Preeti Agarwal made an astonishingly adept transition from home cook to popular popup to owner of the polished Meesha restaurant. Now, a year after Meesha established itself in Fremont, Agarwal has debuted a second, slightly fancier destination for careful Indian food.
After six month of looking, Agarwal alighted on the former Salare space in Ravenna. Last week, it reopened as Kricket Club, her homage to India’s social clubs, exclusive hangouts where members can hang out, watch sports, and eat really good food.
“But that doesn’t mean we have TVs, or that it’s a sports bar,” says Agarwal. “It’s very British.” She envisions Kricket Club as a destination for special occasions, especially given the cocktail program, her detail-oriented dishes, and some art deco glam touches she’s been layering into the dining room.
The menu spans cocktail-friendly bar snacks and larger family style plates, and Agarwal takes culinary cues from street food and royal recipes alike. On a recent visit to India, she stayed in one of the country’s abundant historic palaces, many of which carry on centuries-old recipe traditions. She found herself in the kitchen, asking the chef about the awadhi dum biryani. That inspired Kricket Club’s version, fragrant basmati rice with meat slow cooked overnight.
Carb aficionados will dig the “bread bar” menu section, offering up four types of flatbread; fans of the frankie, India’s burrito-like street food, should be ecstatic about Agarwal’s version stuffed with chicken. The chef also plans to add some tasting menus at the chef’s counter, and brunch when she’s able. While Agarwal professes Kricket Club is distinct from the menu and vibe at Meesha, both spots further her culinary mission: Expand our Indian food landscape to better represent the cuisine’s vast variety. “It doesn’t always mean eating curries.”
One week in, “a lot of neighbors are coming,” says Agarwal, and grateful for a new presence in the space at 2404 NE 65th Street. Right now, Kricket Club serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday; anyone looking to dine outside can reserve the covered, heated patio tables.