Street Feast at Dalston Yard

Sunday 24 May 2015

In my last year of university whilst living in Whitechapel, the Dalston Yard Street Feast became something of a regular fixture for me. The pop up takes over a disused area in Dalston and brings in bars and restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights from May to September each year, and it's been a massive success. Every weekend the place is packed with people enjoying street food from burgers and pizza to curry and jerk chicken (plus great cocktails and beers, and some dessert chucked in). 

Last year I got to try Pizza Pilgrims for the first time, had my first taste of lobster by way of a mini lobster roll at Bob's Lobster, and filled up on Frozen Palomas from the Rotary Bar. My favourite among the traders I tried was Sorbitium, who make incredible ice creams and sorbets in sometimes unusual - but always beautiful - seasonal flavours: I tried out the peanut butter jelly ice cream (which had every element of those flavours nailed); the strawberry and marscapone ice cream was perfectly fruity and not too sweet; and I distinctly remember some kind of lychee sorbet which was also delicious. I'm itching to have a taste of their juniper rhubarb ripple, blackberry honeycomb, malt, grated chocolate & almond toffee ice creams and the pomegranate and blood orange sorbet.

This weekend I took a day off my strict dietician-approved programme to sample some of the food and drink on offer this season. There's a few familiar faces at Dalston Yard, and some I hadn't seen before. Club Mexicana throws a vegan spin on Mexican street food; Mother Clucker serves up traditional southern fried chicken; Sambal Shiok does 'Malaysian with a twist'; and the rest... This time our fares were from Smokestak, Yum Bun, You Doughnut, Le Bun, Born and Raised, and the aforementioned Club Mexicana and Mother Clucker.

Next time - because I never only make one visit to Street Feast - I'm planning on finding Lickalix for a healthy ice lolly, getting another steamed bun from Yum Bun (it was my first, and boy was it amazing), trying the Goan pulled pork by Rola Wala, a Malaysian chicken satay brioche burger from Sambal Shiok, and I could definitely do with going back to Breddos Tacos, whose crunchy nut fried chicken tacos with raspberry hot sauce were a serious highlight last year.

The great thing about the street food dishes is that most of them fall around the £4-£6 mark, which means it's fairly affordable to try multiple options from a variety of cuisines. Everything we had was pretty much faultless: the piece of USDA beef rib from Smokestak which I sneaked off John was hands down the tastiest rib dish I've had in my life and entirely worth the more expensive price; my first experience of a steamed bun blew me away, particularly the combination of perfectly cooked crispy prawns and the gochujang mayo; my sourdough pizza (cooked in the back of a converted Land Rover!) was a great example of how well simple British ingredients can work. It was also great having some vegan options there, too! All in all, a fantastic food experience.

FIND STREET FEAST AT: Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, Dalston, London E8 3DU
Model Market, 196 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6LS
Friday & Saturday, 5pm-midnight, until September

- Sourdough pizza with tomato, mozzarella, Twineham Grange hard cheese, basil and Cobble Lane pepperoni (image 3) (Born and Raised)
- USDA beef rib (image 2) (Smokestak)
- Steamed buns with: slow roasted belly pork, cucumber, spring onions & hoi sin sauce/portobello mushrooms, miso glaze, toasted walnuts & cucumber/crispy chilli king prawns, gochujang mayo, pickled red onions, coriander & lettuce (image 5) (Yum Bun)
- Gluten free tacos with hand pulled jackfruit in BBQ marinade, guacamole, pink pickled onions, sour vegan cream, smoky ancho chilli sauce, coriander, lime and salted chillies (image 6) (Club Mexicana)
- Burrito with seitan marinated in 5 Points Ale, lime, chilli and coriander with guacamole, pickled onions, sour cream and smoky chilli sauce (Club Mexicana)
- Pulled pork & pulled duck mini burgers & fried chicken waffle burger (image 7) (Le Bun)
- Cajun fries (Mother Clucker)
- Fried aubergine (image 1) (Club Mexicana)
- Doughnuts with: cinnamon sugar, walnuts, vanilla ice cream, salted caramel sauce (image 4)/vanilla sugar, strawberry and lime sauce, mini marshmallows (You Doughnut)
- Daquiri (image 8) (Rum Shack) & Space Gin Smash: gin, apple, red grape, elderflower, lemon & mint (image 9) (The Rotary Bar) 

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