Us Londoners, whether old timers, new or just passing through, love a good market. If you head to any part of the city you’ll find a market nearby selling all sorts of things. I’m not going to give you a repeat on where all the good markets are – any copy of Time Out will tell you that, but I will introduce you to this fantastic new market – Dalston’s Street Feast London. It’s a night market in East London’s hub of ideas in a carpark a stone’s throw away from the East London Line. Who doesn’t like a good night market? Some of my fondest memories from Asia involve these night time delights, I’m glad someone’s thought to set one up in the East End.
Mr Man insisted we head there for dinner a couple of weeks back. I was so tired from a chaotic week at work that I was almost determined not to let him have his way, but in the end I was too exhausted to protest and we headed there. Within moments of walking into the market I had completely forgotten about my supposed grump and was in tummy heaven – 16 fantastic street food stalls selling their culinary delights – what was not to like?
Needless to say, we ate a fair amount of food. The only issue was choice. Thankfully Mr Man’s stomach was on hand and we had £20 to spend between the two of us so decided to share everything we ate and managed to try four different vendors, me having a couple of bites of everything and him eating the rest. Sharing is caring.
First up was Pom Pom Takoyaki. These are little balls of Japanese Street Food with a choice of fillings – a vegetable, meat or seafood option. We went for the octopus and ate three balls of goodness. We could have definitely gone for more but were on a mission to fill our bellies with as much as possible. Not bad at all for only £2.50. I hope to have these pom poms again and will try to join one of their supper clubs as I would have been happy to continue eating them all night.
Next up, we were intrigued by Horn OK Please and their balls of pani puri, basically hollow balls filled with mashed potato, chickpeas, chutney and spices which you put in your mouth all at once (to bite into one while still in your hand would create quite a mess!) and it explodes with different flavours and textures. Mr Man wasn’t a fan but again, I would have been happy to chow down all night. Once more, I’d be keen to find Horn OK again and try the rest of their menu.
On the way in we saw a truck covered with grass, again, selling balls, this time, meatballs, yummy meatballs. These were The Bowler’s meatballs and mighty they were. It’s only recently that I’ve started to appreciate the humble meatball. As a kid I thought they were the most horrible thing and it has taken me nearly 30 years to shake that feeling, not any more. Can’t believe I’ve been missing out on these for so long… We had one big meatball between the two of us but it came with a nice salad and lashings of spiced red onion and tomato sauce with cumin, sour cream and coriander. We could have also gone for the coconut curry version – oh well, next time!
The final event for us, and it was an event, you should have seen the size of it, was The Rib Man’s pulled pork. Blinkin amazing if you ask me. A giant bun filled with pork freshly pulled from the slow cooked ribs. A great way to end our evening and one to fill up any gaps. It was so fresh and kind of melted in your mouth. I wish my pulled pork came out as good as this…
So all in all, a rather excellent evening, and quite a cheap one too. We had change from our £20 and left full. I’m keen to go back and try the rest; the jerk chicken looked awesome, as did the bone marrow pizza and the Bhangra burgers. I really hope this becomes a long-term regular feature in Dalston, as like I said at the beginning of this post, who doesn’t appreciate a good night market?