Kheera Kitchen is a pop-up currently based at Cafe Crisis on Commercial Street in East London serving Indian home-style sharing plates. I found out about them on Instagram and figured the restaurant isn’t far from work and so I paid them a visit one evening with a friend.
We booked a table for 6:30pm in case it was likely to get busy, but the restaurant was fairly quiet when we arrived and we might not have needed to after all. It filled up as the evening went on though so it still had a good buzz.
First up, I would definitely recommend the aloo tikki. I love Indian/Sri Lankan spiced potato dishes and the combination of the delicately spiced potatoes was perfect with the creaminess of the yoghurt and the fruity pop of delicious chutney.
I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, and I am not by any means a connoisseur when it comes to parathas given that I have only tried this buttery flatbread a handful of times (something I’m all too happy to rectify!), but I have to admit I found these a little dry. I expected soft bread almost oozing with butter, like I experienced in Sri Lanka, and these didn’t really live up to my expectations.
Lamb has such a beautiful flavour without really needing much help, so I was a little surprised that these lamb kati rolls didn’t have the flavour that I expected from the meat and I actually found it a little tough. The lamb had quite a dry heat, which coupled with somewhat dry parathas is probably not something I would order again.
The Kheera rich and smoky vegetable and bean curry definitely stood out for me when I looked at the menu, especially as it was a cold, windy, wintery evening. The curry was tasty and definitely homely and warming, if perhaps not obviously smoky, but it hit the spot nonetheless.
The grilled chicken and cardamom was the highlight of the meal for me. Three pieces of beautifully spiced, fragrant chicken thigh topped with fresh chillies and served with some lime pickle and another condiment that was similar in texture to hummus. The chicken was tender with a delicate, crisp skin and a delicious flavour.
Overall the atmosphere was really friendly and the staff were attentive and friendly. Kheera Kitchen is a great place for no frills family-style food and that cardamom chicken is certainly worth going back for.