Street Food Spotlight – Issue #1
There’s nothing I love more than great food made by great people. Well, nothing apart from street food markets that are rammed with loads of great food made by loads of great people. Put me in the middle of a market decked out with more fresh produce than the eye can see and street food stalls run by passionate and creative chefs and I'm like a kid in a candy shop. Except I'm a hairy man, not a kid, and my candy is seasonally changing menus. As the Senior Content Editor here at MOB Kitchen, it's my job to be mad about quality street food and that's just one of the many reasons that I regularly spend my weekends travelling around trying to find the best eats around.
My passion for hitting the pavement and finding the unsung heroes of the food scene is why I’ve decided to launch Street Food Spotlight – a series in which I’ll look to highlight some of the brightest and most brilliant street food stalls across the UK and let you know what they’re all about. From small Ooni oven pizza operations to stalls dealing in authentic Laotian cooking, I’m after them all. And I want to champion the best for you to go and check out for yourselves. If you’ve got a favourite street food vendor that you think deserves a spotlight, please do reach out to me personally. I'd love that.
Until then, these are five street food stalls you need to be visiting at your next available opportunity. Happy eating.
Specialising in (un)traditional Asian street food, Curry Cats is a nomadic street food operation run by Amila Lokuge and Shunpei Yamaguchi. Having been bosom mates since Year 8, the Sri Lankan-Japanese duo decided to merge their respective culinary backgrounds to create an exciting menu packed with inventive dishes. Curry flatbreads, curria tacos, and even a kothu-nomiyaki have all made an appearance on the Curry Cats chalkboard. If you thought fusion cuisine was only reserved for overpriced restaurants in the City, think again. The Curry Cats are the real deal and will have you feline good.
The food of Scotland tends to get a bad rap but the canny folks behind Auld Hag are setting out to change the way that you and I think of the region’s fare. Through their regular pop-ups and stints at Westgate St Market and Lower Stable St Market, Auld Hag have consistently drawn queues for their small-batch beef and lamb haggis, serving it alongside a dram sauce with Laphroaig whiskey and velvety potato purée. Take a bite into that meaty, well-spiced haggis and it’s not hard to see why. Scottish cuisine is more than just neeps and tatties, my friend.
Toum & Tahini
Fatteh is a traditional Syrian dish that consists of chopped up khobez, crispy chickpeas, garlic-laced yoghurt, tender pulled chicken, and a healthy lashing of ghee. I'd don't know about you but I'd personally like to snog the person that first decided to let those ingredients to get all cosy together in one bowl. Fatteh is comfort food personified and Toum & Tahini is the best street food stall in London to get your hands on the stuff. Don’t miss out on this one, MOB.
It’s hard to go wrong with pizza but Dough Hands is proving just how right pizza can be when it’s made properly using secrets ingredients like *checks notes* love. Charred bases, puffy crusts, and high-quality toppings are hallmarks of all the delicious pies at Dough Hands – a safe pair of hands at a street food market that'll always guarantee you a good feed. The 'Bon Chovi’ (a puttanesca-y pizza topped with anchovies, capers, garlic, kalamata olives, and red onion) might also be the best-named pizza in London.
Arepas are one of those foods that I simply can’t get enough of – they’re filling, cheesy, savoury, and actually feel like a substantial meal rather than a snack. The arepas they make at La Pepiá in Maltby Street Market are read a riveting bedtime story on the grill before being tucked in with a glorious cheddar cheese blanket that will: A) look great on your Instagram feed, and B) sit very happily in your stomach. Ask for the jalapeño cheese blanket if you’re ITK.