Tag Archives: East End

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.



23 Jun

A couple of months ago, the brilliant Regeneration Officer at Hackney put me in touch with the manager at Fifteen. “They want to put a street party on and they need help with the food traders”, I was told. An introductory meeting later at Fifteen and Jacques and I were all fired up and setting a date. The theme would be Fifteen’s 10th Birthdays Celebrations and the focus would be on Fifteen Family and local-to-the-East End eat.st traders.

We would close the street – Westland Place – outside Fifteen and fill it with 10 of our best East End slingers, music, kids entertainment, a bar and stalls from Fifteen, Fifteen Cornwall and Barbecoa, as well as the massive truck that is The Cock & Cider. Now the big day is only one week away and we’re all set – FUN and great food are the focus and everyone is invited!

Our traders are: Red Herring Smokehouse, The Rib Man, Banh Mi 11, The Bowler, Mussel Men, Healthy Yummies, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Toma Mexicano, Yum Bun and Westonbirt Ice Cream. I get dizzy thinking about the levels of deliciousness in that group. They’re there all day though, so chances are you’ll be able to get around a few…

Think of it – smoked chicken, moules-frites, pan-seared scallops, Mexican flautas, gourmet meatballs, pillow-soft steamed buns, banh mi, real hot dogs, hot smoked ribs and incredible ice cream + cupcakes from Crumbs & Doilies!

This is the first time that eat.st has collaborated with a restaurant –  and a group of them at that. It was actually through meeting a load of the chefs from Barbecoa one night at Street Feast that I had a change of heart re. my previous reservations about ‘getting into bed with the restaurants’. They were all so excited about the delights that abounded from some of our traders, there on the night. I have always been a bit wary of why some of the big, established restaurants wanted to get involved with the streets – thinking of them as one mass of bandwagon jumpers who would be onto the next thing as soon as something else caught their eye.

Then I checked my attitude and noticed how fired-up so many chefs were about the prospect, through getting involved with the streets, of actually seeing who was eating their food and having the satisfaction of seeing their enjoyment. Like Bea (of Bloomsbury) said to me recently “You have to really love what you do to be a chef because there are some serious downsides”. And I thought about why I have thrown myself so hard into this industry – it’s because of two things really: The pulling together of great, like-minded people to serve food on our streets – critical mass making more headway than scattered individuals; and the quest to transform our outdoor spaces and bring strangers together through the attraction of great, accessible food. My stance now is that whoever has that lust for the above is who we should be embracing – from the hardcore traders who live and breath the culture of the streets, to the career-changers who want to do something they can touch, taste and feel, to any amazing chef out there who wants to be part of a whole new side of what they love.

When we have all of this food, all of these people, and anyone else who likes to collaborate on shared space – from all parts of the food world, making great things happen – then we know that the British food culture is well on its way to a new evolution, and it fires us up!

The #fifteeneatstreetparty will run from 11am-5pm next Saturday 30th June – Westland Place, N1 7LP (Just near to Old Street)

Come hungry and ready for fun.

There will be pasta-making classes upstairs.

Jamie will be there too….

Bring all the food fans you know!

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)


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)



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



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


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



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

eat.st after dark, at last – this week

21 Nov

So glad that so many people have made it down/up/over to our strip at King’s Cross these last six weeks – everyone is loving the new eat.st base in N1C. For some though, the 10am-3pm window is not quite wide enough to be able to leap through and grab some of them eat.st goodies. So we have a (temporary) evening solution – for one week only….

Curated by Jo Whiley, in aid of Mencap and in association with Milk & Honey, eat.st has been invited hawk our wares for these super-sessions. Each night will feature an incredible headliner, plus support – starting on Tues 22nd November with freaking ELBOW! And as the acts roll out over the week, so too will the eat.st crew – each night bringing two or three of our finest to keep the moshers replete and vital.

Although most of the nights are sold out (save for Wednesday and Sunday – check it out) , the good news is that you don’t need a ticket to come get your dinner on. So, if you’re in the Hackney way and want to swing ours, then St James….. is where it’s at Tuesday-Sunday, 6.30pm-10.30pm. Or, if you’re prone to a little urban rambling in the shape of a food hunt, this is your moment to head East for a taste of eat.st flavour.

eat.streeters showing out are Buen Provecho, Creperie Nicholas, Jamon Jamon, Luardos, Banh Mi 11, Jamon Jamon, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Tongue ‘n Cheek, Bhangra Burger, Kimchi Cult, Homeslice Pizza and Hardcore Prawn – and introducing for the first time under our umbrella, all the way from Nottingham, Mauritian Street Food. So if you’ve been wanting to try any or all of these curbside food crusaders by night, the time is now!

Slinging kicks off on Tuesday night with Bhangra Burger and Creperie Nicholas at the helm. All in aid of the amazing charity that is Mencap – eating well has never felt so right.

Find the full rundown of traders on the eat.st site HERE


St John-at-Hackney Church, Lower Clapton Rd, London, E5 0PD

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.

Lucky Chip’s burgers got us in the buds

11 Jul

I took a trip up to Lucky Chip in Kensal Rise a few weeks ago. It was before Glasto and I had a mountain of stuff to get ready before submitting myself to the trenches and twilight zone of Worthy Farm. Plus London had just endured a calamitous deluge of rain (elemental trend of June 2011?) – so from the lowlands of Loughborough Junction to the crooked heights of NW10 it was quite a wrench. But I felt compelled to soldier on, convinced by various reports that what would greet me on arrival would negate the treacherous pain of the journey.

I went to pick up my mate from her barfly position in the Prince Regent. The electricity had blown and we drank bourbon by candlelight as the storm gathered itself outside. Finally it stopped and we sallied forth to the forecourt of St John’s church. This wasn’t my first visit; I had stumbled upon Lucky Chip on their opening night back in March on a balmier night than this and it was hopping. I could barely get close to the counter, let alone the burgers, so I gave it the visual once over and carried on about my business.

This night was howlingly different on the crowd front. There was something faintly Rocky Horror about the sight of this stainless steel box perched on the brow of the Harrow Road, gazed down upon by a great solemn looking church and bereft of another living soul save for Comar and Ben, the two bright sparks behind Lucky Chip.

As we approached an SUV pulled up and whirred down its tinted window. A hand reached out and received the foil-wrapped package that Comar strode over to it. Up went the window and off prowled the car, leaving the four of us stood there, bathed in the trailer’s strip light. The good news was that it meant we had no queue to negotiate and we got very personal service. Ben, ex head barman of the Cobden Club showed us his Antipodean flair with the wasabi mayo flourishes and beetroot marinated onion rings, while Comar gave us the full intro to Lucky Chip. To cut a long story short it was always going to be a diner but the burgers have been hogging most of the limelight – and here’s why:



There’s nothing like watching your food being prepared on a blustery night to really get you in the mood. The forbidding sky throws you into the promise of the trailer’s delights. You want that comfort in edible form. You lean into the counter and soak up the steamy aroma of the patty on the hot grill, knowing it has your name on it.

I went for the bacon cheeseburger, while my pal got all excited about the ‘Sheen’, as in Charlie. It was loaded with beer-soaked onions, Philadelphia cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar and garlic aioli. She said it was delicious but I was too deep into mine to give it a spin. I’m not really into a million different things on my burger. I know everyone raves about the kimchi burger at Hawksmoor but it kind of killed it for me. I want the meaty patty, the hot meaty juices and the unobtrusive but oh so crucial plastic cheese. And then some ketchup. I got all of this plus fries and onion rings (with accompanying lollipop) on the side – and I even felt like dipping into the hotdog afterwards, such was the acceleration of my appetite when confronted with all that beefy addictiveness.

I like what Comar and Ben are bringing to the curbs of London – there is a kind of studied irreverence that shows they mean business but want to orchestrate something more than just the flogging of food. And the food is spot on – very neatly done – and it all feels very well thought out. I, for one though, am not averse to a little bit of looseness and chaos in the food that I eat and on the streets where I dine. I look forward to returning to one of their Netil Market days when they are once again surrounded by people and disorder and racking out some of the finest burgers on the streets.

Find Lucky Chip on Twitter @lucky_chip or, better than that, head to Netil Market, London Fields, E8 3RL, Tuesdays-Sundays to furnish yourself with their flavours.