Run by 2011 MasterChef winner Tim Anderson, Nanban in Brixton serves up Japanese soul food; that’s Japanese staples like ramen, tempura and yaki-udon reimagined for the local area, resulting in dishes like plantain katsu curry and lazy goat ragu-men. They’ve also got one eye on the weather, having recently launched some new summer dishes, so we hot-footed it (literally, #heatwave) down to Brixton to check them out.
We kicked off with a few of the classic small plates, including crispy chicken karaage, cured salmon with miso sesame sauce and yuzu pickled radish, and market tempura, which changes according to what looks good in Brixton Market – on our visit it was a pile of baby corn, still left with plenty of bite. The chilled noodle dishes are new and make for a great alternative to ramen – we bloody love a giant bowl of steaming soup and the ones at Nanban all sound great but it’s just a bit too hot for it. The spicy peanut ponzu udon with sweet basil, beansprouts, cucumber, red cabbage and topped with a scoop of crab meat gave us spice without any temperature heat[easy-image-collage id=114603]
We also went cold with the other main of tuna poke. The Nanban version comes with Maui onions, macadamia nuts, yuzu-pickled radish, sesame oil and sweet ponzu, and is served on gem lettuce rather than rice. You still get the same savoury and sharp notes as you would from a poke bowl but it was much lighter (although there is an option to add rice as well as miso soup and pickles to make it a meal). For us it was still a substantial portion without the extras and it looked fab too in a lovely long oval dish.
Nanban is also doing picnic packs for the summer, perfect if you want to have your food al fresco. And they’re also serving up the insta-popular katsu sandwiches at lunchtime from their express hatch round the corner. Looks like Brixton is the place to be.
426 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LF
Images: Paul Winch Furness