Launching tomorrow (1 October), Hawkerman will initially trade on lunchtimes only from within a specially-designed section of the North Laine restaurant.
Billed as a pop-up, the new brand tips its hat to the 'hawkers that devote their lives to perfecting one single speciality, refining recipes that have been handed down through generations of masterful cooks until they’re the best they can possibly be’.
“We’ve travelled a lot around South East Asia and are in awe of these incredibly skilled cooks who spend decades honing one ostensibly simple dish - which customers will form long queues to eat,” says Alun Sperring, who oversees the food side of the business with wife Dawn heading front of house.
“With Hawkerman, we set ourselves a bit of a challenge – creating our own interpretation of some of these time-honoured specialities, using the best local produce we can get.”
The small plates menu includes shrimp krupuk with Hong Kong plum sauce, black pepper lamb ribs; Old Spot pork and scampi, Canton barbecue sunshine chicken, Singapore fish head curry and ‘The Don’s Pot Noodle’. Main dishes are priced between £9 and £13.
The 28-cover space is open for walk-ins and bookings from 12.30pm with everything cooked by Alun and his team at The Chilli Pickle, which will operate as normal while the pop-up is open.
“Inspiration for Hawkerman began last year when we designed a hugely popular Singaporean menu for OctoberBEST (a yearly initiative that sees Brighton and Hove restaurants offer special menus at affordable prices); and the idea continued to grow when we realised – post-lockdown – that we wanted to do something new and exciting to lift the spirits of both our team and customers,” says Dawn.
“Alun loves cooking this style of food at home and we can’t wait to let diners try his take on classic South East Asian dishes, with a small menu that we can change and play with all the time."
“We’ve been working closely with Steve Campion and Pete Collingridge at Brighton-based design and branding agency Good Noise to develop and deliver the Hawkerman concept, and we’re all really excited to be offering something brand-new. We hope people love the food as much as we do.”
The Chilli Pickle opened its first site in Brighton’s Meeting House Lane in 2007, moving to a larger site in Jubilee Square three years later. 2012 saw the launch of a delivery service which went on to pick up Best Takeaway in Britain at the British Curry Awards four years running.
The Chilli Pickle has also appeared on BigHospitality's and Restaurant’s list of the top 100 restaurants in the UK.