address: c/o Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
This was a Saturday night pop-up that took place at the Brixton Pound Cafe. Following a tip-off on Instagram, we booked on-line through the eatwith.com website, not really knowing what to expect. What we got was food that’s described as being from Sri Lanka to the streets of London and is aimed being representative of all the different people who call Sri Lanka a home. It’s the brainchild of Thuli, who describes himself as a British-Sri Lankan.
There was just a single sitting and a short no choice menu (see above) that turned out to be vegan. About 24 people were crammed into the Cafe premises, a mixture of groups of friends and some couples. There’s currently a picture on their Instagram feed. The advantage was that even the less socialable among us were forced to talk to our neighbours, leading to the discovery that on both sides there were people of Sri Lankan heritage.
The starter was the seeni sambol and scraps sando. This is sweet onion relish that had just the right degree of flavour as well as heat from the chilli plus crunchy scraps of deep-fried onion flavoured batter. The sliced bread worked just fine. This was a great introduction to the meal, as well as being a good illustration of the cross-cultural ethos.
Then the main course where the chilli heat was turned up more than a notch. The jackfruit is fibrous and might, at a glance, be mistaken for pulled chicken, but had been cooked to perfection. Beetroot curry was new to us but was welcome not just because it tasted good but also, as the least spicy element on the plate, provided some sort of respite.Altogether a great plate of food that was also, we were assured by the experts, authentic.
Unfortunately the pudding just didn’t work and I suspect they just ran out of enough time to prepare it properly. The food came at a relatively leisurely pace but no problem, as the atmosphere was more like a giant dinner party than eating at a restaurant. Overall, an enjoyable and interesting experience and, at £24 a head, good value.
This was a byo event, so we accompanied our meal with cans of beer from the Ghost Whale craft beer shop handily placed on the other side of the road. We bought four cans of IPA type, although three turned out to be enough.