It’s a big week for street food. Among all the talk of London’s amazing traders and innovative dishes, we’ve never been put to the test on an international scale. Until now. As part of this year’s British Street Food Awards, we’re inviting the Europeans in to compete. Across Saturday and Sunday, Dalston Yard will host traders from Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Brussels and Amsterdam, with the public voting for their favourite offerings. We have snow cones, sodas, sushi and spongecake to bring to the table, while among the European servings are tacos from a Swedish tattoo artist and Belgians using toast as art.
Keeping it much more local, Urban Food Fortnight continues this week with plenty of events still running until Sunday. What better way to send it off than by singeing your taste buds at The Festival of Heat, the capital’s very first chilli festival which is being held at Spitalfields City Farm on Sunday. You’ll find artisan producers selling chilli sauces, oils, chutneys and more; spicy street food stalls galore; and – of course – some cool, soothing drinks. We’ve heard that even some of the beer has chilli in it, so you might want to be careful, though! The event runs from 12-6pm, entry is free.
For beer without the burn, tomorrow sees East Dulwich pub The Herne Tavern launch its annual beer festival, which will run until Sunday with a local microbrewery theme. Each of the four days of the festival will see a ‘meet the brewer’ event featuring – in this order – Late Nights Brewery, Clarks Brewery, Brockley Brewery and Trumans Brewery; ales from these microbreweries will be available throughout. Though London beers are becoming increasingly common fixtures of pub beer selections, this is a unique opportunity to try some rare and hard-to-find brews, which for many will be a first time try.
In a busy weekend for the capital, London also plays host to the first ever Halal Food Festival. Recognising the vast number of Muslims of who call London home, and the comparatively small number of eateries around the capital offering halal food, the festival aims to raise awareness of what halal means, dispel myths about its production and show the industry just how much the halal food market could be worth financially. On top of that, they’re putting on a great food and cookery show featuring names such as The Cinnamon Club’s Cyrus Todiwala and TV chefs Jean Christophe-Novelli and Rachel Allen. The show runs from Friday to Sunday and the ExCel centre in Docklands, tickets start at £14.
New restaurant openings in the last week include the long-awaited Union Street Cafe in Southwark, which is the latest venture from Gordon Ramsay, and his first south of the river. It was previously said that David Beckham was a partner in the restaurant, though it’s since confirmed that he has pulled out. The venue offers all-day informal dining, serving Mediterranean-style food.
Also newly opened is Chotto Matte, a high-end Japanese in Soho from the man behind dim sum group Ping Pong; Casa Di Fiori, a contemporary Italian in Mayfair; and Gymkhana, also in Mayfair, a modern Indian from the chef at Marylebone’s Michelin-starred Trishna restaurant.
So, what are you eating this weekend?