“What’s not to love about counter dining?” asks a fan of “simply brilliant” Kricket – the second coming of a legendary Brixton pop-up. Although the owners returned to Brixton in 2018 and have also set up a flagship branch in White City, the brand’s mini rollout across the capital hasn’t resulted in the Soho branch losing any of its charm.
Shabby-chic interiors, including industrial piping and exposed brickwork, help retain the cool vibe, while the buzzy dining counter on the ground floor creates some atmosphere. Those dining in a group can head to the lively basement, where there are larger tables.
The short menu features a core list of “superbly executed” Kricket classics, which are joined by specials every couple of months. The now-legendary Keralan fried chicken, dusted with pepper and served with a tangy curry-leaf mayonnaise, is worth ordering whether this is your first visit or your fifteenth. The crunchy bhel puris are also worth a try, with their swirl of tamarind stickiness, puffed rice and dollops of yoghurt.
Elsewhere, Goan sausage pao are like intensely meaty mini burger buns with a mild afterglow of chilli heat, while a colourful bowl of juicy tomatoes livened up with hints of spring onion, ginger and sesame is one of several veggie options – although spice levels are toned down for Western palates. Desserts are an afterthought: a smooth lassi-style mango parfait was the only option when we visited.
Like the food, the drinks list is influenced by Indian flavours, with a run of cocktails featuring ingredients ranging from curry leaves to green chillis. Otherwise, dip into the impressively international wine list, or pep up your visit with a rum-spiked masala chai. Pocket-friendly pricing and fun, chatty staff add to Kricket’s all-round appeal.