KERB is nothing short of a foodie’s dream. A street food hub that can be found in plenty of locations across our Capital, KERB brings together some of the best street food vendors around and with them creates exciting events & markets for all of us who dream nightly of food to enjoy till our belts give way!Much like ‘non reservation’ restaurants & goumet foam dolloped on the side of a fine dining dish, street food is fashionable in the world of food and drink, and this is the season for it to flouish. Beautiful weather (temperamental though it may be) inspires us to flock to the parks and riverside to enjoy our daily lunches in the sun, and that is where the street food vendor shines – no, we don’t want a takeaway panini from Starbucks, and we don’t want a miserable looking sandwich from the Tesco meal deal selection, and if truth be told, my packed lunches will just never be as good as my mum use to make… so street food is always going to be the answer.
For those unfamiliar with street food (it seems to be more of an inner city thing? I rarely came across anything more than a greasy kebab van in my town centre on a Friday night) – it’s not something to turn your nose up at. These guys serve dishes that could compete with some of the best restaurants around! They’re passionate about their products, use the finest ingredients and keep their prices affordable. Yes, you will have to precariously balance yourself on a step somewhere or attempt the walk and eat challenge, but is that not all just part of the fun? And when the food tastes this fantastic, a small stain down your work shirt is nothing to be bothered about really.
KERB has many homes across London, including Canary Wharf (kicking off on April 9th) The Gherkin (Thursdays), Kings Cross Granary Square (most Saturdays), South Bank Centre (selected weekends over the next 5 months) and UCLU (next date 30th April).
Most local to my office is of course the buzzing Southbank, which is no stranger to the street food festival. It’s first weekend of residency started today and for its first night, will remain open until 9pm – perfect for some Friday night dining and drinking.
The collection of traders is 27 strong, and includes everything from healthy and vegetarian offerings, to indulgent brownies and hot sweet doughnut balls, as well as cuisines that stretch across several counties, including Korean, Mexican, American and British. There is even a wide range of drink vendors, so if you’re craving an after work cocktail, a gourmet cup of coffee, some fresh home made soda or even just a decent cup of tea, you won’t be disappointed.
Traders to look out for in particular include the lovely ladies from Batch Bakery (who will have a blog review all of their own in the coming weeks. Watch this space!) who are offering up 4 of their best brownies to all chocolate lovers (Raspberry, Salted Caramel, S’mores & Chunk at £2.50 a slice) as well as a selection of toppings and sauces including mint chocolate chip & cookie dough (a diabetics hell, a sweet tooth’s heaven!) These truly are the best brownies in London and the perfect choice for a weekend treat.
If you enjoy burritos then I cannot recommend the guys from Kimchinary more – Korean inspired, I chose to have their Pulled Pork Burrito which comes filled to bursting point with fried rice, cheddar cheese, apple and sesame slaw, spring onion sour cream and gochuiang sauce all for just £6.50. It’s a pretty hefty portion, and the lovely girls serving are happy to cut it in half for you so that you can save some for later (I’m having mine for my dinner – I can’t wait!) The flavours work perfectly together. The pork is juicy, and slaw crunchy and sweet, while one of the accompaying sauces provides a hot kick; enough to make your nose run, but not enough to ruin the balance. This is quite possibly the best burrito I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Worth a trip to this market alone!
Ever a popular street market ingredient, KERB is not short of traders serving up great tasting slow cooked meats. One of these is Miss P’s Barbecue where you can treat yourself to one of the tenderest of meats: the black angus beef brisket, served within a bun and accompanied by fresh slaw. The burnt ends are the best, and they don’t hold back with the serving.
Others I didn’t get the chance to try (but instead salivated over the thought of for a while) include Anna Mae’s Mac & Cheese (my second choice for today’s lunch) which was offering up one of the best sounding Mac n’ Cheese dishes I’ve ever come across: The Kanye Western – Mac with hot dog, housemade BBQ sauce & fresh chives. As well as this, CrabbieShack are serving up soft shell crab burgers with a selection of different toppings around the £6.50 mark, and burger wise, it seems that the best way to go would be with the guys at Tongue n’ Cheek who use the ‘under-rated cuts of meat’ including ox heart and tongue!
When it comes to sweets, I was more than tempted to grab myself a few doughnut balls from the guys at You Doughnut – a selection of small, medium and large doughnuts covered in a variety of sauces including White Chocolate, Vanilla & Cardamom sauce and Seasonal Fruit Compote & Fresh Cream, and the Whoopie Pies from Kooky Bakes look absolutely incredible. I’ll probably come back for those tomorrow!
You’ll be able to find KERB at the Southbank Centre until Sunday, and again on June: 6-8th, July: 4-6th, August: 1-3rd and September: 5-7th 2014 and on other dates at their other locations. See their website for more details of traders, dates and venues and make sure you pay them a visit at least once this summer.