It’s been getting a lot better, but it’s definitely not there yet – Indian food in Berlin is still a sensitive topic. While we do have some fast food joints and one place serving an updated and modern version of South Indian food, the real deal hast not yet arrived. However, there was a prime opportunity to enjoy the most amazing Indian menu at The Store Kitchen last week, when Kricket came over from London to cook up a feast.
And while you won’t be able to experience the same when you missed out this one, I still need to tell you about it. For once, since you might end up in London and could visit their restaurant at one point, and also to make you follow Johnnie Collins’ and Tommy Tannock’s dinner adventures, since they’ll continue to invite experts in their field from all over the world and are themselves quite excellent dinner makers (see the food they cooked up for this blog’s tenth anniversary, for example).
Now, to the Indian food. If you spent all your life in Berlin and thought that Indian food is basically a variety of cream-heavy, lightly curried dishes, you might learn a thing or two. I’ve never been to India, just had some very good Indian food in London (not on Kricket’s level, though), but I’ve always felt like there was a great potential, considering the spices used in this kitchen.
Kricket is definitely the talk of Brixton, not only but also because the owners, Will Bowlby and Rik Campbell, aren’t Indian at all and still master the cuisine of this unimaginably complex subcontinent. I was amazed, and so were my fellow eaters and basically the whole room. The plates of food came to share – but unlike many other cases, there was plenty for everyone. We started with a Bhel Puri, puffed rice with raw mango, tamarind and yogurt that already took my socks off. The balance of sour and sweet, a little punch of spice, and the creamy yoghurt with the crunchy rice – I would want to eat this literally every day. It went on with razor clams with samphire and brown shrimps for my friends, and a huge serving of deep fried samphire with a spiced mayo for me that I couldn’t help but finish (and didn’t even get to take a picture). Same with the main, for them goose vindaloo (a nod to Brandenburg, former home of the geese), garlic chips and coconut vinegar, served with a smoked sweet potato with labneh, gunpowder and black garlic; and a creamy aubergine curry for me.
The smokiness of the potato was divine, as werde the many levels of flavor in my curry.
It was as if someone turned the taste volume up – the flavors in this food, may it be spices, herbs or veggies, were so much more intense than I expected. And still, they stood on their own, didn’t blend into one indistinguishable mush.
The finale was a salted jaggery treacle tart with delicous milk ice cream and a tiny amount himalayan sea salt flakes. Jaggery – had to google it – is an unrefined cane or palm sugar, and the combo of ultra sweet, slightly salted and heavenly milky flavors was the best anyone could wish for to close a meal. And I haven’t even told you about the incredibly tasty cocktails.
Maybe that’s a bit overly optimistic, but I can’t wait for Berlin to come as far as London and produce restaurants serving food as fine as this. Until then, I’ll be a regular at The Store Kitchen’s take-overs.
Follow The Stores’ Facebook page (as well as this site’s) to be updated. And for news about The Store Kitchen’s dinner services, follow Tommy’s facebook page.