KERB Food: An Ice Cream Adventure, King’s Cross St. Pancras

The street food market KERB KX is back with a twist: An Ice Cream Adventure!

Every Saturday till 20th September is going to bring 12 ice cream and lolly phenomenons to Granary Square, along with a handful of food and dessert stalls of the likes of Bill & Beak, Kimchinary, Grilling Greek, & Bleecker St. Burger – a pretty bloody decent bunch, if you ask me.

Today’s review will limit itself to must-try ice cream stalls, because there’s only so much double creamy goodness you can consume in one day (BUT, there are vegan options at the venue!).

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Although the Hoodooist wished he could, couldn’t manage to eat a proper lunch, because the ice creams and cocktails were more than enough to satiate him at this point. Starting with The Manhattan Project’s Asian Bloody Mary – Stoli, Tomato, Wasabi, Calamansi, Soy, Sriracha, Fermented Chilli – a spectacular combo since Bloody Marys have not usually been the Hoodooist’s first choice. We made our way to the excellent Ruby Violet, whose horseradish ice cream we then added to the Bloody Mary for a wonderful extra kick.  At first I certainly wasn’t sure, but was happily surprised at how well it worked! The horseradish ice cream isn’t the sweetest, so doesn’t throw off the flavour of the Bloody Mary, worth a shot if you’re feeling adventurous. On that note, props to Ruby Violet for the adventurousness of a horseradish ice cream!


Sorbitium Ices
 (from the previous Street Feast reviews – Click for Hackney, Dalston Yard & Lewisham, you know they’re an old favourite), knocked it out of the park with their Olive Oil, Pine Nut & Candied Orange ice cream. I preferred it at the Hackney Street Feast without the candied orange, but it didn’t hurt! Other great combos like the Dark Chocolate & Whisky (bit intense on the whisky), and Strawberry Balsamic ruled the menu, whereas the Melon, Cucumber, Buttermilk & Chilli was a nice tangy choice.

I walked up to Drunken Dairy a bit wary, but was pleasantly surprised but the lovely Dark Destroyer: Dark Chocolate & Grand Marnier, definitely stood out in the massive barrage of orange flavours all the stalls put forward. Similarly surprised was I by Jolly Nice’s savoury Plum & Star Anise – couldn’t have too much of it, but was a spectacular production! The depth provided by the anise was incredible – absolutely necessary to try.


Finally, one that definitely stood out, and though I am choosing no winners today, but a painfully high ranker: La Gelatiera’s Porcini Mushroom & Chocolate Cream.

Don’t ask me by what sorcery or defiance in the laws of physics that this works: but it does. And it does so with confidence and humble panache. The earthy porcini complements the chocolate, and does so with strong flavour, but without overpowering it, blowing La Gelatiera’s other ambitious flavours like Basil & Chilli out of the water.

All the choice at the KERB Ice Cream Adventure can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t fret too much – follow our little guide for suggestions toward the most adventurous and exciting of the ice creamiers – and throw that weighing scale out the window 😉


KERB’s Ice Cream Adventure
Every Saturday till 20th Sept ‘14,

Granary Square,
King’s Cross

http://www.kerbfood.com/kerb-saturdays/

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Street Feast’s #ModelMarket, Lewisham

So, Street Feast has extended its roots into the South East! The immense success, as reviewed, of the Winter 2013-4 Hackney Feast; and the currently running Dalston Yard Feast meant that it was only a matter of time before another one cropped up.

This smaller market houses more of London’s incredible street food talent, but has certain drawbacks as a venue.

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Onto the food!

Killer Tomato’s Esquites: charred corn, chipotle mayo, feta, chilli flakes and lime, were a great snack to have when waiting in line – Killer Tomato is probably the only exclusively-veg place in the venue so far, which is also a relief – generally the market is not veg-an/etarian friendly. The Esquites are also pre-prepared, so are absolute recommendations to snatch a couple up when running to the next stall where you will inevitable wait.

Sambal Shiok is still one of my favourite stalls, kicking it with their usual chicken satay and beef rendang hits (previous review of the beef rending from the Greenwich Food Festival: Sambal Shiok’s spectacular Beef Rendang : marinated in 10 spices and dripping with further chilli sauce, the melt-in-your-mouth meat was coupled spectacularly with the cool Kerabu pickled cucumber and red onions.)

Their Taster Plate is now a mix of the beef, chicken and a lentil option they have introduced – the chicken and beef still beat the lentil, which came off slightly dry – but forgivable considering how crowded they were! Comes with kerabu pickled cucumber, red onion and that wonderful sambal chilli sauce. Get in early for these guys, they sell out!

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Smokestak
has been on my list for a while now – run out of brisket, sadly – I settled for the pulled pork, honey mustard BBQ, green chilli slaw in brioche – absolutely worth the money. These guys know what they’re doing, and knocked it out of the park. Also one of the more popular in the market, Smokestak has the tenderest of meat, though the chilli slaw ain’t as chilli as you’d think (cue Sambal Shiok on how spicy spicy should be).

Deciding it was time for a drink, the Rum Shack offers a great selection of classics with a mean Anejo Highball – aged rum, orange curacao, ginger beer, lime juice and bitters – which goes better as a mid-meal drink than an ultra-dry El Presidente #2.

Finally, the local dessert stall, the SE Brownie Bar is an extension of the SE Cakery at Elephant and Castle’s Boxpark. Hallelujah, Model Market learnt its lesson and added a place that served tea and coffee! These brownies are also fantastic – 5 pounds for six: Salted Caramel, Oreo, Mojito, Peanut, Honeycomb, and Banoffee crumble. Ask to design your own batch if needed and they’ll be happy to! These brownies are fantastic, SE Brownies gives Bad Brownie a run for their money!

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Whereas the Dalston Yard Street Feast is absolutely massive, this one keeps a large queue where guards with clickers decide what size groups go in at a time – obviously this is necessary to not overwhelm the venue, but the place is far too tiny for such a successful market that would be bound to be crowded.

In other words, after standing in line for 15 minutes for places that would inevitably be open in other places in London rest of the week – the loudest voice in my head was “I can’t believe I’m waiting in line to enter a market.”

It is good to see this unused space being put to use, but the initial queuing just to enter the market reminds you of the reasons you don’t go clubbing. It definitely puts a dampener on the evening. I was excited that it’s only a short bus ride from my place, but I feel like I’d rather be travelling up to Dalston Yard instead.

Is Street Feast over? Doubt it; it is still a great venture with excellent food, just a terrible venue. The gentrification of Lewisham is kind of sad to watch. But with food this good, you kinda go with it.

 

Like the other Street Feast venues, the list of stalls change now and again, so make sure to check the website every week!

Street Feast,
http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/
Twitter: @StreetFeastLDN

Street Feast, Dalston Yard

Okay, quick article about the next Street Feast at Dalston Yard – a weekend night market that’s free entry 5-7PM (3 pounds after), that offers the best of London’s street food, pop ups, vans and trucks. Each weekend provides different traders with a few permanent bar joints.
Unlike the Winter 2013-14 Street Feast Hawker House, this venue is outdoors and rarely covered up, so bring your jumper and brolly! Huddle around the fire if it gets chilly, or make most of the sun. Although it makes more a less claustrophobic and more sociable atmosphere.

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Here’s a quick run-down of some of the traders we sampled:

Bleecker St. Burger has been around the street circuit for a while now – with good reason. Going off menu for Angry Mixed Fries was a good idea, potato and sweet potato fries with hot and blue cheese sauce was excellent – I barely noticed when I had finished my box, ended up stealing my friend’s to take home later.

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Le Bun broke in with the spectacular Le Bourguignon Bun: Bourguignon glazed slow roast beef short rib, bacon salt, truffle mayo, house slaw in toasted brioche bun. To die for – but, bit too salty, so keep water on hand. On that note, do not spend 2 pounds on water at the Rotary Bar (besides that tasteless Old Fashioned from last time), instead, head to the Gin Store for tap water and a gin cocktail. With an excellent number of gins to choose from, and wonderful gin flights, the Gin Store also serves up a a mean Floradora 

(gin, lime juice, shaken raspberries, ginger and fizzy water) for 8 quid.

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Finally, ending at Sorbitium Ices as expected! Sour Cherry and Almond ice cream being wonderfully subtle with the occasional burst of tartness, followed by the the sweet and malty dryness of Malt and Chocolate. Was less of a fan of the Spiced Rose and Mastic for being a bit more fragrant than it should have been, but if Rose and Prosecco sorbet is available, go for it! Some old school reliables like Sea Salt Caramel also available, with sauces like bourbon butterscotch (YES).

Major Shout outs to the Kamm and Sons’ KammShed for ginseng cocktails with a Brit-theme, Engine Hot Dogs and the ever-loved Kimchinary for teaching a friend that Korean and Burritos can work!

If anything, my one issue was failing to find coffee anywhere (Where are you, Kalopsia?!) – but luckily, next door you can find peace from the crowd at the Dalston Curve Garden Cafe with a large cafetiere for 4 quid – ending our day wonderfully.

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Street Feast will show up to Lewisham for 15 weeks on 20th June.

Street Feast,
http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/
Twitter: @StreetFeastLDN

Street Feast, Hawker House, Hackney

Okay, quick article about winter’s Street Feast at Hawker House – a weekend night market that’s free entry before 7PM (3 pounds after), that offers the best of London’s street food, pop ups, vans and trucks. Each weekend provides different traders with a few permanent bar joints.

 

A quick run-down of some of the traders we sampled:

Beginning at the Rotary Bar, I was disappointed with a pretty bad excuse for an Old Fashioned, and although their ever-popular Frozen Margarita is all most people were talking about, it wasn’t enough to blow one’s mind. Although, their prices were incredibly reasonable. Go for the Margarita.

Yum Bun, you need Yum Bun in your life. Think of dim sum Char Siu buns except with *actual fillings* instead of being cheated with the barest of filling inside (I’m looking at you, Ping Pong). Coming in a variety of pork, salmon to Cornish Pollack, Yum Bun’s got the best appetisers in the market, rivalling Rica Rica’s Chilean stall.

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Grabbing a red at Street Vin, I waited in line for the legendary Kimchinary – which lives up to its reputation. It’s simple, uncomplicated comfort food that opens the way to food Nirvana. No complex analysis here; their Korean Burritos are just to die for. Kimchi, fried rice, bul go gi, cheese, tortilla – absolutely recommended without a shadow of a doubt.

The Whisky Bar’s huge whiskey selection offers a great ‘roulette’ for a spontaneous whisky flight, and we settled for a Rob Roy (Scotch, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters), which was… alright. I can’t really say much about it; it wasn’t the best, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

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We ended at the Sorbitium Ices stall, and boy were we glad for it. Trying almost everything on their menu, and it was impossible to be disappointed by this place! The sea salt caramel icecream is sticking to 2013’s fashionable sea-salt craze, but the sorbets were more adventurous. Rose & prosecco worked well without the rose being that sickly artificial flavour that many rose products tend to have; but the olive oil & pine nut sorbet stole the show as being the most surprisingly pleasant flavour, and definitely worth hunting Sorbitium down for.

Street Feast will be returning to Dalston Yard mid-May for 20 weeks; and to Lewisham for 15 weeks in mid-June.

Street Feast,
http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/
Twitter: @StreetFeastLDN