Tag Archives: Amazing

The #fifteeneatstreetparty went OFF!

4 Jul

After lots of planning and meetings and organisation and phone calls, the day of the #fifteeneatstreetparty arrived….and it was raining! We stood there on the wet cobbles, going “What if no one comes?” / “Is it going to be ok?”

The Bowler in his Marigolds….

Then Jamie and Gennaro arrived and with them a sudden crowd of people who seemed to migrate with Jamie everywhere he went.

The Fifteen graduates got the pig into the fires of The Cock in Cider – driven up from Essex by the heavenly Paul, ready to be given a good roasting for selling from their stall.

Our lot showed up like clockwork and slotted in, one after the other along the right-hand side of the street. Prep began and grills and barbecues, steamers and pots got fired up. Westland Place began to assume the gait of a spot where something was about to go DOWN!

The eat.st/Fifteen strip…

It’s all a load of scallops – Healthy Yummies

Red Herring and Toma Mexicano, prepping

And then the sun came, and with it the people, and then the lovely Gemma Cairney who played old school Destiny’s Child and Terror Fabulous from the upper-storey window of Fifteen – and soon enough it was one mass of moving bodies, troffing and talking about troffing, and dancing and doing the multi-queue two-step.

The eat.st crew slung HARD! Each of them confronted with a deep line of cravers, keen to get wasted on food.

And Fifteen Cornwall, Fifteen and Barbecoa got reet stuck in to the mosh-pit – embracing the curbside activity like they’d been doing it for years….

We want to say a big THANK YOU to Fifteen for inviting them to join us – it was a pleasure and we’re looking forward to introducing more of our lot to the jolly cobbles of Westland Place.

Street Feast: eat.st Introduces – this Friday 25th May!

24 May

So, tomorrow’s the day for the big street food collabo. Together with Street Feast, we will be bringing seven great new traders along to the car park in Sclater Street that has been knocking people bandy with its smorgasbord of great food offerings these last few weeks.

Street Feast: eat.st Introduces will see Street Feast hosting these young upstarts in the eat.st fam and giving them a great platform to show off what they do in front of a seemingly insatiable audience. These seven newbies will join the six Street Feasters in-residence (including eat.st members Kimchi Cult, Hardcore Prawn, The Bowler, The Rib Man and Big Apple Hot Dogs – as well as Brick Lane regular Mama Jerk).

So, hold onto your hats and read on for the food that will be slung from their vans and stalls. Come hungry, come thirsty and get ready to be hit with flavour…

1. Vinn Goute – Seychelles creole food

Really excited about these guys. They usually trade over at Portobello (under the Westway) at weekends but they’re looking forward to making the trip East to serve up all their family recipes. Nobody else doing anything like this in London so grab your chance to try some real Seychelles magic.

Food Box – comes with ‘safran rice’ and papaya and organic carrot chutney £6.50

1.Halal Goat Curry

2.Exotic Fish – a) Trivali b) Red Snapper 3) Indian Mackerel

3.Octopus Curry

4.Kreol ‘Tropikal’ Corn Fed Chicken Legs

5.Organic Vegetable Curry (V)

Snack Box – a mix of 5 snacks in a box £5 (1 of each of the below + one extra of choice)

1.Tuna Fish Samosa x 1 (£1.50 each)

2 Organic Vegetable Samosa x 1 (£1.50 each)

3.Parrot Fish cake x 1 (£1.00 each)

4.Lentils Chilli Cakes x 2 (£1.00 each or 3 for £2)

Sauces

Piman chilli Sauce – Very Hot Organic Chilli Sauce -£5

Piman Dou Sauce – Very Hot Slightly Sweet Organic Chilli Sauce – £5

Drinks – Water and Coconut Water (can) £1 to compliment our meals – all contain a form of hot chilli)

http://www.vinn-goute.co.uk/

 

2. The Speck Mobile

To those who go to Maltby Street on Saturdays, you’ll have seen Franz hawking his schnitzel and strudel under one of the arches. This cat has mad kitchen credentials and is married to super star dessert queen Bea (of Bloomsbury). You just know it’s going to be good. And when you try that butter-fried schnitzel with the lingonberry sauce? Man, there’s nothing like it. This will be his first outing in his brand new Speck Mobile so we are honoured to have him debut with us.

Wiener Schnitzel Vom Schwein – Rare breed pork schnitzel Viennese style

With potato cucumber salad – £5.50

Speckknodel Mit Sauerkraut – Tyrolean speck dumplings with sauerkraut – £5.50

Kaspressknodel – Grilled herbed Alpine cheese dumplings with sour cream and chive sauce – £4.50

Apfelstrudel – flaky thin apple strudel – £3

 

3. Sorbitium Ices

 

New ice cream van in the eat.st collective is Sorbitium Ices – ex-Petersham Nurseries ice cream wunderkids Suzanna and Pedro. They’ve just started with us at King’s Cross and now are ready to scoop their little hearts out tomorrow night. Could the flavours sound any more enticing on a warm May evening?

  • ‘Tutti Frutti’ ice cream – Candied orange, lemon & fig in an amaretto vanilla custard
  • Dark chocolate & fresh mint sorbet
  • Rhubarb & toasted cinnamon oat ice cream
  • Rose Water & cardamom ice cream
  • Rice pudding ice cream
  • Caramel and sea salt ice cream
  • Fresh strawberry, creme fraiche and meringue Ice cream
  • Poached nespole and vanilla sorbet

£2 : one scoop/ £3:  2 scoops. Take home tubs 500ml: £6 / 2 for £10

Sorbitium eat.st profile HERE.

 

4. Green Goat

 

Just started up in Battersea Market on Saturdays and soon to join us at King’s Cross, Green Goat are all about the ‘street food with a conscience’. Crunch, fragrance, freshness and spice guaranteed…

Spice-master Lamb burgers with Harissa and minted yogurt £5

Slow-cooked pork with a booming Beetroot inspired slaw £6

Chermoula marinated Sardines with pomegranate cous cous £6

Elderflower panna cotta’s with macerated berries and chocolate brownies £2.50

Washed down with home-made lemonade £1.50

http://greengoatfood.com/

 

5. Spit & Roast

 

If there’s one thing you need to know about these cats, it’s that they don’t play. This is the dynamic duo behind Exmouth Market’s Medcalf and they came to win you over with their incredible chicken dishes. Believe me, when you get your chops around that fried chicken you’ll be forgetting your own name for a second as your eyes start inspecting the back of your head.

Whole chicken £12

1/2 chicken £7

1/4 chicken £5

All with rosemary and garlic potatoes

Buttermilk fried chicken £6

Cornbread muffin, herb gravy

Find Spit & Roast on Twitter

 

6. French & Grace

Not strictly new since they joined the eat.st collective last summer, but that was as Salad Club. Now they’re all about F&G and the mobile arm of their Brixton Village eaterie. With a new recipe book out this month they’re keen to show off the distillation of what they do in these two simple wraps – made with South London love.

Lebanese flatbread wraps rolled up with butter bean and rosemary hummus, seeded carrot and beet slaw, harissa yogurt and a choice of:

Hot Chorizo £5.50

Chargrilled Halloumi £5.50

An “uber” = both together £6.50

DRINKS

Ossie’s Brixton-brewed Ginger Beer £2.00

French & Grace eat.st profile HERE

 

7. Mother Flipper

Last but never least, Manuel has shown up this year to bring great burgers back onto the streets. He is one of our most recent members and has made Tuesdays Burger Day at King’s Cross, as well as giving Brockley what they need every Saturday. The smell alone will drive you wild – get ready to queue for this one.

Mother Flipper Cheeseburger £5.50
Chilli Flipper £6
Double Candy Bacon Flipper £6.50
Fungi Flipper £6

http://www.motherflipperburgers.com/

 

Street Feast: eat.st Introduces will be tomorrow, 25th May 2012 – 5pm-Midnight + Street Feast bar

Directions HERE.

eat.st headed to Street Feast this Friday

22 May

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

The ybfs in this week’s The Grocer

12 Mar

…with quite a bit of me chipping in with my ten cents worth! Nice to see our resident speed-boner, Mark – The Rib Man, getting his in too.

If you think the Awards needs you in it then hurry over to the ybfs website and get applying! Bring every unturned stone on, I say – can’t wait.

Looking for the rising stars of the street food world – Where are you?

1 Feb

Back in the ’90s the ybas – Young British Artists – burst into the disused warehouses and streets of Hoxton, firing on new, ‘oppositional and entrepreneurial’ cylinders. Hirst and Emin, Stallabrass and Lucas staged urban interventions that gained them notoriety and a footing in the new British art scene.

Then commercialism came calling, the young guns banked big and a new urban pursuit came to the fore: food. And how it’s spread! All over the land are culinary mavericks tinkering away on out-there ideas – re-imagining the foodscape and bucking the trad. These are the ybfs – the Young British Foodies – and they’re changing the food scene (just as the ybas changed the art scene)  from one of usual suspects to one of off-piste upstarts bringing some fire and challenge to the game.

To recognise them, bring them to the fore and make the industry more exciting, Chloe Scott, Lily Jones and Amy Thorne have created the YBF Awards. Categories include Meat, Alcohol, Experiential and, I’m delighted to say, Street Food!

So come on then ravers – what you got? Where are the real movers out there, ready to claim the title? D-day for entry is February 20th – less than three weeks away. All you need to do is write in with a 500 word bio, a 100 word intro to your idea and a few great pics and you could be on your way to scooping the big one.

I’m judging along with meaty hell-raiser Tom Adams of Pitt Cue and way, way out there ice cream van renegade Claire of Ginger’s Comfort Emporium and we want FIRE.

For entries head to the ybfs website. £1000 to the winner of each category and mad publicity. Also, winner of the Street Food category will instantly become a part of the eat.st crew with a year’s free membership. Hotness!

Here is the Coffee category in the window of Selfridges this winter:

See you on the other side….!

Eating and exploring in Mexico

22 Jan

Just back from three weeks in Mexico. Lots of tacos, lots of tequila, lots of avocados, lots of mezcal. Lots of pork. Pork of every texture, shape, taste, cookedness – and coming out of every kind of torta and tortilla.

How many different ways are there of saying tortilla in Mexico? All roads lead back to them – albeit with different levels of crunchiness and shape. Tortilla with eggs for breakfast. Tostadas. Totopos, Tacos. Chilaquiles. Flautas. Giant tortillas covered in frijoles and cheese and eaten with arms outstretched. Blue ones, corn ones, flour ones. Papusas, gorditas, sudados (‘sweaty’ ones – liked them).

It’s all about the maize. Sin mais, no hay pais – Without corn, there’s no Mexico. And I love the way the food traditions of the Toltecs, Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs have stood firm regardless of being raped by the Spanish. This is a country where you can see the culture, feel its history, in the rhythms of its street-side food prep and life of its markets. The smell of corn tortillas curls up from every other griddle and the slap, slap, slap of the dough being patted into neat little discs accompanies the other sounds that give those places their pulse: cumbia/merengue/salsa, and “elote! elote! elote!” shouted nasally from passing corn sellers, carts rolling past laden with veg and people shouting “Güera!” at you as you get in amongst it.

The vendadores set up from shopping trolleys, carts, baskets, tricycles. One guy had converted his VW Beetle (the Mexican national car) into a sugar cane juice-mobile. I stopped and chatted to him – turns out matey’s been to London and even had burrito action chez Luardos.

Mundo pequeño.

In Tulum town guys hook power to their puestas from nearby electricity lines. Nearly 30% of electricity is stolen in Mexico and I reckon the vendors have got the lion’s share. White light illuminates glistening meats and griddled tacos. The whole of Mexico favours the white light to such an extent that, from afar, cities make the sky glow silver, rather than the low orange of those over here. It’s kitchen-like, functional, a glow under which stuff gets chopped up, racked up, scooped up and sliced up. The street belongs to everyone and the warmth of the night makes you happy to stay and stay.

Watch how the Mexican eat their tacos. So neat. They say you can tell a lot about a person from the way they scoff it. Spot the tourista who’s over-loaded theirs, losing skids of beans through the bottom and meat shards over the top. They say that Mexicans are distrustful by nature but that all falls away when you’re at the stand getting your food on. Help yourself from the bowls of salsa, beans, papas, salads, then pay up at the end once you’ve counted up. When it comes to food the trust is right there – people who don’t know each other sitting like family round the same table.

One day I tried grasshoppers – chapulines – then hormigas – ants. Then they had me try a freaking dried (and very crispy) earthworm. Everyone on the stall stood around me encouragingly as I munched through it, eyebrows raised in anticipation of my reaction. ‘Ricisimo, verdad?’ they’d ask. ‘Mmmmmm!’ I’d reply.

In Mérida I spent the whole day with something to eat in my hand. From the little bags of fried pumpkin seeds that they open and throw chipotle and half a squeezed lime into (seriously delicious), to the corn ice cream (not for me). I troughed tamarind balls, flan, bags of chilli-d fruit and flors de Jamaica. Puerco profundo – the ‘deep’ bits of the pig all roiling and moiling around on a hot griddle, ready for chopping – was super-tasty and the botanas you get in the cantinas keep you loaded with food while you drink. This is tapas, Mexican style. For every beer come three plates of food – chicharrones/potato salad/cucumber salad. Or chopped hot dogs with habanero/macaroni with tomato sauce/frijoles. Kind of made you want to stay and drink all day….

In Laguinilla market in Mexico City we got lost under the yellow canopies. Pure, crazy gaud-fest amongst the 15 Años dresses – folds and layers and frills and ruches of every possible colour of satin for the girls’ big day. Made ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ look like a dress rehearsal. Next door people ladled horchata from huge plastic urns into giant polystyrene cups. Further along the cochinita pibil stall lured us in as always. This stuff is the business: achiote and bitter orange marinaded pork, slow-roasted in banana leaves and served in toasted buns with loads of tang. Seriously, when is someone going to start a torta de cochinita pibil stall in London? I imagine one called ‘Porksville’ which gives the tired old hog-roast a run for its money. Spice and lime my pork up, man. It’s the only way to go from now on.

Then to cool down your inflamed mouth afterwards, a choice from the sorbet pallet of ice cream flavours in the trolleys going by. Those colours! Mirroring the houses and signs everywhere and calling ‘try me! try me!’.

You end up trying everything because it all looks and smells so good. This is not a country of slimmers, avoiding the bad stuff, this is a nation of proper eaters who don’t care who knows it. This is lusty, healthy, proper eating and its streets would be ghostly without it all.

I’m a fan. Bring on the next trip over there…

The real polpette is in the far East

1 Nov

A trip East before bolting out of London in the Bora began with a guided tour of Hoxton Market with a Hackney regeneration officer. I listened with intrigue as he titillated me with twisted tales of E8 urbanism – who sold what, where it went, what’s left behind and the staggering cleavage that exists between the ‘authentic’ originals and the urban pastoralists who came along and reimagined a new Hackers.

I’m off to Ridley Road, I told him, To look for Luca.

“Three-quarters of the way in, park in the Sainsbury’s carpark so you don’t get rinsed out on the meters and don’t buy fish from any of the stalls along the front”. Then more gruesome tales ensued. A picture emerged of a highly questionable hotbed of open-air and not-quite-so-open-air trading. A postcode poll of the punters found them coming in from Northampton, Kent, Peterborough. Places that held nothing like the cacophony of stuff that Ridley Road regularly puts out there. Stories of international smuggling, trade routes used to pass along illegal, unmentionable, unfathomable goods.

“All put paid to now of course, all cleaned up”.

I doubt it, I thought, It’s probably just receded further into the crevices, the cracks…

Coming out onto Ridley Road from the Kingsland Shopping Centre there is an amazing amount of sky stretching up out there. No high-rises, no office blocks, just sky above a great rambling encrustation of stalls and holes in walls. I felt all way up high and out there – from the low-slungness of Brixton to this perched strip of Hackney that was just full of people. That’s the magic of a good market – it throws you together with everyone and our natural human predisposition for sociality gets off on it, feels reassured by it.

After I’d walked about the 3/4 of the road I did, indeed, find Luca, purveyor of the truth as far as polpette go – or so they told me. Up on the deck of the Ridley Road Market bar sits his set-up – a 2m/1m trad market stall adorned with New York deli boards announcing the menu:

We all love a good meatball, let’s not even try and pretend. And all the signs around the place were leading me to believe that this would be one of the good ones: The box of really serious looking bread thrusting out of a hanging box to one side, the bowl of green bean salad, glistening with salt crystals, the little pot of Tiramisu sat casually by the till – none of which has anything to do with meatballs, but you can soon spot someone who knows about food.

Just give me a bit of everything, I asked, All the sauces and all the balls. Luca obliged, lining the box with the ‘creamy polenta’ and then layering on the different sauces – gorgonzola, roasted tomato and wild mushroom (but leaving out hot peperoncino so it wouldn’t obliterate the taste of the ball).

Then came the balls – two of ricotta & spinach, two of beef. “Always beef, never pork”, Luca told me. On top of this went more sauce, baby spinach and the aforementioned green bean salad which was winking at me, despite the availability of the balls. I staggered off with this great brick of a box to a nearby bench and began excavating this beast of a lunch. I flicked the spinach to the side and didn’t get too involved with the polenta (not my thing), but finally coming into contact with those polpette, all roiling and moiling in such wholesome sugo, was a great moment for me up in E8.

Luca explained the addition of ricotta and 10% of parmesan. Yes, that’s what it is – that’s what makes you think of Italy where other versions never will. Served with real charm and generosity as well. This is a guy who is enjoying being street-side and it shows. Luca Italian lifts Ridley Road, and Ridley Road gives L.I grounding in a truly interesting place.

I hope that we might persuade him to uproot himself from time to time to come and join our gang. Luca Italian is right up our strada.