Living in South East London it's easy to feel a little bit deprived of some of the things other Londoners enjoy - we seem to get missed out when it comes to some of the best shops, places to eat and err THE TUBE!! So it makes a nice change to have the amazing Street Feast street food market in our neck of the woods. It's on every Friday and Saturday evening over spring and summer, and if you enjoy stuffing your face with super tasty mini morsels of an evening, I highly recommend that you get yourself down to Lewisham (even if you may have to brave it on a bus or *gasp* the overground...).
Street Feast is back in Lewisham for its second year (although this was my first visit) and is located in an abandoned 1950s market called Model Market. The old closed down shops have been brought back to life with street food traders moving in and setting up. It's all a bit rough an ready - everything's a temporary pop-up, and all the remnants of the old market are still there. It's not a place for getting glammed up to the max - the market has a proper relaxed and chilled urban vibe with a great mix of people just hanging out and enjoying some good food and drink.
If you've been to one of Street Feast's locations before, or any gathering of street food traders in London, you'll probably recognise some of the names in the line-up of tasty snack shacks. I'd certainly heard tales of the wonders of Mother Flipper - so that's where we headed first on arrival at Model Market.
Our first stop and the best thing we ate that day, although the competition was tough. Dan and I really appreciate a good burger, so it was about time we tried a Mother Flipper. We didn't mess about and went straight for the Double Candy Bacon flipper - yep, bacon fried in maple syrup - serious stuff. We shared, so as not to fall at the first eating hurdle, but pretty much regretted it as we both could have happily wolfed down the whole thing. The burger was small but perfectly formed - we found everything at Street Feast was more of a large snack size, probably because nearly everyone wants to be able to try several different things.
The brioche bun was perfectly fresh and soft and oh my goodness that candy bacon was immense. The burger was juicy and flavourful and you could tell it was a proper handmade affair with quality meat. Dan and I both agreed, it was one of the best burgers we've ever had. For days after we were stalking Mother Flipper online, figuring out their movements and when our paths could cross again.
The traders are on rotation, so if you do go more than once, you'll likely always find something new to try, but I'll be gutted if one of my faves isn't there next time.
SE Cakery looked and smelt amazing - brownies in flavours I never would have imagined, being served alongside tea and coffee by some really lovely people who were more than happy for me to zoom in on their creations. I really wanted to try a bronut - a dangerous looking brownie and doughnut hybrid. Our gameplan was to pick one up on the way out to take home, as we assumed we'd be a bit full up to eat it there, but distracted by very full tummies we forgot. Another reason that we definitely need to go back!
Rolawala was another place that we fully intended to indulge in before realising we were too full and had totally failed ourselves. The little naan breads topped with intricate Indian recipes smelt absolutely lush. The guys were so friendly explaining what everything was too - that's true of all of the traders we chatted to at Street Feast actually - you could sense they were all really passionate about the food they'd created and really wanted to share it with people and hear their feedback.
As Dan was driving (yeah, we do that in SE London...) we didn't indulge in any of the cocktails on offer at the various bars. There was a lot on offer, and I do love a cocktail, so I'm planning to come back with some friends for a little a little session to sample those, although I did think some of them seemed quite pricey at £10 for a small plastic cup, but perhaps they're really strong. I saw a few signs for cocktails served in coconuts, or whole watermelons, so they've probably got to be done.
I actually found it slightly difficult to find a soft drink, and ended up getting a Mango, tumeric and lime soda from Rolawala, which was beautifully refreshing and tasty. I had not idea what tumeric was going to taste like in a drink, but it just gave a little edge to the mango and lime flavours and worked really well.
There were so many food and drink places to try, that multiple visits are a must, and it's great that this place is here all summer long. There's lots of informal seating around, a firepit for if it's a bit of a chilly night, and a rooftop bar ironically claiming to be Lewisham's answer to NYC's high-line - so you can really make a night of it if you want to.
I have a bit of an obsession with dim sum and those little steamed buns filled with pork and oozing with sauce, so Yum Bun was also high on my list of must tries. We went for the two buns for £7 deal, opting for one pork and one shrimp. These tasted so good - all of the ingredients seemed so fresh and the flavours were immense. The pork belly was a little chewy and tough in places for my liking - although I can't moan, that's what pork belly's like - but the flavours and the sauce made me glad I didn't skip it. The shrimp bun was my favourite - a rather spicy affair and so good. The prawns were big and juicy and very lightly battered - just enough to give the flavour and crunch they needed. Next time I'm getting one of these all to myself, and I rather fancy trying Yum Bun's ice cream bun too.
The concept at Bill or Beak, is two sandwich choices - duck (bill) or chicken (beak). We love duck, so it was always going to be Bill for us, and after seeing people wandering around with a plate of drizzled goodness, we succumbed to the hoisin fries too.
I appreciated the idea of the Bill sandwich, and again everything was freshly prepared and flawless, but personally the flavour just wasn't for me. I think it was the Vietnamese dressing, and I'm not sure what it was in there that I didn't like, as I'm really not a fussy eater at all, but there was an odd and unfamiliar flavour running through that Dan and I both weren't fans of. I wondered if it was capers, as I don't like those, but I'm not sure.
The hoisin fries were really good however, topped with lots of sauce and crunchy crumbs of duck. Bill and Beak was actually our last stop, and overall I think we took a bit of a wrong turn here and should have gone with Rolawala to fill that last remaining stomach space. Next time!
Although this isn't the order we ate in (Meringue girls was actually our second stop after Mother Flipper) I wanted to save this colourful, quirky place for last. I absolutely adore the Meringue Girls set-up - their mini meringues and beautiful colours with matching flavours are just so gorgeous to look at, and even better to eat. Their little shop is an Instagram fan's paradise, and who could resist trying a unicorn poo and fairy floss dessert? Certainly not me.
There were three dessert choices on offer, and to be honest all three looked and sounded well worth a try, but I had to go for the wackiest one available. I got to pick out which flavour meringues I wanted in my dessert, so went for strawberry, coconut, orange and of course unicorn poo - the rainbow stripey one, and I thought it tasted a lot like the multi-coloured fruit flavoured sticks of rock you get an the seaside. The meringues were topped with cream, fresh berries, freeze dried raspberries, a shard of brittle, a pipette of coulis, a wisp of candy floss and of course a sparkler, you know, just to tone the whole thing down... If I had a business, I'd want it to be just like this - the Meringue girls are awesome!
You're starving now, right? Sorry!