Rachel O’Sullivan, AKA Rakookoo, is a longtime friend and has been a lifeline for our Southeast Asian cravings over the past two years. Her weekly takeouts and ‘From the Freezer’ range also kept us fed throughout the opening of our restaurant Sargasso in Margate last year.
We found ourselves doing weekly runs back to London loaded up with curries ordered by friends and fans alike, so Rachel and I decided it was high time London had access to these wonderful flavours.
As a result we have begun a Rakookoo X Brawn collaboration, selling spice mixes and pastes through our Brawn Store.
You can now easily taste the Rakookoo experience at home for those unlucky enough to not live in (or travel regularly) to Thanet. The freshly ground spice mix packs make recreating a curry at home simple and flavourful and she provides helpful cooking instructions and recommendations on completing the meal. These packs can be collected from Brawn, posted for next day delivery to mainland UK, or shipped internationally.
For those visiting Thanet any time soon, check out @rakookoo for updates on this week’s regional takeout offering, plus her From the Freezer range and occasional pop ups.
Rakookoo (Flavours of Southeast Asia) began in lockdown 2020. I have worked professionally as a chef for 25 years in Melbourne, London and now Thanet but as an Australian I have been really missing the bold flavours of Asia, particularly now living in Ramsgate where it is non-existent. So I decided to see how a ‘Heat at Home Takeout’ would work.
“I haven’t worked in any Asian restaurants professionally; it has always been what I cook for myself at home. I have been to Southeast Asia several times and spent an evening in the famous Mermaid Restaurant in Hoi An and learnt to make Muc Noi Thit (squid stuffed with pork and wood ear mushrooms) with the Vietnamese ladies.
I often get asked why I cook Southeast Asian food and my response is always “I’m Australian”, which some people get straight away but puzzles others, which is when I’m quick to point out that it’s not uncommon for an English person to cook French or Italian food. The flavour of Southeast Asia is found everywhere in Australia from excellent restaurants, cafes and home staples.
Menus are posted on @rakookoo on Instagram and Facebook on Monday mornings for collection from Ramsgate on Friday or Saturday and the menu on offer rotates between Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Burmese, Indonesian and Sri Lankan. It is the ‘flavours of’, meaning it is not always traditional but rather takes inspiration while incorporating local seasonal ingredients, including what we grow in our garden. There is a selection of snacks and main courses of meat, fish and vegetarian (99% of the time vegan) and also on offer is a ‘From the Freezer’ menu that can be found in Story Highlights (FTF) on Instagram. The menu is regularly updated, particularly popular for dinner parties and available for collection from Ramsgate any time.
These Sri Lankan spice mixes, available at Brawn Store, have been specifically developed with each curry type in mind. These are of course interchangeable and can be used in a variety of other ways. Use them as a meat rub, sprinkle into scrambled eggs, or mix through olive oil, lime and salt to dress up your greens.”