Malaysian, Portuguese and a sprinkling of London sophistication is what inspires the cusine created by husband and wife team Test Kitchen Food, writes Rachel Wakefield
The Test Kitchen van has been seducing late night drinkers, near the Windsor and Eton Brewery, for more than a year now. It’s also been turning heads every Saturday morning near the Loading Bay Cafe, with its tasty, cooked-to-order food.
It’s easy to understand why – just talking to owner, Milly O’Connor about what she serves is beyond distracting. Take for example, the popular Super Bon Bon: marinated pork loin, in paprika, garlic and thyme, grilled and served with melted cheese, fried mushrooms and a garlic aioli sauce, in a ciabatta roll. Or, the TKFC: deboned chicken thighs, marinated in mirin sauce, soy sauce, garlic and ginger, then covered in sweet potato flour, deep fried and finished with a maple syrup and soy glaze, with a spiracha dip. In my mouth!
Milly and her husband John, who is the chef, met through a mutual love of food. She was managing the Kensington restaurant and nightclub, Dirty Bones, he was a cook at Fulham’s Malthouse. They both have interesting foodie heritages, he’s from Portugal and her mother is Malaysian.
“I was nine months pregnant when we bought the food truck,” recalls Milly. We had just moved back to my home town of Windsor, as we had made a decision to bring up our son Salvador here. “We had this idea to bring the London, foodie sophistication in the neighbourhood.”
It has not taken John long to establish good relationships, with his main supplier being the Royal Windsor Farm Shop. “Our menu is based on good, local, seasonal produce and Tony, the butcher always delivers from there,” says Milly.
“We called the business Test Kitchen Food, because we wanted to be flexible in the food we offered. Not sticking to one style of cuisine.”
The adventurous pair will be curating a foodie event on Friday, 25th May, called Hawkers Bazaar. This event is inspired by the vibrant night markets and hawker centres of Malaysia. It will take place at the Loading Bay Cafe, Vansittart Estate, Windsor SL4 1SE. It will be a showcase of local talent including an experimental cocktail truck, an exotic ice cream roll trader, lots of authentic hawker style food plus local musicians performing late into the night. Tickets available to book online, visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk
To keep up-to-date with what’s cooking in the kitchen, take a look on the Facebook page @testkitchenfood.