Brixton’s 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.
“Working on the Karakana menu alongside chefs Rivaaj and Khilesh has been a wonderful learning experience for me," says Tim. "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.”