hay latin america
Not saying I was obsessed with The Cheese Truck or anything, but this month’s retailers of Trinity Kitchen had a whole lot to live up to.

Thank goodness my first dip in June’s street food pool took place at Hay Latin America.

Hay (pronounced AYE! – with as much Mexican emphasis as you can muster) is the brainchild of Fred Parkes – a man who decided the lovely town of Huddersfield needed a little South American flavour after falling in love with the cuisine during his personal travels.

With fellow foodies in tow, we rocked up to the van (named Valdes) last week to sample some of Fred’s favourite dishes. Kicking things off with a glass of Torrontés (the most drinkable white Argentinian vino in the land), we were quickly welcomed with a few small plates of ‘pollo a la brasa’ and sweet potato empanadas while Fred talked us through Hay’s history. The empanadas – heavily packed with spiced shredded chicken and herbs – were as good as any I’ve had in the Midwest.

(It doesn’t sound like it makes sense, I’m aware, but the Midwest is where all my South American friends live.)

According to Fred, even those of the Yorkshire-based South American community have been known to rave over his international version.

Next up? The best quinoa salad I’ve had in quite some time. Though I tend to opt for quinoa over rice, I do it strictly for the superfood benefits. Quinoa is not exciting. That is, unless you’re eating it in a bowl from Hay Latin America.

Topping his organic quinoa with Peruvian-style marinated chicken, mint, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and guasacaca (which can be swapped out completely for chicken if you’re a vegetarian), this ‘main’ was a flavourful, healthful delight.

Finally, the alfajores. Though they have a range of desserts (including sweet empanadas), I had heard buzz of Hay’s moreish alfajores for days in advance so decided to focus my sweet efforts completely on the light ‘shortbreads’.

Doing a big one for The North by mixing a custard and Yorkshire rhubarb alfajore up, I expected it to be my favourite until I took a bite of the salted ‘dulce de leche’-filled chocolate shortbread. Both versions melted in the mouth (and could easily be credited as a reward after such a healthy lunch).

10 out of 10, Hay.

hay latin america trinity kitchen
hay latin america trinity kitchen
View Post

trinity kitchen may 2014
After last month’s curryfest, I was more than excited to get a few new dudes (and their accompanying food trucks) in at Trinity Kitchen.

I could not be more pleased with the line-up: from left to right, Trinity has set up shop for The Cheese Truck (fully reviewed in the following post), Pemberman’s, Dogtown London, The Marvellous Tea Shed, and Mei Mei.

Though I have heard far too much about Dogtown to head anywhere else for my first dinner (of the month…week, let’s be honest), each trader had an item or two that tempted me to reconsider.

Of course, I couldn’t stray from Dogtown’s so-called ‘pedigree’ hotdogs (they even offer vegan dogs!). It took me a few more minutes to order in comparison the Manfriend as I felt spoilt for choice, but I ended up biting the biggest bullet and ordering the Chilli-Cheese Dog. While Mr. Plain Hotdog poured a good slop of their of home-made chipotle sauce on top of his meat, I watched Dogtown carefully prepare the beef and bone marrow chilli, sour cream, and fresh coriander over my own ‘Dog’.

While mine tasted as good as it looks (aka #FOODPORN), the Manfriend’s tasted infinitely better than its crime-scene appearance. The chipotle sauce seemed slightly smoked, slightly chillied, and ended up being the unassuming power player of Dogtown’s set-up.

Later in the evening some new friends crooned over the Char Siu goodness of Mei Mei’s Jian Bing wraps, but – as you’ll see in my next blog – there was absolutely zero room left for a sneaky taste.

Until next time…

trinity kitchen may 2014
trinity kitchen may 2014
View Post

riverboat food fest
Eyes open, foodie babes. Later this month my friends at Twenty Something London are going to be hosting a miss-it-and-cry event called The Riverboat Food Fest; a combination of fifteen of the capital’s top street food vendors, fine dining and street eats, all set on the super-cool Tamesis Dock for three evenings of culinary alchemy.

Each night will feature five #foodporn-worthy courses (each from a different chef), bespoke cocktails, and even a few all-natural Ebbletoft sodas to support their efforts to feature strictly handmade food and drinks.

Tickets are £25 with two sittings each night (6:45pm and 9:30pm) and can be purchased at Billetto. Grab a ticket and – if you can catch me between bites – be sure to say hello!

Riverboat Food Fest Menu

Thursday:

1st CourseBúntà – Steamed Vietnamese bun filled with naturally raised Pork Shoulder, marinated in Lemongrass, Honey, Garlic and a blend of signature spices, then barbecued for a smoky finish and topped with homemade Pickles.
2nd CourseRare Str’eat – Rare Breed Lamb Three Ways
3rd CourseThe Orange Buffalo – Free Range Chicken Wings, fried crisp then covered with their Original Buffalo Sauce
4th CourseBurger Bear – The Black Forest Bear – 48-day aged peppered Longhorn Beef, topped with Black Cherry Bacon Jam all inside a Bamboo Charcoaled Bun.
5th CourseMallow and Marsh – Selection of Fresh Raspberry, Ugandan Vanilla and Ginger Citrus marshmallows, roasted, toasted, rolled and dipped. Matched with dark Belgian chocolate, a refreshing coulis and lime puree.

Friday:

1st CourseKimchinary – Pulled Kalbi Belly Rib tostada with radish Kimchi, fried Dukbokki & Gochujang mayo
2nd Course: Waffle On – A crispy and fluffy Buttermilk Waffle topped with slow roasted Barbary Duck, Spiced Plum Sauce, Spring Onions, and a shallow fried Biodynamic Egg.
3rd CourseBell & Brisket – House-brined Hereford Brisket served on toasted Black Rye with melted Cheddar, pickled slaw & Dijon mayonnaise
4th CourseWild Game Co. – Wild Venison Topside Haunch Steak from their family farm in the highlands served with Crisped Potatoes, Béarnaise Sauce and Jus.
5th CourseBatch Bakery – Frozen Elvis On A Stick: two layers of dark chocolate brownie filled with a banoffee peanut butter ice cream. Dipped in chocolate and covered with salted peanut praline. On a stick!

Saturday:

1st CourseHorn OK Please – Bhel Puri –Puffed rice (Sev Mamra), fine Crispy Chick Pea Flour Noodle (Nylon Sev), Tomato, Boiled Potato, Coriander, Red Onion and Pomegranate mixed together with homemade Chutneys: Date & Tamarind and Mint & Coriander.
2nd CourseMei Mei’s Street Cart – Jian Bing: A Chinese Omelet topped with fresh Spring Onion, coriander, brushed with a blend of homemade Chinese Sauces, folded around a crispy won ton cracker, and topped off with a meaty Chinese twist.
3rd CourseTurner & Roast – Turner & Roast
Slow cooked and smoked Pulled Pork in a crusty roll with Salad, Grilled Cheese and homemade Deep Fried Red Pickled Onions. Finished with their legendary ‘MeatPorn’ hot BBQ sauce.
4th CourseTongue ‘n Cheeks – Tongue ‘n Cheeks
Deconstructed Philly Cheesesteak – Dry Aged Chuck Eye, Cheese, Peppers, Onions. Each ingredient is separately prepared with Italian inspired recipes to give twist this classic.
5th CourseSweet Tooth Factory – Ecuadorian Chocolate Fondant with a Salted Caramel centre and a dollop of Clotted Cream

patty and bun
Though I am in no way a fan of ‘fast’ food, Central London has been having a party over its patties at the moment. Naturally, an investigatory indulgence was necessary.

While many of you know that I typically live on a diet of whatever superwholefood is the talk of the town, a meat mission is more than welcome when said indulgence is in line with some of the biggest eating out trends of the last year…

Street food revolution
There has been an incredible buzz around pop-up restaurants and street food over the last year and a half. Hanging around the South Bank – and Leather Lane or Whitecross markets in particular – have offered up some excellent street food experiences.

Taking cues from festival fare (which used to be the kind of place where you’d expect little more than a soggy chip), the street food revolution has had all variations of magazines and blogs bigging-up the gargantuan number of homemade gourmet food trucks popping up faster than the norovirus; everything from home-smoked salmon to bespoke cupcakes.

Burgers and diner food
One huge trend that has been impossible to deny is the rise and rise of the burger. American diner food seems to have enjoyed a hugely appreciative leap in popularity (The Diner being my all-time failsafe) that has become a marker of its own on street stalls nationwide.

As it is to be expected, Central London is leading the charge in this respect. Hugely popular street food stalls which have chosen to specialize in ultra-fancy, ultra-hulking great burgers are now opening up their own restaurants – and all, fabulously, seem to be a stone’s throw from Selfridges!

It seems like a strange combination – to find a classy burger bar next to a top department store, or right on the doorstep of your luxury, central hotel in London – but so they are!

If you don’t take my word for it I suggest a quick look of any food magazine and London insider site – they’ve got these burger spots featured up alongside their classiest hotels on offer. (Secret tip: check LondonTown.com for unadvertised, massive discounts on 4* and 5* hotels in the city centre – great for an impromptu treat…)

Where to go
Marylebone is the place to be if you want to jump on this trend; I suggest Meat Liquor (which stays open until 2am) or Patty & Bun, which recently opened to a rave review from Time Out.

Queuing in Central London at half midnight for a place in a burger restaurant was a new experience for me, but the reservation-free Meat Liquor was definitely worth it. Lower East Side décor meets a buzzy and intimate London vibe…with servings of possibly the biggest and juiciest burger I have ever seen.

Patty & Bun (which, like Meat Liquor, started as a food stall) has just opened on James Street and also doesn’t have reservations. Rumour has it that the chips – hand-cut and glittering with salt – are a competition for the burgers and their brioche buns/ classic bread patty casings, but I have yet to find enough room for both.

What is your best burger in town?