By Adrienne DeAlba
When I was about seven years old, I went to a local Indian Restaurant with my family. This was a normal outing we had done many times previously, but this time something was different. That night, I ended up getting food poisoning that was so severe I was not present in my second grade class the next morning. From there on out, I engrained in my brain that I would never eat Indian food again, even though looking back now it seems so silly as it was most definitely an issue with the restaurant and not an entire food group. Nevertheless, I had somehow never voluntarily eaten Indian food since. However, this month in London I told myself that I would do as many things and take as many opportunities that were totally outside of my comfort zone as I could. When Dina posted in our Facebook Page that she had a reservation at an Indian Tapas Restaurant, I said yes. Before I go any further, I would like to say that I have never been more thankful for agreeing to a dinner in my life, as this culinary experience was truly amazing.
“I recommend each person orders around three different plates, as they are tapas, meaning they are pretty small,” our waiter said to us after handing out the menus. This place was called Kricket, and the menu was just as eccentric as its name. I was worried I made a mistake because I did not recognize one thing on the menu except for fried chicken, how was I supposed to order three things? The six of us decided that we would each pick a few things, and as the plates just came out as they were ready, we would all share. I ordered three dishes that I somewhat knew: masala (because I had heard it was basically pizza), Telangana beef pickle (because I saw a picture and it looked like taco), and the fried chicken because, well, it’s fried chicken.
The others that I went with ordered more unique things such as smoked aubergine which was like a fried leaf of some sort. I am so at loss for words as to how to describe each dish as every single one was amazing. The Telangana beef pickle and fried chicken that I ordered had such uniquely Indian spices and flavoring. Each different spice and extract that was used seemed to go off in your mouth at a different time, almost like a firework show. This made me so excited for the new things to be brought to the table. The excitement that I felt in the pit of my stomach when our waiter set down a dish, each more aesthetically pleasing than the last, was like that of a child on Christmas morning. Everything I had seemed to melt in my mouth and be the right balance. Nothing was “too salty” or “too spicy,” but rather a perfect libra scale of each element.
“This meal was life changing,” is a common dinner table statement that is brushed off as just another silly hyperbole. However, the food adventure that I had at Kricket may have been the best of my life, and changed my whole perspective on a type of food I had otherwise avoided. I am now actively trying to seek out Indian Restaurants in and around London while I am here, and I will continue to do the same at home.