Kricket has been one of those London success stories you just want to root for. Two years since they’ve entered the food scene, I believe their star is seriously rising. They’ve done well. From a small concession in a Pop Brixton shipping container to a more permanent outpost in Soho (and soon, White City). From word-of-mouth pop-up sensation to award-winning critics fave.
A far cry from the traditional Indian restaurants and curry houses peppered within the city, the vibe in Kricket Soho is cool and modern. Counter booths on the first floor and the basement, big wooden sharing tables, unfinished walls… it’s nothing new but it works beautifully.
You definitely have to order the Keralan fried chicken with curry leaf mayonnaise and pickled mouli. The chicken is perfectly fried – ie crispy, crunchy, well-seasoned and nicely spiced coating and super moist, tender flesh. Frankly, I could care less if it came with the mayo or the pickled garnish. Gimme a bowl of this and I’m happy.
The smoked aubergine with sesame raita, papdi gathia, and nuts was to die for.
Mackerel used to be something I despised, until London restaurants came up with ways of serving it beautifully and somehow guising that uber fishy taste into something more palatable. Kricket’s torched “kasundi” mackerel came with gooseberry chutney and was flavoursome in its right. Tangy, fishy enough without the gross aftertaste, bold enough to be different.
Our group ordered the Telegana beef pickle and salted paneer rotis. We waited for two servings of this as the kitchen was closing when we decided to opt for it after realising a serving only had two tacos. Frankly, it wasn’t as memorable so I won’t even try to pretend I enjoyed it.
The Karnatakan mussels were very good. One thing I hate about curried mussels is that more often than not, they have a powdery texture and aftertaste from all that spice. However, this bowl from Kricket was an exception to the rule. The mussels were actually quite big, meaty, and flavoursome. I loved this dish, too.
But what seriously surprised me, to be frank, was a simple dish of pumpkin slice, roasted and served on a bed of makhani sauce with fresh paneer. It was like eating a warm, wintery stew that felt light and perfect for the summer. Bold as the tomatoey sauce was, the pumpking had a nice bite and freshness to it. And there was decent texture from a sprinkle of hazelnut crumble and puffed wild rice.
We also tried the tandoori monkfish, served with coconut & coriander chutney. I love monkfish, and as it’s such a meaty type of fish, I find that it’s usually peppered with lots of spices and seasoning. Now the thing is, I actually prefer monkfish when it’s lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs – I think the fish on its own is a standout when cooked well. Kricket’s offering was okay, but I wasn’t mindblown.
And then there was a slice of duck breast with a sesame and tamarind puree and pickled cucumber. I’m not going to lie, the duck was nicely cooked but it was the puree that stole the spotlight for me. So much so that I mopped it with what carbs we shared around the table. Unfortunately, one of the servers cleared some plates when I was preoccupied with banter and took what’s left of it on the plate. Boo. I would’ve had that on its own as a dip and paid for it!
Speaking of carbs, we tried Kricket’s version of naan in masala, cultured butter (not photographed) and green chilli and Berkswell cheese. I’m not too keen on bread, but it was necessary with the sauces and flavours we were having.
I liked the shahi tukda, an Indian bread pudding. Served with a great buttermilk ice cream, berries and dulce de leche, this was reminiscent to a French toast, with a punch. The sharpness of the berries helped cut through the sweetness of this dish, which I thought was a little on the rich side.
The misti doi with pomegranate and rose pistachio was good. There was a hint of rosewater, but not overly sickly and I liked the crunch from the pistachios.
Verdict for Kricket
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve stalled Kricket on my “To Do” list for a long time simply because Indian food is not a favourite. However, Kricket’s offering has successfully modernised Indian food. They’re not the first to do so, no, but they made it exciting again (especially now that Dishoom has become slightly a bore). Tapas are great, the menu is short and sweet, the vibe is very Soho.
Go and order everything.