Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Great Summer Takeaway

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Great Summer Takeaway

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Bryant

IT'S fresh, cheap and unpretentious, and it's the source of some of the best food experiences in the city. Little wonder that Londoners have started salivating over street food, as dozens of food trucks and stalls prepare to hawk their wares all summer.

Occasionally battling the elements is part and parcel of the street food experience but even the most dogged foodie was tested at the launch of last weekend's Red Market in a disused car park on Old Street, where rain and wind meant food was flying off the stalls for all the wrong reasons. Undeterred, they plan to return every weekend over summer.

Tucked away from the rain under cover provided by Healthy Yummies, a vermillion and cream van staffed by twentysomethings Emma and Rachel, I scooped hot scallops out of shells. Served on a bed of celeriac puree with Old Spot bacon and marsh samphire, at [pounds sterling]3.80 they are easily worth seeking out.

In the opposite corner, The Taco Truck sells soft tortilla wraps with chicken or refried black beans (both [pounds sterling]5). Owner Henning used to manage the Fortnum and Mason smoked salmon and champagne bar. Now he serves fantastic tacos out of a red 1970 French ex-fire engine. Try the homemade four-chilli sauce.

Francklin, the owner of Crepes Village, was merrily making galettes when the empty stalls either side of him were plucked from the ground by the wind and hurled across the car park. The irrepressible Cameroonian brought his trade to London in 2002. My nutella and banana crepe ([pounds sterling]4) was crisp and yielding, and even brought the sun out.

Over on the South Bank, the Real Food Market next to the Hayward Gallery hosts dozens of street vendors. There are plenty of celebrated street hawkers such as Choc Star, Bhangra Burger and Churros Garcia, as well as delis and a bakery. Cafe On sells macaroons that melt in the mouth. They cost [pounds sterling]4.50 for three and are worth every penny. …

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