DECEMBER 2021 – Brixton’s most exciting new concept, Karakana, has officially launched this month, with a fresh twist on Indian comfort food. The restaurant, which has been styled as an Indian diner and bar, brings something new to the popular cuisine, infusing flavours from the creators’ heritages and travels around the world.
Karakana (Hindi for ‘workshop’) represents the collaboration between the team as well as the hard work and creative process that went into the new venue. The project was conceived by friends and local restaurant collaborators, Pat and Elly Foster and MasterChef champion Tim Anderson, who together launched Tim’s Japanese offering, Nanban, back in 2015. Having been in Brixton since he restored the iconic Ritzy Cinema in 1978, Pat had long wanted a decent curry house in the area and persuaded Tim and his former head chef at Nanban, Rivaaj Maharaj, to use their flair for innovative cuisine to create an exciting new menu.
Joining this team of tastemakers are co-founders of Brixton Brewery Jez Galaun and Mike Ross, who have brewed a spiced wheat beer especially for the restaurant; and Head Chef Khilesh Anand, formerly of fine-dining establishments such as The Cinnamon Club, to bring the menu to life.
The menu consists of tapas-style small plates to mix and match, ranging from lotus blossom onion bhajis to cheese and potato samosas and double fried chicken wings, alongside delicious hearty curries of aubergine karahi Parmigiana, cauliflower karahi and Madrasi Machli – transforming salmon into an Indian delicacy with spices from coastal shores of the south of the county. Diners can also meander through innovative tandoori dishes with an Indian twist on lamb chops, pork ribs and miso salmon. Fot those with a real hunger there is also a signature Currywurst dish– a Berlin favourite and typical of Karakana’s style – served with sweet vindaloo sauce, shoestring fries, and pickled cauliflower.
Curated drinks and crafted house cocktails consist of signature tipple The Karakana – a delicious concoction of vodka, amaretto, lassi, mango and pistachios; alongside firm favourites Pino Co-Lassi, Apricot Rose and Tamarind Whisky Sour. Beers are supplied by Brixton Brewery alongside Moretti and Tiger, as well as white, red, rose, and sparkling wines options.
Tim said of the restaurant: “Working on the Karakana menu alongside chefs Rivaaj and Khilesh has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I’ve always adored Indian food but never had an opportunity to get involved with it at first-hand. Khilesh’s style of cooking is informed by traditional methods and fine dining, whereas Rivaaj’s influences are more global and informal, and it’s been amazing to see how different approaches have come together into a cohesive menu. The food at Karakana is full of personality and character, but most importantly it’s fun and full of flavour – and it’s great with a few cocktails or craft beers.”
Karakana is situated on the corner of Coldharbour Lane and Electric Lane, in the heart of Brixton. The diner takes booking and walk-ins, as well as offering takeaway and delivery services.
Karakana, 443 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LN