Curry house loyalists look away now, Kricket isn’t your standard Indian experience. This bustling, busy restaurant in the centre of Soho draws crowds daily thanks to its winning formula of spicy small plates.
Come prepared to queue if dining in a duo, and your spot will likely take the form of a barstool pulled up to the counter surrounding the central kitchen. Watch as the team of chefs man their own stations to produce plate after plate of their speciality – the bread section is particularly mesmerising, with the repetitive kneading and brushing of dough and the ferocious tandoor at its heart.
Recognisable dishes have been given new twists – a crisp, lightly spiced samphire pakora for instance – and the menu is packed with tempting-sounding combinations. Sweet scallops hold stronger flavours than they’re typically afforded with a Madras butter, fried curry leaves and scraps of batter – a shell-scrapingly good dish.
A signature dish of grilled butternut squash is surrounded by a mellow makhana sauce (aka the gravy which typically surrounds a butter chicken), while a tarka dal is taken to heady heights thanks to plenty of pungent burnt garlic. Plates are more generous that you might expect for the format, except for the naans which are definitely one-per-head kind of breads.
Beer is of course a natural bedfellow for curry, but the team here have also devised some pretty stellar softs – our favourite being a mint and lime soda which tastes to all intents and purposes like a Virgin Mojito and quashes any chilli burn in a single sip (though note that there’s not much ferocious heat here.)
Service ranges from a little frazzled – staff have to lean across the counter from kitchen-side to get your order – to warm and welcoming, depending who you happen upon. This single niggle is forgiven and completely forgotten however, as you dunk fried chicken into curry leaf mayo and wonder how they would feel if you brought some tiffin boxes along with you, ordered double the food and asked to take a bucketload home with you.