Tonight sees the continuation of delicious street-food night-market Street Feast in its new winter home in Hackney Downs Studios. Anyone that attended it in its previous homes at Brick Lane and here in Dalston will now just how dazzling the choice of cuisine can be. With traders including the famed Mama's Jerk Station and Big Apple Hot Dogs, Street Feast spent the summer transforming alfresco dining and now the weather's turned they've adapted to create a wonderful winter foody experience that means you can stuff your face and stay dry all at the same time.
Ahead of tonight's market we caught up with Street Feast promoter Dominic to find out what visitors stomachs have in store for them...
How did Street Feast come about and how did it evolve into what it is today?
Having enjoyed night-markets around the world from Zanzibar to Barbados, it’s always something I wished we had in London. Last year I finally decided to make it happen and spent months researching traders and looking for venues. We launched as a 12 week pop up on 4th May in Brick Lane, however it became obvious very quickly that this was something that should happen every week and not just as a pop up.
We spent most of the summer in a carpark in Dalston, where we built up a strong local following, which is why we decided to plant roots here in Hackney. We've just started a six month residency at Hackney Downs Studios where we'll spend the whole autumn/winter. One of the things I've enjoyed most about settling in this area is seeing Street Feast evolve into such a community event. I've rarely seen an event in London that attracts such a mix of people, families with toddlers, hipsters and senior citizens. Running from 5pm to midnight it operates in normal pub and restaurant hours, however it has become a viable alternative to either of those as a night out with friends.
How do you go about sourcing the food traders and karts that appear?
I go out most weekends with my four year old son tasting food at markets across London. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.
Is there a particular cuisine you'd like to have there that you don't as yet?
I'd love to see some West African food come through. I've spoken to a couple people who are interested in doing SUYA which is authentic Nigerian street food, however it would be great to see someone come through and do it really well, because there are some amazing dishes full of flavour and texture that would really suit the Street Feast environment.
What's your personal 3 Course Meal Street Feast recommendation?
Each of my 3 courses would all come from trucks:
Starter: RAINBO - Served up from my favourite truck, a 1948 black Ford pick up. I'd start with their super fresh pork and pickled ginger gyoza.
Main: VANDUKE - Vanduke are a new member of the Street Feast family, but they are making their presence felt serving up an awesome beef Thai red curry served on a bed of the softest fresh kanom jeen noodles.
Afters: SORBITIUM - Like Vanduke, Sorbitium trade out of a classic Citroen HY van, but here it’s all about the most delightful ice creams and sorbets. In the summer my favourite was their strawberry, elderflower and prosecco sorbet. Their salted caramel ice cream is up there with the best. But for a chilly autumn night at Street Feast I'd go for their very tasty warm vanilla rice pudding.
And what else can we expect to see this Friday besides amazing food?
Moving inside into Hackney Downs Studios has allowed us to add a variety of new dimensions to the market. As well as a range of new arts, crafts and fashion traders, we have occasional film screenings and art exhibitions. However one of the biggest new additions is the weekly line up of live bands. This Friday Laura Jayne Hunter makes a welcome return after impressing so much at our autumn/winter launch a few weeks back. She has a very distinctive experimental vocal style which she puts to good use on her own productions as well as a few clever covers like her version of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka.
For a full list of traders visit: www.streetfeastlondon.com/#!traders/c13qh