There’s a new food trend that’s slowly catching up in London– street food markets. Some that are held regularly and some that happen every weekend or fortnight. They’re quite popular because a day off spent lazing around a food market, eating and drinking in the company of friends feels like bliss.
At the end of it you can happily roll back home. So when Jessica (founder extraordinaire behind Urban Food Fest) reached out to me via Twitter to come and check out Urban Food Fest, I was like why not! I’m always game for anything remotely related to food.
Located in the land of hipsters aka Shoreditch High St (right next to the service station and opposite my favourite pizza joint, Pizza East) you cannot miss this place on a Saturday. We got there around 530-6PM which was the perfect time to get there. I would advise you come here with an appetite as getting through 15 food stalls isn’t for the faint hearted! The place had a great buzz and everyone was enjoying themselves. Unlike other street food markets I’ve been to, the people here were thankfully much more civilised and laid back.
Jessica greeted us and offered a refreshing elderflower cocktail. The evening was off to a great start already! Hats off to Jessica for starting such an amazing venture. A great way to bring the community together and I loved the level of detail in everything she has done with this food event- from the logo of Urban Food Fest (courtesy of her brother) to the research done on every single street trader manning their food stalls. Each stall was from a different country with a proud display of their delicious food.
The first stop on this food coma inducing food fest was Peru Sabor. I’ve never tried Peruvian food before but I have to say- I am sold and will definitely be trying more of it. For all the health conscious people out there- quinoa mixed with fresh salad, grilled chicken and a side of crunchy nuts; you can’t really go wrong with that can you?
The Argentine style empanadas by Portena London were one of my favourites. First thing I did when I got to Urban Food Fest was I devoured a chicken empanada which satiated my hunger until I was ready to tackle the 15 food stalls. Their beef empanada was packed with flavour. It was juicy and the meat was so tender it melted in my mouth. I would’ve tried every single one of them if I could… Ummm what diet?!
I looked around and there was still a whole strip of food stalls to go through but I was looking forward to it as every one of them was different from the other and it was ensured none of the stall’s menus coincided with each other. That way everyone could enjoy themselves without a sense of competition and no one shouting at you to try their food. Camden food market anyone?!
From a pocket pizza cooked in a dome shaped oven on site by Panuozzo to a delicious vegetarian burger by Mooshie Food that was made of aubergine, portobello mushroom and (get this!) truffle mayo dressing(!!)- I was in a state of euphoria. By this point we were begging the guys to make small portions or else being rolled around was a close reality.
I’m quite proud of myself as I never thought I’d be adventurous enough to try FROG’S LEGS but I did! Well I do love “brain masala” (Sheep’s brain) so frog’s legs was the eventual follow up. Ha! Geaux Cajun’s deep fried frog legs tasted like chicken wings. For a second I did think whether we were being duped but hey look for yourself…what do you think!? 😉
Flavours of Portugal had a delicious spread of sweet and savoury foods. I loved the Pastel Del Bacalhau which is a fishcake made of salted cod. It had a really soft and creamy texture. Yum…I was pretty much full at this point. Anything I ate beyond this point was very much Man Vs Food. I convinced myself it was all in my head and I wasn’t really full…yeah right!
Before I move onto the desserts, the stars of the whole food fest (and what everyone was queuing up to try) was the much anticipated Ramen burger. Was it worth the wait and hype!? Definitely! Even though I was bursting at the seams, I made sure I had a good few bites of this burger. They call themselves the Galbi Bros (@Galbibros) and they have hit the nail in the head with this one. Not only is the burger absolutely delicious, these boys came up with their own special packaging. A fun loving bunch of boys and girls whose rendition of Gangnam Style have earned them over 6m views (you can watch it here), I am predicting big things for them. In the mean time you can ogle at their photos in the gallery!
Two of my favourite desserts were by Batch Bakery London and The Crumbery. The Batch Bakery had the best, chocolatey, gooey Oreo cheesecake I have ever eaten! I am a fan. Glad to know they take orders too so will definitely be ordering a whole cake soon! It was so good I forgot to take a photo 😛 The Crumbery is a husband and wife duo. They do an amazing selection of macaroon and the ever popular cronuts (cross between a croissant and a donut=cronut!) Their macaroons are not run of the mill and they have some very unusual flavoured ones like one that has wasabi in it (what?) and a beautifully crafted mint macaroon that was inspired by a dress in the London Fashion Week. How amazing is that!? It had intricate flowers drawn on every single macaroon. You can’t help but be amazed at the craftsmanship.
This Saturday, the theme of Urban Food Fest is Oktoberfest! Prost!!
So even if you’ve been to one before, make sure you visit it this Saturday as true to how Urban Food Fest works, you’ll find a different set of stalls each time you visit. I will be uploading a gallery of all the food action at Urban Food Fest so stay tuned…(phone playing up #firstworldproblems) Take your friends and family to this street food fest and I guarantee you will love it. You won’t find many street food markets that run from 5PM till Midnight. I hope Urban Food Fest becomes a regular event. For now it will run for 3 more Saturdays. I had the most amazing time here and who knows you may find me eating myself into another food coma this Saturday! 😉
Don’t forget to vote for Urban Food Fest at British Street Food Awards for the Best Street Food event as they deserve it. I already casted my vote 😀 A big shout out to Jessica and her team (incl. family and friends) who have made this happen and given us Londoners yet another entertaining gastronomic extravaganza!
The Urban Food Fest is going to take place in Shoreditch, London on Saturday nights from 5 pm to Midnight. The next dates are: 28 September, 5 October, 12 October 2013.
- Urban Food Fest, Shoreditch (halfwayupahill.wordpress.com)