pop Brixton. It’s a tiny restaurant – full every evening – but this was a gastronomic highlight of recent months. This was some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten. It was a thrilling experience.

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Goan sausage roll: coriander chutney, pickled red onion

The dudes behind Kricket are Will Bowlby (chef) and Rik Campbell. Will spent a couple of years in Mumbai where he cooked European food for Indian clients. But this wasn’t what he wanted to do, so he began to explore the history of Indian food. On his return to the UK he trained at Cinnamon Kitchen, and learned how to use spices.

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Hyderabad baby aubergine: coconut and curry leaf

They’ve been open in Pop Brixton since June 3rd. ‘We’re full every night here and can only serve so many people,’ says Will. ‘There’s still a lot of work to be done here,’ he says, but admits that they are actively looking for larger premises. ‘It’s a property game as much as a restaurant game,’ adds Rik.

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Grilled sweet potato: gunpowder, black garlic, cultured butter, labneh

The food is stunningly good, with sophisticated uses of spices and a light hand on the chilli heat. I liked everything we tried, with my heart being won by the baby aubergine dish, which was pretty much perfect. Bill for two with a couple of (non-alcoholic) drinks was a very modest £48, but you don’t have to have everything on the menu…

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Kichri: smoked haddock, yellow moong dal, pickled cauliflower, raw egg yolk

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Hake: malai sauce, monk’s beard

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