If you chat to anyone about London street food certain names are bound to crop up: Kerb, Street Feast, Broadway and Maltby are the headliners. Yet while they might be the ones attracting attention, for me the surest sign of the rude health of London’s scene is the number of smaller markets popping up in their wake; meaning you are never too far away from a delicious lunch!
One of these new, smaller markets is Bite, which simply aims to ‘put food in your face’. It’s held on the last Friday of each month in East India Square, a couple of minutes walk from All Saints DLR, and just around the corner from the original Chrisp Street market. It hosts an impressive line-up of street food trucks, most of whom I hadn’t come across before; it was nice to see younger traders being given a spot. Alongside the food was music from My Good Man William, a couple of table tennis tables and a pop-up bar, all of which gave it a bit of a buzz; in other words a good place to celebrate the end of the week!
I took along a slightly hungover Sean.
Here are the traders we tried:
Stevie from Sticky Beaks makes meaty sandwiches. His creations take inspiration from all over the globe; as he says: ‘our range of flavours makes the UN look like an insular organisation.’ We tried his Moroccan meatball sandwich (£6): juicy balls of spiced lamb in a thick tomato sauce spiked with harissa, a drizzle of minty yoghurt and flakes of toasted almonds. Delicious. Also on offer was a pulled pork banh mi, and a cheese and pickle wrap.
Find out more on their Facebook page.
Ate Street Food
Ate clearly understand that one of the best things about street food is being able to try lots of different flavours in one sitting as they offer a choice of three (£7) or four (£9) different brioche sliders. We opted for BBQ pulled pork, braised ox cheek and Indian pulled lamb. My favourite was the pork: deliciously sweet, and topped with a thin slice of pickled apple and some Asian slaw. All were very good. I’ll be on the look out for these guys again!
Check out their website.
Gifty’s Ghanian food
Bite has a definite international feel to it: Turkish gozleme, Chinese stir-frys and Caribbean curried goat were all on offer, as was the gorgeous Gifty’s Ghanian fare. It wasn’t elegant, just a plastic tray of rice and chicken curry, but it was damn tasty. It was also enormous. If you order this you won’t need to buy anything else!
Peel and Chimney
Peel and Chimney make hand-stretched pizzas, and cook them in their custom-built wood fired oven. Pizzas may not be the most original of street food, but when done well… who gives a flip? We had ours topped with nduja (£6.50). The base was thin, crisp, and slightly charred, and the topping plentiful. Very good.
Find out more on the Peel and Chimney website.
We Walk the Line
Finally we each had an excellent flat white from the pedal-powered coffee people, a non-profit company which supports entrepreneurs in setting up their own businesses, starting with coffee. A fantastic idea.
Find out more about them on the We Walk the Line website.
After we had finally eaten our fill we walked around the corner to the original Chrisp Street Market: an eclectic mix of fruit and vegetables, fake gold jewellery and household goods.
Before the first market, Bite made a short video illustrating just how little time it takes to get there from Canary Wharf (less than 5 minutes). If you work there it would make a fantastic lunch break, and a chance to get away from the soulless streets and try something a little different! Do it!
The next Bite will take place on Friday 26th September.
I was invited down to try Bite by the market.