Behind the scenes at Sparrow restaurant

Former lawyer Yohini Nandakumar and then head pastry chef Terry Blake met in the kitchen of London’s St John.

Their relationship took a romantic turn, and before long Terry and Yohini opened their first supper club.

From there they took the leap and opened Sparrow, in South London. Take a long look at the back-of-house activity of this fledgling restaurant, in photos taken by Mike English.

Behind the scenes at Sparrow restaurant

A blackboard is propped against the wall, on top of the radiator. Specials have been written and erased and written again – they’ve been at this for a while.

Image of the menu in Sparrow
Photography by Mike English

 

 

Terry chops parsley and chilli to add flavour and kick to the crab linguine. Fresh, light and flavoursome – it’s a crowd favourite.

Image of herbs being chopped
Photography by Mike English

 

 

The finishing flavours of parsley and lemon zest have been added to the crab linguine. A momentary stop before it’s served into bowls and devoured by waiting customers.

Image of crab linguine still in the pan
Photography by Mike English

 

 

Yohini deep in concentration as she ever-so carefully slices lotus root.

Green with envy, the envy of those not eating this risotto. It’s topped with a dollop of gooey goat’s cheese, hazelnut pesto and a drizzle of olive oil – a dreamy dish.

Image of bowls of vibrant green risotto topped with goat's cheese and nuts
Photography by Mike English

 

 

Yohini deep in concentration as she ever-so carefully slices lotus root. This will then be fried and placed on top of the comforting massaman curry.

Image of chef Yohini slicing lotus root
Photography by Mike English

 

 

A cleared table, a lone napkin and a blue business card. Another day at the office done.

Yohini places a bowl of rich, fragrant massaman beef curry on a woven tablecloth. A smaller bowl of rice is served alongside. The blue table runner offers a nice contrast against the otherwise neutral colours.

Image of a waiter placing massaman curry and rice on a table
Photography by Mike English

 

 

Light, creamy and wobbly, the pannacotta is carefully turned over into a dainty eggshell-blue bowl.

Image of chef Terry turning pannacotta out into a bowl
Photography by Mike English

 

 

Warm, luxurious chocolate caramel sauce drips from the whisk back into the pot. It’s soon to be drizzled over a smooth, creamy pannacotta.

Image of a pop of melted chocolate
Photography by Mike English

 

 

A cleared table, a lone napkin and a blue business card. Another day at the office done.

Image of a Sparrow business card and napkin on the table
Photography by Mike English

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