Tag Archives: India

New Year, new plans…

28 Jan

Hello y’all. Lots of exciting things in the offing from eat.st. We have some new recruits waiting in the wings for a full promenade along the eat.st site – pulled pork and wholefoods and fresh pretzels and a mobile smokery…. Looking forward to hitting you with them.

First, we are going to be re-jigging the site so it suits our future plans. More of this as it unfolds.

And we’d really like to hear from YOU about what kinds of food you’d like to see available on the streets. People are always getting in touch with us about starting new mobile ventures, lots of ideas out there – it’s the putting it into practice bit that is the struggle. We will continue to help in any way we can – and this includes being able to offer advice about what the market wants. Personally – and this is a juicy little nugget for anyone who so wishes to scoop it up – I think there is a gap in the market for someone offering an egg-based menu: omelettes, waffles, custard, french toast/eggy bread, fried egg sandwiches, creme caramel…you get the picture. Who’s up for that?!

In the meantime – and if you haven’t already been – then make a bee-line for wor Yianni’s new ‘chop-up’ dive bar/burger joint the Meateasy in New Cross Gate. The whole of the burger eating population of London are in a state of reverie and panic – reverie at having sampled meat heaven in a low down and dirty, straight-up kind of way; panic at maybe not getting to sample it before it closes in mid-March. And it’s packed. Every night – so arrive EARLY (doors open at 6pm. Cocktails are amazing). Evening Standard write-up here.

Also, the legendary and true authentic, eccentric street hawker, Angus (AKA Mongo Denoon) will be sharing his food, film and music this Sunday and Monday back at the Whirled Cinema – an underground film space nestled into one of glamorous Loughborough Junction’s infinite arches. If you haven’t heard of him then Angus plays spices like butter plays toast. It rolls, effortlessly. You watch and are entranced, then taste and are transformed. This is passion and expertise passed alchemically through Angus’ magic touch. You won’t taste better: Jhal Muri, pulchas, channa masala, daal, bhel puri. And if you enjoy eating, India and energy then the focal point of this whole event, the film, is where you need to be heading.

Sold out on Sunday but still a few spaces for Monday if you’re quick. Info here.

More soon. Keep chowing!


The Everybody Love Love Express comes to Loughborough Junction

12 Nov

…or in other words:

..is going to be showing his brilliant, rhythmic documentary ‘Street Food Kolkata – Why Not’ at the tucked-away-and-fairly-secret Whirled Cinema in Loughborough Junction this Sunday and Monday.

The award winning film takes you on a day in the life of Kolkata through the mesmerising sights and sounds of its street food being prepared and eaten. The artistry! The precision! The innovation!

And while your ears and eyes are teased, Mongo Denoons spicy wizardry will find its way to your taste buds. Stalls set up in house will include jhal muri, pulchas, ghugni, channa masala, mango lassi and Bengali chai.

If you haven’t tried the jhal muri yet you’re in for a massive treat. The first time I had it was at a festival in Norfolk a few years ago. As we dragged ourselves around searching for something, anything, that might help us feel human again there was Angus – wandering through the walled garden with a tray full of ingredients atop his head.

What he then prepared for us was our salvation. Every mouthful of that tangy, crunchy, lime-injected spice fest worked like an army in restoring us to full capacity. Now you too can know what heaven in a paper cone feels like – and see the inspiration from where it came.

Street Food Kolkata at The Whirled Cinema, 259 Hardess St, Loughborough Junction (by Brixton), SE24 0HN.

Food, film, delight – £15 all-in.

2.30 – 6.30 on Sunday and 7.30 – 10.30 on Monday evening “same deal but more of a Monday feel”.

Snacks and chaats in Mumbai – 1

13 Apr

Toasting the muri on Malabar Hill

How can it be a month since I returned form the Indian voyage? Time doesn’t make sense. When I rifle back through all those images and sensations that lay claim to my thoughts, it’s not long before the FOOD infiltrates.

In Britain, we’re so used to lots of versions of other countries’ cuisine, served on our streets by people either originating from those countries or fans of those countries’ foods. What we’re not used to is the relentless rhythm and pace of an entire city serving up echos of the same foods on every corner, down every street.

I was warned by almost everyone to not eat the street food (apart from the ‘hygienic’ sort up at Elco Market in Bandra – more of this soon), but I couldn’t not. So when I wasn’t following dabbawallas or riding the trains or getting all up in my urban intrigue, I was chasing the chaat….

Tangy Bhel Puri

Outside the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, I pounced on my first Bhel Puri with glee. Not a million miles from eat.st‘s own itinerant food hawker, Angus’, Jal Muri. Good though it was, in all honesty it wasn’t a patch on wor kid’s.

Fresh, hot, crunchy samosas

A samosa done well is one of the truly special snacks of this world. Good crunchy shell with enough flake to satisfy your teeth that it’s worth going the whole Nine. I had seconds.

Pani puri on Chowpatty beach

These were a bit suspect looking – a touch cold and bereft of any visible heating element. I didn’t care. Give me two, I asked, and then skulled those soggy, liquid crammed puris to a symphony of guffawing from the puriwalla‘s sidekick.

Chai express

I’ve never been a tea drinker – save for the magic brewed by the likes of London’s very own Tea Lady extraordinaire, Henrietta, but for the life of me I couldn’t stop with these tenacious little shooters of chai masala.

Prepping the pau bhaji

Whilst having my hand luggage explored at Heathrow I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and ask the Indian security guy for the thing he misses most from his hometown, Mumbai. The immediate response was Pau Bhaji. Buttered, griddled soft white roll served with a deep tomato concoction, lousy with chilli.

We found ours on Chowpatty Beach where a huge amount of the street vendors have been sectioned off into a designated ‘food zone’. Here they vie for custom under the surreal light of the floodlight/neon combo – laying out bamboo mats, as if in a living room, for the punters to venture onto with their shoes kicked aside.

India showed me a life lived in the open air and all the unmentionables that go with it. The heat, the noise, the reliable array of funky aromas. And so too did it demonstrate what it is that food lovers in the West long to recreate for themselves. It’s the soul-satisfying experience of being out on the street, on the beach, in the park or in a field with all sorts of other people, united by the bond of appetite and the opportunity for spontaneous togetherness that it provides.