Street food focus: Kerb Banana Warehouse

Henry Norman visits Covent Garden market to sample new additions Lucky’s Hot Chicken, Kolkata and Los Gordos.

As regular readers will be aware, Kerb recently welcomed four new traders to its Seven Dials site, with Club Mexicana, Curry on Naanstop, El Pollote and Truffle having all slipped out of the Banana Warehouse. Any thoughts that losing a quartet of its highest earners may have been a blow to the street food specialist are quickly dispelled, however, as we find ourselves playing musical chairs in a bid to commandeer some spare seats when we visit its central London location, admittedly on a Saturday night.

From the new additions, we begin by taking a punt on Lucky’s Hot Chicken, which is one of the only stalls not to have a large queue. This proves to be anything but a gamble, though, as despite my spice-averse dining partner somewhat sacrilegiously insisting on requesting their customisable chicken offer at its lowest available setting – cajun – the resulting succulent strips are extremely tasty regardless, being surprisingly sweet while also eschewing grease. You can request a hot sauce on the side, but even I have to concede that they are even better without – a huge compliment from my chilli-ravaged palate.

Next comes Kolkati and its authentic Indian eats, in the form of a lamb, for the sake of variety, kati roll. The paratha is perfectly flaky, while the spice is a tad subtle for my taste and, perhaps experiencing withdrawal, it improves with the addition of Lucky’s hot sauce, which somewhat counterintuitively added more here than to the intended recipient. Ah well, fusion at its finest.
We finish at Los Gordos, which is back upstairs in Club Mexicana’s old ‘restaurant’ spot (it has seating for 30). We bypass the burritos and opt for the Colombian tacos (three for £11.95) that are the speciality. The beer-braised beef is well shredded but a tad one-note, while the chicken happily offers far more in not only taste but also texture, coming as it does in buttermilked form, providing more of a satisfying crunch.

Too full by now to compete the quadrilogy and also visit Motherflipper, we agree that Lucky’s Hot Chicken, which was initially purchased as something of an after… well, beforethought, is, despite stiff competition, the best of the new bunch. Throughout our visit, the DJ has been soundtracking the venue with succession of 80s remixes by the likes of Carly Simon and Luther Vandross – which feels entirely appropriate for an old favourite that has received a more-than-welcome injection of new life.

You may also be interested in…