It’s happened, guys. Street Feast is BACK!! Bringing joy and happiness to the streets/unoccupied buildings of east London with a super selection of street food stalls (*alliteration high five*).
Us Hungry Swans have been fans of Street Feast since we discovered it last Winter, so we were verrrrry excited when we found out it was coming back to brighten up our Januarys. First night was on Friday, but last night we both headed out to the cold and stormy* east to gorge on Hawker House goodness. *as a west London girl, this is how I imagine east London to be, but I love it really.
We got there reasonably early – around 6.30pm. We did this because last Winter the queue got a bit mental and we ended up freezing our backsides off for about 45 minutes before we got inside! Not such a problem in the Summer (probably because there’s more space as it’s mostly outside) but once bitten twice shy and all that. I think we timed it pretty well, as there was no queue and it was pleasantly busy inside without being rammed and stressy. As the evening went on it did start to get packed so if you can get there early I’d say do it!
We started with drinks at Rotary Bar, (pretty basic selection of beers and wine, but there’s everything you need – don’t bother with the huge cocktails, v expensive and not that special) then did a lap of all 3 floors to decide what we wanted first. After some deliberation (it’s an important business, this eating malarkey) we decided to start with Breddo’s Tacos. I’ve had brunch at Breddos and it was pretty special so I was anxious to try some more of their stuff.
We ordered pretty much everything on the menu. Carne Asada Steak & Baja Fish Tacos and Sashimi Tuna & Cornish Crab Toastadas. The Tuna Toastadas were SO delicious – really soft tuna that melted in your mouth, with soy, guac and coriander for freshness. Reminded us of the tuna we had all those months ago at Barrafina. The crab was also excellent (Jen’s favourite) – a bit pricey at £4 for one tostada but it was just the juicy white meat, really well seasoned and topped with clementine, chilli flakes and coriander. Sounds really random, but this was a DREAM COMBINATION. Trust us.
I didn’t like ribs until I had Smokestak ribs at Street Feast back in August and now I wouldn’t order them anywhere else. That’s right, I have been RUINED for any other ribs. We had one (HUGE) beef rib to share and a pork rib each. When you get your beef rib you could be forgiven for wondering whether it came from a dinosaur, they are mahoosive!
Delicious as well, all charred and the meat just melts in your mouth. While they’re charring your ribs they spoon a chilli sauce on them which reduces to almost a chilli jam while it’s cooking; so, so sticky and delicious. Having gushed about them, I do have to say that they are pretty pricey – £12 per rib which I don’t necessarily think is good value but hey, if you can afford it, go for it. I think for all of us it was the pork ribs that stole the show – much more reasonably priced at £7 for three and easily as delicious as the beef. I don’t know what they marinade their meat in but I want it. All of it. In. My. Face.
^ after – we picked them bones CLEAN!
After a break (it’s always a good idea to pace yourself, so there’s room for more food) and a few more drinks we hit Boom Burger & DogTown. I got a Boom Feast for £10 which consists of a Boom Burger, Jerk Boom, Salt Fish Fritter and a few sweet potato fries.
Absolute bargain if you ask me. My fave was the Jerk Boom. The beef burger was really nice but right now there are so many burger choices available in London and I have tasted better. The Jerk Boom was really delicious, fall-apart chicken in a really delicious seasoning. The fritters weren’t too fishy and came with a really nice sauce for dipping.
Whilst I queued at Boom, Jennie & Chris went to DogTown for a chilli dog. I’ve never been a hot dog fan – can’t stand how they ‘pop’ when you bite into them *shudder* but this one was pretty good. Mega hot dog fan (Chris) thought it was brilliant, so there you go. The chilli was great and it came with all the condiments you’ll need. There was also a choice of less-traditional sauces and Chris chose mustard piccalilli. After an unfortunate incident (don’t ask… no, really don’t…) at University I cannot STAND piccalilli, but I have to say I’m now converted! The fresh tanginess went really well with the hot dog and made it not too sickly.
We ordered pachos and chicken tikka nuggets. The nugget’s were great – they had a lovely tikka heat and came with crunchy salad and a slice of paratha which all went nicely together. The pachos were… POPPADOM NACHOS! Genius, I tell you, GENIUS! The pieces of poppadum were nice and light and the Indian sauces and pickles meant it was really fresh and not at all heavy or greasy like normal nachos can be. Seriously, seriously yummy.
We washed these down with a couple of cocktails – there’s an independent bar called Kamm & Sons which has made a new British aperitif. The lovely barman gave us a taste and it’s like a cross between gin & chambord. We ordered a Kamms Bitter Lemon as we wanted a simple cocktail. It was pretty strong and the taste of the liqueur came through very well. Worth it if you’re after something different.
Sambal Shiok was the next place we tried. None of us had ever heard of it before and I think they’re quite new. Again, sliders were on the menu (they are on pretty much every menu here!) and whilst they were perfectly nice, we wouldn’t fall over ourselves to eat these again. Maybe we were a bit burgered-out by this point though! One thing I did really like (a bit of a USP, if you will) was the fact that the sliders came with lightly pickled cucumber. Sounds like a really little thing – you may think it’s just like a gherkin – but it wasn’t and it really worked! In my opinion a burger isn’t worth eating without pickles, I think they really balance out the density of the meat and cheese. Cucumbers were a perfect accompaniment to these Malaysian inspired burgers. My favourite was the chicken satay, although it could have come with more satay sauce, as this is the best bit! The lentil burger was a bit dry to be honest but the beef rending had a kick to it and was a bit of a different take on a classic beef burger.
We were pretty full at this point but had managed to try every stall except for one. We do hate to leave a job unfinished so we headed over to B.O.B’s Lobster. Jennie loves lobster, as you’d know from our Smack Deli post a few weeks back, and at the summer Street Feast she had the lobster rolls from B.O.B’s and thought they were amazing. Imagine, JUST IMAGINE her disappointment when we saw that there wasn’t actual lobster on the menu? WTactualF? Mystified, we decided to try the lobster mac n cheese instead.
Oh god. I don’t think we’ve ever said this, Readers, but it was disgusting. I’m sorry B.O.B. If I were a lobster and I’d died for that mac n cheese I would be seriously pissed off. It was vaguely reminiscent of the Heinz canned macaroni cheese your Mother/Teachers/Childminder forced you to eat as a child, and the lovely, juicy, delicate lobster was completely overwhelmed. Lobsterfail.
^ sadface 😦
That feels like a really bum note to end this epic review on, but please don’t let it put you off! The whole Street Feast experience is really cool and fun and the vast majority of the food is lovely. Their website is getting refurbished at the moment but you can follow them on Twitter @StreetFeastLDN. Hawker House is open every Friday and Saturday 5pm – midnight until the beginning of April. We’ll be there most weekends as the vendors change (or, they always have done in the past) so there’ll be new places to try.