Eat this: Kricket Brixton

Things are getting experimental at this new site, as Indian food is tested on a (hopefully) more forgiving crowd.

4 May 2018
asianchainsfood wasteindianmenurestaurant openingsharing plates
  • The Gist: A test kitchen with Indian-inspired street-food dishes
  • The Chef: Will Bowlby
  • Location: 41-43 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JL
  • Food in 5 words: Sustainable, experimental and seasonal Indian
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How did we get here?

Indian restaurant Kricket ran a shipping container site at Pop Brixton from 2015 to 2017 and went on to launch its permanent restaurant in Soho in 2016.

The group is also set to open its biggest site at the Television Centre development in White City at the end of the summer, which will seat 140 people.

But in what might be considered quite the deluxe move due to the current climate for restaurant trading, the brand is heading back to Brixton, with co-founder Rik Campbell explaining that the new site (opening on May 12) will be used as a test kitchen.

What’s different about it?

Casual chains like Wagamama and Wahaca have led the way with test kitchens, but it’s still far from widespread – particularly for a small (albeit popular) brand like Kricket.

Chef Will Bowlby tells Food Spark it’s a luxurious thing to have a test kitchen, but he has big plans for the smaller menu format, which will include about 12 items.

“I want it to be a bit more experimental, a bit more focused on seasonality and locality. I want to use a lot of things that might go to waste in our current restaurant in Soho, so it’s a surplus project to create new dishes in Brixton,” he says.

One wastage from the Soho menu that he will be tackling is from the dish of Kashmiri lamb ribs with wild garlic raita, pomegranate vinegar and jaggery (an Indian sugar product).

“Those ribs can’t be used, so we will get the bones delivered and roasted and made into a soup; the fat will be rendered down to be put on bread to go with the soup, while the lamb breast will be used in Soho,” Bowlby says.

The chef also wants to work more with independent farmers and growers so they can help him come up with new dishes for the menu based on what is available.

Bowlby plans to utilise more unusual ingredients too – particularly things that aren’t typically used in Indian cooking – and he says Brixton is the perfect site, as people are a lot more forgiving and willing to try novel flavours.

“I want it to be a little bit more fun and inventive, and push the boat out a little bit more, and test people a little a bit more, without getting away from the fact we do Indian food,” he says.

You’ve got to try…

Salted whey caramel, shrikhand yogurt, hazelnut and coriander.

Bowlby says that every day in the Soho restaurant, there are two litres of whey wastage from making paneer. He plans to reduce the whey and turn it into caramel using jaggery, vanilla, Himalayan salt and pink peppercorn.

Sparkie also likes…

Pig head vindaloo with artichoke tarka and pickled shallot. Tarka, in case you were wondering, is a technique where spices are added to very hot oil. And pig head is, well, pig head.

Go if…

You want to experience food from a chef with a license to thrill.

Want to see more?

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