If you're a Brixton regular then your'll already be in-the-know about Brixton Village, but what about Granville Market Space? With Brixton already a foodie destination, this new venue not only offers food but live music from buskers to DJ's. Just a mere five minute walk from the station, you can amble through the Brixton Market exiting through the back entrance, simply cross the road and BAM. There you will find yourself in a small courtyard known as Granville Market. A glorious little hidden courtyard that offers a variety of pop-up restaurants, so grab a bevy and your choice of grub. The world's your oyster. My heart and stomach however belong to one place and one place only: The Other Side...
I managed to steal enough time with one of the owners (Tom Kempton) to ask a few questions...
1) Soooo Tom, tell me how The Other Side began?
Basically it all started early last year, I was always determined to set up my own little food business ever since becoming a chef. Then one day whilst nerding out watching weird little foreign cooking YouTube videos for inspiration, I stumbled across the most crazy looking fried chicken made in Taiwan. This was the eye opening moment where I thought; "fuck it, lets try and do something like this". A few weeks later I contacted a chef I used to work with when I was 17 and was like "yo man, do you wanna just set up a fried chicken business with me?". He said yes straight away.
2) Now you guys are up and running, talk me through this van?
We searched ages on Ebay for a suitable van. Travelled the country to places such as Kings Lynn, in hunt for the perfect vehicle. Then one night we saw an ambulance for sale, Put in the offer, got accepted. We never intended on doing it in an ambulance, it just looked cool and British!
3) What did you do with everything in the ambulance?
Soooo we Drove it back from Coventry, stripped all the equipment out. Donated some stretchers to Syrian refugees, sold some of it on ebay, kept some of it in my room. Got shouted at by the parents to get rid of the creepy paramedic gear from their garage. Got the kitchen done with the help of friends and family, had lots of stressful moments converting it, almost melted the walls inside from having the fryers on, but finally finished it in April this year.
4) Wow, I mean that's pretty nifty. So how did chicken recipe come about?
We cooked and cooked, and ate so many variations of fried chicken recipes one could think of, literally wine tasting chicken. Then one day we happened to create a fantastic recipe/method. Everything fell into place.
Our chicken is free range. We don't use buttermilk like a lot of fried chicken entrepreneurs out there, We feel like this is slightly cheating, and creates more of a crunch rather than crisp. Our aim was to make a non greasy, light crispy batter and we feel like we've accomplished this. We use a classic southern recipe, and we brine our thighs to make the meat super tender and seasoned. The recipe is top secret and has been written down in the back of a book instead of a computer ;-). If someone found that book we'd be very upset.
5) Any plans for the future?
Well we want a franchise! We won't stop until we get a shop at the very least. Then we will see how it goes from there. I guess for now we will just get our name out on the street food world, get a following, and hopefully if all goes to plan; open up a small take out/seated restaurant. Then expand and expand, have shops all over Britain. We'd still keep the truck on the side to carry on the street food vibe and do festivals....I'd say our aim is to try and be like "Honest Burgers". They make great quality beef burgers which taste incredible, and always have a specials board. People love new things when it comes to food.
Now, fried chicken has never been overly high up my list, but I believe Mr Kempton may have converted me. In fact yes, yes he has, I am converted - just look at my smile. What The Other Side have really nailed is the juiciness of the chicken without the usual greasiness. Forget the likes of GBK and Byron trying to come up with the most inventive burger. The Other Side strips it back to basics, focusing on quality, nothing fancy, just chicken - as it should be. For me the clear winner is the classic burger (£6.00). Simple and cooked to perfection. I'd also suggest grabbing some of the fries (£2.00) as a side. If you like seasoning you are in heaven. In my opinion they are best served with either the chipotle mayo or BBQ sauce, just for that added pizzazz ya know.
If you're not drooling at your screen already then something's wrong. Either way, get down there whilst the sun is still shining. Granville Market is open every Saturday between 12pm to 11pm and Sunday 12pm till 7pm, so what are you waiting for? Make your stomachs happy and give the best fried chicken around a cheeky follow on twitter @othersidefried also check out there swanky website.
Lots of love,