London Streating: part 2 (east London street food eating)
This has accidentally become long and east London heavy because I did a big loop one weekend. Perhaps I’ll do a south London street food tour next time…and so on..
DALSTON STREET FEAST
I never intended to end up eating street food on Friday night a fortnight ago but on walking straight out of Dalston Junction train station I had a flyer handed to me saying there was a new food and drink market on Fridays. Huh? This is news to me, I thought. But it’s a damn good thing I decided to cross the road – I was headed for an average sandwich in Sainsburys – because I saw a blackboard signposted ‘Street Feast this way’ (the words had faded after an afternoon of rain) and I went straight in.
First stop, my favourite parrot fish balls from the ever-cheery Vinngoute family, and second some Indian-inspired bhel in a cone from Angus Denoon Duncan and his glittering van known as the Jhal Muri Express. Having filled up elsewhere I couldn’t stuff anymore in so looked longingly again at Homeslice Pizza, the new Roost van that I was desperate to try for its fried chicken and Sorbitium Ices who I love but, again, couldn’t fit in. Anyway it’s still there so I shall return before long, if anything for Rain Bo’s gyoza dumplings who tell me they are there this coming Friday.
Just off Wilton Way, E5, is the loveliest little market which I tracked down on the following sunny Saturday morning: Hackney Homemade. It was tiny but friendly and inclusive and immediately I got chatting to some of the traders. Hoping for pasta, I was happy to find Pasta e Basta, a quiet couple selling fresh beetroot gnocchi and also ricotta ravioli with butter and sage. I go mad for good pasta and this was soft and slithery on the tongue, the sauce not sickly but dainty and delicious. I would have been happy to pay a tenner for both of these in a restaurant, they were so good. Next door I met Liam and Grace, the couple behind All Scone who were tired from a night spent trading at The Red Market. I took their chorizo and pesto scone home with me. It was a bit dry but cheered up with some cream cheese – probably best on the go though, I’d say. Meatballs from The Hungry Wolf shrunk dramatically during cooking and were not as good as I’d hoped but he did make another of my favourite Italian treats: cannoli. This one was orange blossom and pistachio flavoured, stayed together nicely and I enjoyed the little citrus zing of the ricotta with the nuttiness of the shell.
The same Saturday, I went onto Broadway Market on Bethnal Green to find the two Andys – Andy Bates of Eatmypies who I had spent 3 days with in San Francisco, and the kilted Scot Andy Waugh of The Wild Game Co. It turned out neither were there – the first was chilling in Kent post-America and the other selling out of venison at a festival somewhere… Instead I had a long chat with the stall keeper Nikky and her dad Vince who runs the market – nice fact: it turns out some of the money from that goes to charity – then bought a pork pie (a mighty one that I took home and ate slowly over 2 days, not wanting to waste one morsel) and skipped off home.
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What a lot of London street food eating…. and that is before I ended up at the #pigsaw event co-hosted by The Pizza Pilgrims, demolished some of a trotter, ham hock and black pudding sausage roll and a porchetta and fennel flatbread in 10 minutes flat on Tuesday night at The Endurance pub on Berwick Street. It was good, but that was a lot of pig to get through. Incidentally, they sold out in 40 minutes. Watch out for the next one.