Londoner Lewis Cummings fell in love with the freshness and vibrancy of south Indian food while travelling around the beaches and backstreets of Kerala in 2005.
Inspired by this trip and having been made redundant from a job he’d had in newspapers for nearly 20 years, Lewis began selling homemade south Indian curries from a truck, in Donegal in 2009.
The food was an instant hit with the locals who would queue up every Saturday night for their curry fix. Soon Lewis was being asked to cater for local festivals.
Kerala Kitchen was born.
His girlfriend (now wife), Gráinne encouraged him to try his luck in the thriving Dublin street food scene. He set up his stall in the lunchtime market at Mespil Road and word spread. Workers came out in rain, wind and snow for their chana saag, or Kerala coconut chicken curry.
In February 2016 Kerala Kitchen put down roots, opening its first restaurant at 5 Upper Baggot Street.
Thanks to loyal locals and the collective energy of an dedicated team, the restaurant has been a storming success, described by one restaurant reviewer as serving ‘by far the finest curry I have eaten in Ireland.’
And it all started with one man, a truck and a passion for south Indian food.
Marianne Power – Irish Independent
Since opening their restaurant Lewis and Gráinne have been working day and night, pouring their heart and soul into making it a lovely place to eat and chat and be. Last night Mel Gibson turned up and ate on one of the old wooden benches at their shared tables. It was his third curry that week. I’m guessing that Mel Gibson has eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world but it turns out that, like everyone else who has tasted it, he wanted more of Kerala Kitchen’s wonderful food. I know it’s naff and annoying that celebrities count for so much in our world.
There are hundreds of other lovely regulars who make Kerala Kitchen so special, but it’s still very cool when a proper A-lister walks in. It’s also cool what you can create from nothing. Kerala Kitchen is a family run business that started in a van. Literally. It shows that even in these weird times, if you have the guts, the tenacity and a big heart you can do anything.
Katy McGuinness – Irish Independent
I can’t think of anywhere else in the city that looks like this and it’s quite charming. Unpretentious food and charming service.
Marie-Claire Digby – Irish Times
A gorgeous evening and the food is totally delicious.
Eoin Murphy – Irish Mail on Sunday
My Keralan prawn coconut curry was nothing short of breathtaking. The juicy prawns melted into the unctuous sauce - it is by far the finest curry I have eaten in Ireland.
Ernie Whalley – Sunday Times
The cooking was honest and by and large exemplary and the whole evening (including the communal table lark) hugely enjoyable. It was fine value too.