Wehad the pleasure of heading over the river last week to try out something we’ve never tried before, Mauritian food. The pop-up restaurant in the adorably small Odyssey Café, a Balham treasure we hear invited us to their beach shack of white wood paneled walls and picture postcards of the idyllic island. With the colourful cuisine strung around the place it was as close to Mauritius as we were getting.
Selina Periampillai is the brains behind Yummy Choo, who is making Mauritian food into modern fine dining. A native of South London, and as you can tell by the name, is of Mauritian descent, Selina is a one woman band (with the help of her super lovely waitress) who is literally bringing sunshine on a plate.
Starting with a killer cocktail of Mauritian rum with lychees, mint and lime served with gajaks, authentically presented on banana leaves, each street style dish was super tasty, the gateaux piment (spilt pea chilli balls) were little bites of heaven, and we particularly loved the freshness of the prawn rougaille.
One of Yummy Choo’s key dishes, the Fish Vindaye, a cold curry marinated and pickled in mustard, is definitely for fish lovers. The traditional Mauritian chicken curry was a homemade treat, but the piment confit was a massive mind blow, and we mean this literally. BEWARE of these tiny little bullets of intense heat. Finishing with spiced rum pineapple and coconut ice cream on a bed of almond praline sand…all it needed was a deckchair.
Yummy Choo also offer cookery lessons for those who need a helping nudge, as well as providing food for private dining and events.
You can catch the Yummy Choo wagon on 1st September at Bedford & Strand, priced at a sweet £35, it sure beats the flights over there.
Just to clarify, Balham does not have a beach. But with Selina’s delicious Mauritian cooking, if feels like your quite close.