Tag Archives: Fish&

British Street Food Awards 2014

The British Street Food Awards were held in Leeds (26-28th Sept) after months of heats finding regional street food winners. Amongst the list of regional finalists, including Leeds’ Fu-Schnikens were a number of local wildcard entrants too, with Manjit’s Kitchen, Fish& all in the shout for awards.

Twitter had told me one thing – get to Fu-Schnikens ASAP, as they’d sold 800 Gua Bao over two days!! Within a minute of ordering it was in my hand…ahh the simple joys food can bring!  I love the damn things, if you’re unfamiliar with Gua Bao, they are Taiwanese steamed buns and should be light, even pillowy in texture. Often filled with slow cooked meats, pickled vegetables or variations on this theme. I admired it for a minute, the obligatory photo shoot ensued then sizeable mouthfuls later it was gone. UNCTUOUS – the meat literally disintegrated in my mouth, the ox cheek was gorgeous, lovely beetroot helped to cut through the richness in the meat, whilst the palm sugar worked well tempering just a touch!

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Sticky Ox Cheek Gua Bao, topped with pickled beetroot, palm sugar, chives and sesame
Sticky Ox Cheek Gua Bao, topped with pickled beetroot, palm sugar, chives and sesame 

Second on my hit list Dorshi – a Leeds favourite amongst the street food fraternity, serving dumplings to die for. Grabbing a combo to get a taste of everything was recommended, so who was I to go against their advice?! There’s no surprises when it comes to these dumplings, and trust me I mean this in a 100% positive way, as I’ve never been anything but wanting more of these. The fillings are bang on for flavour, their ingredient choices and flavour combinations are thoughtful. There are differences in textures from steamed and fried dumplings, pickled vegetables and lovely barley salad, delicate sweetness from the damson hoisin, saltiness from the fish, sourness from pickled vegetables.

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Dorshi - Gurt Meal box - selection of 4 dumplings with sides
Dorshi – Gurt Meal box – selection of 4 dumplings with sides
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The Real Junk Food Project – Pomegranate, plum and beetroot smoothie

I was so looking forward to trying something from The Crabbieshack, going for soft shell crab (without bread) and the pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage. Advertised as being coated in ‘Old Bay’ Tempura batter, umm I wouldn’t have called it Tempura batter as it was thick and greasy. The salad, however tasty just wasn’t sharp enough to cut through the greasiness. Bread probably would’ve soaked up some of the oil, but the batter needed to be lighter! Hate to be negative, but I was disappointed and I’ve had much better!

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Crabbieshack - Soft Shell Crab with salad of pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage
Crabbieshack – Soft Shell Crab with salad of pomegranate, Harissa, red onion, coriander and red cabbage

Fancying some liquid refreshment, I got a shot of HY Kitchen‘s homemade Schnapps…oooh it was warming, and would give anyone a bit fire in the belly. So good, that these guys from Austria won the Best Drink award! 

HY Kitchen - Schnapps!
HY Kitchen – Schnapps!
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Some of Leeds’ finest bringing their dishes to the judges – Richard Johnson, Lisa Markwell (Editor of The Independent on Sunday) chef Ed Baines, street food entrepreneur Yianni Papoutsis and actress Gaynor Faye.

Some of Leeds' finest waiting to bring their dishes to the judging panel

Manjit’s Kitchen was looking mighty fine in front of Leeds Civic Hall, often with a long queue of hungry people wanting their Chapasty or Flatbread. Late in the day I had one of their Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty’s – tasty, moreish, nice and small so great for sharing!

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Manjit's Kitchen - Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty with salad
Manjit’s Kitchen – Beetroot and Paneer Chapasty with salad
Buddha Belly The Moocher
Buddha Belly and The Moocher
Ahimsa
Ahimsa
Best Newcomers - Nusou and Best Dessert - Antto's Fish Bar
Best Newcomers – Nusou and Best Dessert – Antto’s Fish Bar
People's choice - The Little Blue Smokehouse
People’s choice – The Little Blue Smokehouse
Best Overseas Trader - Nordic Street food
Best Overseas Trader – Nordic Street Food
Best Snack  - Fresh Rootz
Best Snack – Fresh Rootz
Best Sandwich - The Cauldron
Best Sandwich – The Cauldron
Best Mobiler - The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Best Mobiler – The Hip Hop Chip Shop
Best Sandwich - Original Patty Men
Best Sandwich – Original Patty Men
Best Main - Fish&
Best Main – Fish&
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Best of the Best – Fu-Schnikens!!!

Congratulations to all the winners, great to see some of the traders who we’ve seen at Trinity Kitchen, such as Fresh Rootz and The Cauldron win, and also amazing overseas traders too!

I’m so happy Leeds was represented really well, and for two of the city’s traders winning awards (Best Main and Best of the Best), it’s just brilliant and reinforces the city’s stature in street food!!

Manjit’s Kitchen Fundraiser @ Slung Low, Holbeck

Have you read about the ordeal much-loved Manjit’s Kitchen have been through over the last month or so? For those of you who haven’t,  Michael and Manjit were victims of an awful crime, where their new vehicle was COMPLETELY trashed!! After setting up a Crowd Funder appeal, through the generosity of people £4000 was raised in a staggering 5 days! So with 21 days still remaining they increased the target to £8000. As part of the fundraising Culture Vultures‘ Emma Bearman and Northern StrEats came up with the fundraiser to celebrate Culture Vulture’s 5th birthday and help boost Manjit’s campaign. It was like it was all meant to be as Slung Low gave them Holbeck Underground Ballroom (The HUB) as the venue for the event. Things had come full circle as it’s where Andrew Crichett first started his ‘twisted fish & chips’ at a Culture Vulture event, some three years ago, and where Manjit is also held dear to the place’s heart with her street food.

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As always street food and collaboration is at the heart of this, and it was indicative of how well loved Manjit and Michael are, that people just pull together and do what they can to contribute. Drafted in on the food front where obviously Fish& and Manjit‘s, but also The Greedy Pig and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium‘s collaboration with Noisette Bakehouse. For the evening a ‘pay as you feel’ policy was used – a nice touch, with all monies going to Manjit’s appeal.

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Fish& had their famous ‘twisted fish & chips’ on the go, my friend Alice and I shared one of their taster cones – filled with chips and fish cooked with three crisp batters (chill, pepper and traditional). As always the fish was well cooked with a light, crisp, well seasoned batter. A great way to start our evening.

After all the difficulties, Michael and Manjit’s attitude and outlook hasn’t wavered, wanting to turn something wholly negative into a resounding positive, so typically they were getting stuck in cooking up a storm with their new ‘Chapasty’.

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Manjit showed us street food at its best, rolling out the chapatis to order, filling them with a mixture of masala marinated paneer and beetroot, and finally topping it with a sprinkling of spring onion and coriander before their final transformation into a ‘Chapasty’.

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Here it is in all it’s glory, Manjit’s Chapasty! Great name! Very tasty indeed, I shared one with my friend Alice, but like her wished we’d bought one each as they were very moreish. It had the perfect combination of paneer and beetroot, possessing a heat, the kind that slowly builds, I’d probably like a little more heat next time. An inspired idea, I think it could be a game-changer, hopefully Manjit keeps it on the menu as it certainly went down a treat with the crowd.

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As if that wasn’t the only treat in store for us, Jo from The Greedy Pig brought some of their homemade Scotch eggs. Oh my they looked superb and it was almost a crime to cut into these bad boys, which are were as big as my fist!! 

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These were YUMMY!! Cooked to perfection, just look at that yolk….golden and runny, whilst the filling of pork and chorizo makes this delight a carnivore’s dream. The best Scotch eggs I’ve ever eaten! I showed the other half a photo and there was definitely a hint of green eyed monster going on. 

As the evening was drawing to a close everyone was rounded up for the raffle, where a number of prizes which had been generously donated from many sourcesBeacons, Sheffield’s Fancie, Patty Smith’s, Dough Boys, Belgrave, El Kantina, French Connection and British Street Food.

I even won a prize in the raffle to my surprise/joy, the first thing I can remember winning, maybe ever – I couldn’t choose with lots of foodie goodness being offered up, so I shut my eyes and pointed – Afternoon Tea for 2 at Fancies! Great, it’s somewhere I’ve wanted to try for ages, a perfect end to what had been a perfect event.

Huge thanks need to go to Emma Bearman, Culture Vulture and Andrew Critchett  for coming up with this gem of an event!

If you’d like to contribute to Manjit’s Crowd Funder appeal there is still time to be a part of it, click on the link below.

Manjits Kitchen
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Manjits-Kitchen

Amazing Graze returns, Left Bank, Leeds

Amazing Graze returned to Left Bank Leeds, for the second year running at the former St Margaret of Antioch Church last weekend. Wanting to bring street culture to the people of Leeds, the duo behind Manjit’s Kitchen – Michael and Manjit had drafted in great traders to feed the masses, and entertained all ages with art stalls, workshops and performances during the day, and for those wanting to stay into the evening the legendary Stir it Up, local musicians and DJs. 

I was itching to get there Saturday morning, dragging the other half along when we were both ravenous for a spot of lunch! The traders on show were ones they’d met along the way since starting their street food adventure, who also happen to serve great food reflecting cuisines around the world.

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Our lunch started at Fish& with their twist on fish and chips. Being a creature of habit the other half got a Sharing Box with all three fish batters.  A good way to start our Amazing Graze Saturday! 

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That was just for starters! Our next course was a burger, it just had to be really after hearing Original Fry Up Material were back in Leeds. They’d won the hearts of many and then some during their residency at Trinity Kitchen.

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My aim was to try and graze (pardon the pun), to work my way through as many stalls as possible. Yeah, it’s a lot of food but it was worth a try!! I’d been banging on repeatedly how AMAZING OFM‘s burgers were, so I shared a Cheesy burger with the other half. He absolutely LOVES burgers and knows a good one when he tastes one. After being asked what he thought, he quickly admitted they were indeed fantastic and I hadn’t been exaggerating the whole time! For me a great burger needs a soft bun that doesn’t fall apart even at the last bite, a patty made of top quality meat, well seasoned and cooked pink, so it oozes meat juice. Fresh salad, preferably lettuce which is sliced, perfectly melted cheese and just enough sauce to come through, but not detract from other flavours. Well here you have it, have a gander at this!!! 

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It’d obviously made a lasting impression on the other half, as before we left he got his hands on one of their Bacon Chilli Cheese burgers, which he thought this was EVEN better than the Cheesy burger!!! 

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Next up was a little something from the organisers of Amazing Graze – Manjit’s Kitchenwho were as usual dishing up their wonderful vegetarian Indian street food.

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Since their first appearance on the Leeds street food scene, they’ve built such a loyal following it’s no surprise to see them holding an event with such wonderful traders! Manjit’s well equipped to hold her own against these guys though and I ordered a Samosa Chaat which I’ve eaten many a time, basically because it never fails!! With its multilayering textures, flavours and the pockets of heat you get from chilli, its great at just £4!!

Later I tried some Bhel Puri and Aubergine fritters which both hit the right spots, in particular the Bhel Puri which was full of fresh flavours and great combinations of textures. 

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Relative newcomers to the street food scene The Grub & Grog Shop were serving up their ‘grub’ with tasty sandwiches, stews and salads, also their own homemade rose lemonade with grapefruit and honey ‘grog’.

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I was lucky enough to baggsy the last Flemish beef stew, sharing it with a friend. A few years ago, my best mate and I explored Ghent for the day where I ate the regional dish Carbonade Flamande, which this is loosely based on. I distinctly remember on that occasion in Ghent I found it incredibly intense and rich, so I must admit I was glad this version was less intense as it was certainly the better for it. There was tender beef in a lovely rich gravy, flavoured with beer, the vegetables were soft but still had a touch of bite left. 

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Other Leeds favourites included Madeleine Bakehouse with their beautifully delicious bakes and sweet treats.

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Also newcomer to the street food scene Bánh mì Booth with their Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich and noodles.

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I recently reviewed them at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn which you can read here, but sampled some dumplings here and thought they were good, they had a crisp wrapper exterior filled with well flavoured pork. Very nice! Some No Name veg fritters I found disappointing, they were lovely and crisp, but for me lacked flavour and were a little bland. I did like the satay sauce that accompanied them though and could even be made more peanutty.

Leeds’ own The Greedy Pig showcased their ‘Nose to Tail’ menu, I was very gutted I didn’t manage to get my hands on any. I heard the dishes were pretty special, in particular the Tongue Tacos!!

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El Kantina served up Mexican delights and Las Paelleras the Spanish Paella and tapas dishes on offer.

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I tried some of Las Paelleras’ Andalucian Shrimp fritters with aioli dipping sauce. They were crisp and golden, the prawns were well cooked and juicy and I did get a hint of spring onion running through them. The aioli sauces were great and went well with the fritters. My only picky criticism is the fritters were a tad greasy. 

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Manchester’s Diamonds Dogs with their humongous hotdogs. I have no chance of managing one of these beasts as they are so generous in size, especially once I’ve already started eating other yummy things. Next time I really need to plan ahead and not eat a thing beforehand!

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Last but by no means least, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium with her ‘ice-cream for grown-ups’.

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I hadn’t realised they were outside until I was leaving so was pretty full by then and had to miss out. On what I’d seen on social media with photos of delectable sweet treats with a difference, I MUST rectify this next time !!

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All in all Amazing Graze was a wonderful event for people wanting a relaxing time, eating your way through a number of different delicious cuisines. It’s another example of fantastic collaboration between independents, roll on this time next year!!! 

Amazing Graze

Left Bank Leeds

Belgrave Street Feast @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

The Belgrave Street Feast was held at one of my current favourite haunts Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen on Saturday. I was gutted to miss the first event last year so was glad to see a second and was definitely going to be seeing what foodie goodness would be on offer!!

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A number of well known, local street food heroes were selling their wares and showcasing great flavours from different cuisines.

Fish& – Andrew worked his magic selling out with his fantastic mussels dish! Freshly steamed Scottish mussels, cooked with the Fish& twist of chilli, parsley and Brooklyn Brewery lager. Simply yummy, you can’t go wrong with delicate mussels, rich flavours and a fresh bread bowl making the perfect vehicle for soaking up the cooking liquor! There was also a fantastic looking Chilli corn chowder which went down well too!

Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth
Mussels cooked in a Brooklyn Beer Broth

Dough Boys Pizza – regular twitter and blog followers may know what an ardent fan I am of Ben, his team and their consistently yummy pizza!! My friend and his daughter feasted on three ‘slices’ (quarter of a pizza each): Sausage fest, Screaming goat and Into the Woods – all for less than £4!!! You’d be foolish not to get a half price slice 12-7pm, seven days a week!!!

Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!
Dough Boys Pizza, half priced slices!

Fu-Schnikens – Ben from Dough Boys makes these wonderful Taiwanese Bao called Gua Bao. These little gems have already found fame and love in London, courtesy of Bao London and Yum Bun, so Ben has brought his take to Leeds. They are steamed buns filled with hoisin, crushed cashew nuts, sesame seed, palm sugar, picked carrot and mooli, then topped with either:

  • braised pork belly
  • glazed portobello mushroom
  • crispy panko breadcrumb chicken

My name was all over the MEAT being the hungry carnivore I am. You must know by now how much I LOVE juicy pork belly with a passion, and katsu chicken – chicken deep fried in honeyed Japanese panko breadcrumbs. OH MY!!!!!! It’s a good thing I don’t know how to make the buns, because I’d be making these all the time!!! The  additional condiments are JUST RIGHT (ahhh Goldilocks strikes again!), with crunch, sweet, sour and fluffy buns. Writing about them doesn’t do it justice, you just got to eat one, or two in my case!

Ben at the Fu-Schickens street food stand serving Taiwanese Guo Bao!!
Ben at the Fu-Schnikens street food stand serving Taiwanese Gua Bao!!

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Bundobust – a collaboration between much-loved Prashad, the Indian vegetarian restaurant now based in Drighlington and The Sparrow pub from Bradford, serving fantastic Indian street food.

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Pav Bhaji - an original Mumbai street food dish
Pav Bhaji – an original Mumbai street food dish

I sampled the Pav Bhaji which was really tasty, with a good kick of heat from the spicing and lovely fresh flavours from the herbs, red onion and tomato. They are soon to open Bundobust on Mill Hill, in Leeds city centre, I’m sure they will make a great addition to the Leeds food scene!

Patty Smiths Burgers:  They like to support local businesses and source all of our ingredients locally, with that in mind they suppliers include Sykes Farm from Wetherby, Leeds based RK Harris & Sons and finally Fosters Bakery from Barnsley. I didn’t eat one on Saturday, but I did a few days earlier and I have to say it’s a great burger!!! The beef patty was cooked just pink in the middle and has a cheese sauce which was inspired! I hate it when you have cheese that’s still solid on the sides, a cracking Chipotle mayo and lovely fresh pickle, lettuce and tomato to go with it!! A soft brioche bun to hold it all together too, a WIN WIN I say!!

Patty Smith's burgers - The 'Dirty burger'
Patty Smith’s burgers – The ‘Dirty burger’

Last but buy no means least, I couldn’t come to the Street Feast without having something from Noisette BakehouseI hope you can tell from my photos that every single thing she bakes looks soooo delicious, and it tastes just as good, if not better!!

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I had my slice of baked heaven with an espresso from Laynes, who were on hand to provide people with great coffee. What a perfect way to end my afternoon at Belgrave Street Feast!!!

Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.
Espresso with rhubarb and quince tart.

Here’s to the next instalment!

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street
Leeds
LS2 8JP
0113 2346160
http://www.belgravemusichall.com

Food to bring me back from the brink, @ Donostia Social Club, Trinity Kitchen

Ahhh for the love of good food!! Having been stuck indoors since Saturday and been hit by the dreaded flu, (that’ll teach me to miss the staff flu jab at work again), I’ve been desperately in dire need of proper sustenance.

Trinity Kitchen welcomed their newest five street food traders on Monday. Two of these, I’ve been following for a little while after reading they would be in the new line-up for Trinity Kitchen – Donostia Social Club and Original Fry Up Material. I must admit that it’s the different street food traders that really do it for me when it comes to Trinity Kitchen. Out of the seven permanent eateries I’ve tried Pho and Tortilla, I particularly enjoyed Pho, but to be honest even though I’m sure they have their fans, I’m not sure how fussed I am at trying most of the others, and I have my favourite go-to places in leeds for those already. 

Out of the new traders I particularly wanted to try out Donostia Social Club as they serve Pintxos (pronounced pinchos), those Basque delights I fell in love with on a summer roadtrip around Northern Spain in 2010. It was a fantastic holiday, where we drove around the Basque region of Spain, working our way through Bilbao, San Sebastián and Logroño, amongst others. If you love good food, wine, culture, art and architecture old and new you may enjoy it as much as I did!

The region has influences from three areas each with their own climate and landscape, resulting in the availability of a range of different ingredients. It’s also one of the world’s culinary heavyweights famed for their gastronomy and the number of Michelin starred restaurants it possesses. The fantastic Rioja wine comes from the region, but also Pintxos. Traditionally pintxos are served on the bar counter – many are slices of baguette topped with different combinations of textures and flavours. Costing just a few euros each, normally the custom would be to order a drink and have a pintxos to accompany it, a fantastic way to have a leisurely snack, lunch or dinner. The streets of San Sebastián and Bilbao were lined with these Pintxos bars, and what was great was they usually had individual menus, so they didn’t compete with each other. I think back and feel if I’d been blogging then, I would have had an absolute field day!! We had a very memorable evening in Logrono on a pintxos crawl on the well known streets Calle Laurel and Calle San Juan, going from one bar to another and having drinks and pintxos in each. Our days went…explore, eat lunch, explore more whilst walking off our lunch in the warm sun, have a siesta and then late dinner.

Here are some of the tasty morsels we ate in Spain:

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OK, enough of me reminiscing, it was fab though!

So, when I’d read that Donostia Social Club were going to be at Trinity Kitchen for a month, my heart skipped a beat. If I remember rightly Donostia means San Sebastián in Basque and it immediately reminds me of sitting in a pintxos bar with lots of regulars and many tourists!! 

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They have a selection of cold (£2.50) and hot pintos (£5) to choose from, as I’d expected the cold ones were lined up on the counter of their cool Citroen H Van to drool over; I certainly did and hot ones were cooked to order. 

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From what they had on offer I picked the scallops, tortilla, and morcilla with a lovely Rioja to wash it down. All were REALLY good, the scallops were MASSIVE, lovely and soft, perfectly cooked, on top of soft fresh bread too. A winner!!! My other two were cold pintxos and equally enjoyable, I LOVE tortilla, the best I ever had was on our travels in Spain with their warm, soft eggy centres, of which we ate many slices.  This wasn’t quite as good as those, but I did ask for seconds so that says a lot!! Finally the morcilla (black pudding) was YUMMY – meaty, but moist and I loved the quails egg on top.

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Seared scallop with pisto and green chilli sauce, Morcilla topped with quail’s egg and tortilla topped with Padron pepper (I think!)

For dessert I popped next door for a crepe from the ladies at Crêpe Lucette

IMG_5667 IMG_5668I love a classic crêpe with lemon and sugar, but they have a good choice of sweet and savoury crêpes too. It was freshly made, and took literally a couple of minutes. As thin as you would like a crepe to be, with the right level of sugary sweetness and lemony sourness. Filling too, my crêpe certainly wasn’t small. Very nice indeed!!!

The other street food stalls on my radar this month are Original Fry Up Material serving their British fry up and burgers.IMG_5664

Their signature dish is the English Brekkie Muffin, at the heart of the dish is their very own homemade sausages, free range Blythburgh pork shoulder, herbs and spices. Along with a free range egg, proper American cheese, dry cure streaky bacon, a ‘secret’ sauce  and their own English muffin. It sounds like a winner, I’m going to have to pop over when finishing my Christmas shopping to have one.

Finally Fish&, their name is already synonymous with great street food in Leeds and have built up a very loyal fan base. Having devised a new menu for their stint at Trinity Kitchen, I’m sure they will be selling their food to droves of people. Not only do they have their new menu, there’s the new VW van and a design upgrade too. 

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So far I’ve been really impressed by the street food traders at Trinity Kitchen, this month could be the best to date. Go and see what you think!!

Donostia Social Club
http://www.donostiasocialclub.co.uk, @donostiasc
Crepe Lucette
http://www.crepelucette.com, @crepelucette
Original Fry Up Material
http://www.originalfryupmaterial.co.uk, @OFMLondon
Fish&
http://www.fishand.co.uk, @NoFishyBusiness