Tag Archives: Manjit’s Kitchen

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 Yellow Horsebox Launch Party!

Manjit’s Kitchen had their official launch party today (31st August), to celebrate their successful crowdfunder campaign. The reasons for the campaign have been spoken about on many occasions, but if you are unaware of why click here to read what Manjit and Michael have been through.

Having seen their yellow horse box being used at a number of events the last month or so, it was truly a fantastic sight seeing it in all its glory, basking in glorious sunshine on the last day of August. From what was an horrendous act of vandalism to Manjit and Michael’s property, they’ve managed with the support of family and friends to convert a horse box into an Indian style chaat station.

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The venue for the celebration was Wharf Chambers, I’d arrived whilst the sun was blazing, the horse box looked great, and to keep Manjit’s Kitchen company were two well-known fellows The Grub and Grog Shop and That Old Chestnut. Therefore plenty to get your teeth into! 

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My friend Alice and I were gonna try and get a bit of everything from everyone if possible, so with a 3 for £10 combo from Manjit’s, it was a no brainer. We’d be fools not to indulge, going for the Watermelon chaat, Samosa Chaat and Avocado Pani Puri.

The thing with Manjit’s food for me is it combines great elements together, without making me crave meat, and that’s saying something considering I’m such a hungry carnivore. The mix of textures, heat, sharpness and fresh flavours in Manjit’s food always brings people, including me  back for more without fail!

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The Grub and Grog Shop had two corkers on the menu with Beetroot in stout, and Courgette & chilli fritters. Bloody gorgeous the pair of them.  The beetroot lovely and sticky from the stout, whilst its sweetness was still apparent, the carrot brought the acidity and I loved the malt oil, a new one on me. When I think of malt I think Horlicks, like my dad used to drink every evening. The fritters were lovely with a good kick of chilli and more malt sprinkled on top, and the herb sauce brightened up each mouthful. So good!

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That Old Chestnut were on hand for pudding, with their selection of scrumptious cakes and my favourite of theirs – Tiffin bars! I couldn’t leave without taking the last of their Chocolate and Peanut tiffin bars. 

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What a great afternoon spent seeing one of the original trailblazers in Leeds’ street food scene still showing the way!!

http://www.manjitskitchen.com

http://www.grubandgrog.co.uk

http://thatoldchestnutishere.com

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

Trinity Kitchen Take 3, Leeds

This week was the start of a new rotation of street food vendors at Trinity Kitchen. We had to say a sad goodbye to the Donastia Social Club, DogTown London, Crepe Lucette and Fish&, and welcomed the new in the forms of Yu Kyu and Magnificent Milkshake Company. The other three street food holders are the popular Original Fry Material (who are continuing to feed Leeds for the next month or so), The Marvellous Tea and Cake Shed and Leeds favourites Manjit’s Kitchen. They’ll all be gracing Leeds with their presence until February 23rd.

I went on Tuesday evening as part of the Trinity Kitchen Preview Evening with other like minded food lovers/bloggers/social media people, many thanks to Wendy, the Leeds Guru for the invitation!!

I’d already read on Twitter that a Tonkatsu street van would be joining the street food fold at Trinity Kitchen, and as a huge lover of all things Japanese, in particular their food, I literally jumped for joy at the prospect of getting my mouth around some YUMMY tonkatsu!!!!! 

The bringers of the tonkatsu is Yu Kyu, one of the first, if not THE first mobile Japanese tonkatsu food kitchen in the UK. Based in London, they specialise in delights covered in lovely panko breadcrumbs and deep fried till golden, served in the form of a burger or with the traditional rice, curry and pickled ginger. They can cater for the carnivore with pork and chicken, also the non-meat eater with pumpkin and sweet potato. 

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After eating tonkatsu in the UK and in Japan I couldn’t wait to try out Yu Kyu‘s take on one of my favourites. When the time came I was giddy like a little school girl when ordering my food, I was that excited and quickly ordered a Tonkatsu (pork) curry rice (£7). Cooked to order, on the first mouthful it was everything I’d wished for!! Moist sweet pork, covered in a crisp panko breadcrumb crust, fluffy rice and a decent Japanese curry sauce. All this accompanied by a red cabbage slaw and customary pickled red ginger, which provided the dish with just enough sharpness to cut through the curry sauce. It was excellent to the point where I said I could easily wolf down another portion, even before I’d finished the first! My friend had the Kabocha with curry and rice and this was equally as good!! We also tried some of their glazed sweet potato fries, they were good for sharing as they as were, as described quite sweet being glazed with a sweet soy sauce. Their menu costs between £3.50 – £7, well worth it I think! I have a feeling, well to be honest I know I’m gonna to going back!!!

The other new street food vendor is Magnificent Milkshake Company with their take on milkshakes based on classic desserts. These purveyors of the milkshake hail from Suffolk and are bringing with them their individually blended milkshakes using all natural ingredients. We sampled their Banofee Pie and Creme Brûlée, both went down well and were certainly a good dessert option. I tried the Creme Brûlée and it was lovely and creamy, with a definite hit of vanilla and lots of caramel shards on the top. Ranging from £3 for one of their ‘Baby’ shakes, to £4.50 for a large shake. 

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The last three street food vendors are old favourites now, Manjit’s Kitchen, to Leeds folk they don’t need any introduction as they are well known by lovers of street food. If you don’t know of Manjit’s Kitchen, they basically produce fantastic Indian vegetarian street food and snacks and are loved by Leeds folk a plenty. I opted for their Samosa Chaat, after eating my tonkatsu curry rice. It was so tasty as expected with Manjit’s, a great samosa with a little kick of heat here and there, accompanied with the chaat which had loads of chickpeas and coriander. Just £4, it’s great for lunch, a snack or part of a bigger meal. 

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Also back is The Marvellous Tea & Cakes Shed who were one of the original five street food vendors at Trinity Kitchen. As soon I as walked even within eye-shot of the stall I spied a Victoria sponge cake, my absolute favourite, so much so it was my top tier on my wedding cake. 

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A gorgeous sponge with plenty of strawberry jam and cream, really what more could you ask for?? Ok, it came with their usual sprinkle of glitter and I had it with a lovely cup of tea, so for me, it was wonderful. I know, to some I may be easily pleased but it was GOOOOD!!!

Last but certainly no means least are Original Fry Material, these rather handsome chaps have won the hearts of many in their first month at Trinity Kitchen, me included!!! I had their English Brekkie Muffin which was AWESOME!! Yeah, this is no bog standard breakfast muffin, the lads at OFM make their own handmade sausages from scratch using free range Blythburgh pork shoulder, herbs and spices. It works so well with a lovely golden runny egg,  cheese, dry cure streaky bacon and a yummy English muffin. For me, they are great at any time of the day – breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!!! They even have their own Pale Ale especially brewed by Leeds Brewery. 

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As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the independent street food vendors at Trinity Kitchen, but I really don’t make this stuff up. They are REALLY GOOD and if you haven’t tried them out you should!

Trinity Kitchen
Trinity Leeds
Albion Street
Leeds
LS1 5AT