People – we have a collaboration brewing. At the end of this week – Friday 25th May – eat.st will be shimmying up to the car park of Sclater Street, E1, home of the recent and perfectly formed Street Feast.
Members of the eat.st collective are no stranger to the seductive and gravelly ways of this new Friday night hotspot. Kimchi Cult, The Rib Man, The Bowler, BAHD, Hardcore Prawn and Homeslice have all been slinging there since the beginning, along with other great traders, serving up the good stuff, festoon-lit and flying.
This Friday, to add to the mix, will be a new group – especially selected by me, PB, for their freshness and swerve. More details on these seven to follow this week. In the mean time, for those of who don’t know (and for those of you who do), take a read of a piece of writing on last Friday’s Street Feast, by Jack Blocker – Food Waste Man – my cousin and one of my favourite writers on London fooding right now.
While navigating the route to Sclater Street from Liverpool Street Station, I arrogantly peeked into Hawksmoor and St. Johns Bread and Wine, hopefully assuring the people inside that I would soon be eating street food twice as delicious and a fraction of the price of their meals. I was a bit tempted walking by Nando’s though. I have a couple of whole free chicken cards at the moment which I bought on eBay for a tenner. I caught my reflection in the door as I clutched my illicit vouchers. I stuck to the original plan.
After meeting my friends we realised that we had arrived far too early and took to Brick Lane for a few rounds. Once the epitome of urban trendiness, Brick Lane has recently evolved into a hang-out where young city-suits can indulge their edgier side. They get smashed on Jaeger Bombs and £5 pints, then make wild decisions to go out in Hoxton instead of Soho, or impulsively buy the new Keane record from Rough Trade East. Maybe even on Vinyl. After we each bought a round of 3 beers for £15, we’d had enough. Good drinking sessions are often capped with bad food, so it’s fitting that this bad session ended with excellent grub.
The energy and aroma pouring out of Sclater Street pulled us along with a force stronger than ourselves – then security stopped us and made us finish our cans of K – then that force pulled us along again. I started with Luardos. Giant, Mission-style burritos filled with Carnitas, Beans and Guacamole. I instantly proclaimed it better than Chipotle, my measure for Mexican food made by non-Mexicans, and another statement that some say negates any opinion I have on food. My friend failed to finish his, so I readily took it off his hands ensuring my stomach was lined to protect it from the impending ribocalypse.
The Rib Man looked like someone you could trust to properly cook a dead animal. In fact, had he told me he just beat an animal to death with his bare hands before salvaging the ribs I was eating I would have believed him. This may also be because I put so much of his ‘Christ on a Bike’ sauce on my ribs that I began to partially hallucinate, seeing everything in purple for about 20 minutes. He explained that ‘Christ on a Bike’ has twice as many Naga Jolokia’s in it as the lesser ‘Holy Fuck’ sauce. Despite my drooling, tearful face, Rib Man had somehow managed to tame the world’s hottest pepper, giving the sauce a sweetness along with the heat. The ribs themselves were extremely tender but satisfying to gnaw. They avoided the ‘fall-off-the-bone’ cult that people inexplicably swear-by, letting me munch through to the marrow.
A couple of cup-cakes and a generous section of Margarita from Homeslice rounded off the night, and slowly brought feeling back into my lips. As my friends threw plastic cutlery at me while I lay recovering on the pavement, I thought of the Brick Lane suits. They had probably gone on to Hawksmoor and been told the wait was an hour, given up and headed to Nando’s, where they were forced to pay full-price as they failed to buy fraudulent loyalty cards beforehand. I had spent just fifteen pounds worth of genuine currency on all my food, the culinary victor slumped on the Sclater street curb, smoking a tab the bouncer gave me when he came to check if I was okay.
Street Feast: eat.st introduces will bring seven great new traders to the five already in situe to make a 12-pronged mega-hit; an assault on the reasonable as far as appetite is concerned and taking no prisoners.
25th May 2012 – 5pm-Midnight + Street Feast bar