What next, Shoulda gone to Skeptsavers?
“Man’s some serious guys, don’t waffle ‘bout crepe,” raps Krept, winding around the Slushie machine on the cocktail bar while Dave, Stefflon Don, Big Narstie and the cream of the grime scene dig into gourmet street food all around, “head down to Crepes & Cones…” As restaurant jingles go, Krept & Konan’s new track ‘Crepes & Cones (Ya Dun Know)’ makes “Im lovin’ it” look like Sir frigging Mix A Lot.
And what’s more, the chow house in question is real. Tucked away in South Croydon’s restaurant quarter, grime’s new favourite eaterie Crepes & Cones opens tomorrow (May 12), serving everything from high-end chicken wings, burgers and hot dogs to deep fried Oreos, grime-themed crumbles and cocktails named after K&K tracks: ‘Freak Of The Week’ is a coconut and peach delight and the rummy ‘Don’t Waste My Lime’ comes with a dash of “ting”.
Amid the last-minute bustle of floor-mopping and sauce-sipping before launch day, Krept and Konan roam the dining room festooned with tube and bus stop signs, overseeing their pun-based brainchild like an episode of Grime-Don Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, then slide into a booth to tell NME how they went from whips to Mr Whippy.
So, K&K, just how drunk were you when you came up with this idea?
Krept: “It was literally like a spark. When something randomly comes into your head and it got a positive reaction. We thought, ‘Let’s try and go for it’. We didn’t have a clue how. It took us years to figure out what we need to do. People we know who were experts in this market guided us in the right direction and we made it happen. We got our friend on board, who unfortunately passed away on Monday, he was here with us doing everything from cleaning to lifting to helping us build it. We’re finally here, so it’s a big thing.”
It sounds like a late-night pun that got out of hand.
Konan: “It escalated far! We went over budget four times. The second time, we walked in and it didn’t even look like a restaurant. We were like ‘where’s all the money going?’”
Krept: “There’s so much to think about before you even put a chair in.”
Have you always been grime’s budding Ben & Jerry?
Konan: “No. We go to a lot of restaurants in general and generate a lot of business their way so it was only right we generated it ourselves. We love food, so the food on the menu is all the food we’d wanna go to a restaurant and eat ourselves. We created our own menu, our home-made stuff and secret sauces. It’s not just desserts, we’ve got food and cocktails, you can get off your socks in here. There’s a Killer Cone so you can have a cone challenge.”
Krept: “There’s a Crepe Crumble with some nice toffee sauce. It was one of the nicest crepes I’ve had elsewhere so I thought ‘I’m stealing that!’.”
Is this the start of an empire?
Konan: “100 per cent. We wanted to make it so we could branch it, franchise it and put it all over the world. That’s why there’s a London theme, so that anywhere in the world that we go we bring London with us.”
Will there be ice-cream vans roaming the streets pumping out ‘Wo Wo Wo’?
Konan: “Yeah man, that’s the plan. We’re talking to festivals at the moment about getting stalls. Ice Cream Kones is what they call me, so it’s only right that you’ll see me driving round in one of my own dealing out Crepes & Cones. It’ll be lit.”
With a headline Alexandra Palace gig coming up, how are you managing to juggle the restaurant with your music?
Konan: “We’ve been coping. We managed to get this up and running while we’ve done two mix-tapes and live shows.”
Krept: “It’s about building a good team. We have to be a part of it at the start but once you’ve got a good team everything’s just running.”
What’s the coolest stuff on the menu?
Krept: “The Freak Shake.”
Konan: “It’s a mad milkshake with cones coming out, donuts on it, candy floss, strawberries, cream… And the slushes are sick, man. Make sure you have the three-mix, the rainbow.”
What other grime artists should open shops? Lady Leshurrwear? Shoulda gone to Skeptsavers?
Krept: “That’s actually genius. You should present those ideas to them.”
The scent of grime eyewear millions is overwhelmed, at this point, by the glorious aromas drifting from the kitchen. NME sits down beneath paintings of Michael Jackson and the Queen digging into ice-cream cones and tries the amazing, artfully arranged peri peri chicken wings, and a strawberry cheesecake so delicious that, if it doesn’t get a Michelin star, it at least deserves its own Dunlop or two. Droooool…