Having thoroughly enjoyed Feast in December, there was no way that I was going to miss this event. The concept is simple – street food traders and restaurants gather to provide a lot of seriously delicious food. Being street food, there is naturally an emphasis on food that can be eaten with your hands, namely food in buns or rolls, but there were also plenty of traders providing disposable cutlery to enable hungry diners to tackle the offerings. As well as burgers, toasties, and hot dogs, there were pies, soup, ramen, waffles, and oysters. The choice is plentiful.
Tobacco Dock makes a fantastic venue. It’s an old brick warehouse with curved arches and an open-air centre, and was expertly decorated for the occasion with long, wooden benches, candles and flowers. This layout conjured images of formal feasts, glamour and decadence, which were juxtaposed with the earthy setting and furniture, and, of course, the street food itself. Throw in some flickering fires and the incredibly fun John Langan Band, who were storming through some interesting, lively folk music, and I was wandering through some fairytale dream. I was totally enchanted.
There are two rules that one should follow if attending Feast or a similar event.
1) A lesson from common sense – bring a lot of cash. Or bring a limited amount to stop yourself from going crazy. Whichever option, just make sure it’s one that leaves your stomach and wallet happy.
2) Bring a good sharing partner or a group of friends. I was fortunate to go with my friend Mimi, who is always prepared to try everything and eat a lot. She was exemplary in the following experience.
We had been chatting to some girls, who recommended Elliot’s burger and kept encouraging us to try it. Look up, they cried. You can see the ‘E’, you can see the sign. It’s a sign! I sighed. The Food God was waving temptation in front of me.
The girls departed and I sat contemplating my options.
Me: We’ve tried seven traders so far. But those girls said Elliot’s burger was amazing….
Mimi: Phoebe! You think you can eat some more?!
Me: Yeah, what do you think?
Mimi: I’m stopping! I’m full! Are you sure it’s a good idea?!
Me: But I still have room…
Mimi: You should think about your stomach! You’ll need to take digestion medicine haha! Don’t you think it’s a little heavy to eat a burger now? I think we should leave! My stomach is full!
——-5 MINUTES LATER——-
Mimi: So you wanna share an Elliot’s burger? I really wanna try!
Mimi: But the girls said it was really good, and I was listening and thinking about it….
So we tackled food from eight traders, Elliot’s burger included.
1. Beard to Tail‘s BBQ Pulled Pork Slider with Coleslaw (£4.50)
Mimi and I bit into this morsel of heaven and both looked at each other with instant recognition that we were both thinking the same thing. This was the star of the evening. The barbecue pork was not too sweet or smoky, but had a delicious tang. The coleslaw was not soaking in mayonnaise but provided a refreshing contrast and some interesting textures. We immediately ran back to Beard and Tail for information on where we might eat this again. They told us we could get a larger version of this godly creation with chips at their restaurant in Shoreditch. When time and money permit, Mimi and I will be heading there.
2. Elliot’s Burger (£5)
They make everything themselves, including the mustard-mayo and ketchup. Read this sign:
It was perfectly presented and the execution was spotless. It was quite small, but this was a good thing given that this was food item number eight. I’ll be heading down to their Borough market café sometime soon as well!
3. Spit and Roast‘s Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Fennel Slaw and Korean Hot Sauce Bap (£6)
Buttermilk is all the rage at the moment on the food scene. I have to confess that this was the first time I sampled it and I couldn’t tell you whether it has a particular flavour. What I do know is that this chicken was in some fantastic, crispy batter and that sauce was not overly spicy, but packed a powerful flavour punch. I loved the contrast between crunchy chicken and the soft bap.
4. Patty and Bun‘s Ari Gold Burger (£7.50)
Patty and Bun are legendary in London, famed for having the best burgers in town. At Feast, they were serving up:
We watched the efficient production process with anticipation….
…. and we finally got our Ari Gold.
The patty was perfect – a true beefy flavour, succulent and with just the right consistency. For me, the accompaniments didn’t quite work – something in the mix was a little vinegary, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.
On the side
5. Monikers‘ Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil (£1.50)
This was like liquid cauliflower cheese – without overwhelming creaminess – and made me very happy. Monikers’ were also serving up a tasty-looking beef pie with puff pastry, a traditional pork pie and some rather good piccalilli.
6. Frederick’s Pea and Ham Arancini (£3)
I had no idea what these were so I had to try them! They’re fried rice balls coated in bread crumbs with a soft and slightly gooey filling of pea and ham. The flavours were a little mild for me, but I happily wolfed them down.
7. Waffle On‘s Waffle with Morello Cherries, Kirschwasser and Vanilla Mascarpone (£4.50) with Warm Chocolate Sauce (£0.50 extra)
These are also made with buttermilk. So I presume that buttermilk just makes things taste awesome. The waffles were soft (and therefore fortunately tackled quite easily with a disposable spoon) and the morello cherries were fantastic. Throw on some chocolate sauce and it was a winner all round.
8. Meringue Girls‘ Special – Meringue Kisses with 70% Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Cream, Pistachios and Hazelnuts (£5)
Yes, I am a Meringue Girls fan girl. They seduced me with their Hot Apple Crumble special, and whilst this dessert didn’t quite reach the same heights, how can anything with chocolate and salted caramel fail? Their meringues are gooey in the middle and subtly and expertly flavoured. And I didn’t even like meringues, or so I thought!
Overall, the food was fantastic and the atmosphere was fantastic. Many people were striking up casual conversations about the food – comparing, contrasting, recommending.
As Mimi put it, “People have a nice mood when there’s nice food.”
Check the rest of my photos below: