Chef-owner Tim Anderson recalls the evolution of his Japanese -Jamaican-Sri Lankan noodle winner
‘I wanted to do a curry goat ramen as a homage to Brixton, starting with a traditional Jamaican recipe. A Sri Lankan sous-chef, who tasted it, said that he could make a better curry, based on his mother’s recipe. So he did, and it was better! We season it with Korean chilli paste and it’s garnished with other things inspired by Brixton Market.
‘Initially the dish was served as tsukemen, with the noodles separate from the curry, to be dipped in the broth. People didn’t really know how to eat it, so we turned it into a ramen dish. Then people complained it wasn’t soupy enough – and they were right! That’s how we came to call it “ragù-men” because you eat it like a bowl of pasta with meat sauce.
‘Inspired by the dried-fish powders you get in Japan, we mix Japanese katsuobushi [dried and smoked skipjack tuna] powder with West African dried and smoked prawns, which we roast and grind to dust. The result is an incredible umami seasoning that adds depth.
‘The bamboo shoots are pickled in puréed scotch bonnets so they’re extremely spicy and aromatic.
‘It is a very unusual dish with a lot of weird stuff going into it from all over the place. But somehow it works beautifully. It’s probably the dish I’m most proud of.’