London Street Food Festival 2012 – Part 1

It seems quite fitting that the first post on the blog features one of the most exciting festivals of the year for street food in the capital; The London Street Food Festival.  In fact, it was this festival that has inspired me to take my fascination for food to another level and start to blog about it so it seems a great place to start.

The festival has been running behind the Southbank Centre for the entire Jubilee weekend, offering tourists and Londoners alike the opportunity to sample some of the best street food that we have to offer; there was everything from strudel to curry and from brilliant burgers to octopus balls to sample and one of the biggest challenges was deciding which stalls to try. Having done a quick bit of research online beforehand, some of the highest praise seemed to be coming in for Anna Mae’s Southern Street Food, who had a huge pan of their flagship Mac’n’Cheese on the go. (http://www.anna-maes.co.uk/) I couldn’t resist such tasty comfort food however, I did decide to spice things up a bit by opting for ‘The Spicy Juan;’ Anna Mae’s flagship mac’n’cheese with the addition of jalepenos, paprika, sour cream and coriander.

Although the Mac’n’Cheese was certainly tasty and had a good consistency, I have to admit I found it a little disappointing, as it wasn’t as cheesy as I was hoping it would be. I did find however that once we stepped away from the main market area and perched on some steps to eat, the flavours became much clearer- sometimes I think at these events, the overpoweringly good smell of grilling meat can take away from the taste of some of the more subtle flavours available. However, the macaroni cheese could definitely have done with a little more flavour and seasoning. The spice coming through from the flavoursome jalepenos definitely packed a punch but the toppings balanced each other out well so it’s a shame the flagship Mac’n’Cheese didn’t have a slightly stronger cheese flavour as it has the potential to be an exceptional meal.  I’ve heard great things about Anna Mae’s pulled pork however, so I’ll definitely be giving that a go when I get the chance.

While my first choice was slightly disappointing, the  Label Anglais chicken wings and salad from S J Frederick certainly made up for it. (http://www.sjfrederick.co.uk/) These special breed of chickens are normally sold to some of the country’s top chefs however, if you ever get the opportunity to try some of their chicken from their street food stall, make sure you do. Normally, I wouldn’t get particularly excited about a plate of chicken wings and salad however, the slightly spicy marinade on the wings, succulent chicken and really well balanced accompniments of coleslaw, potato salad and fresh salad made this a must-have dish for me.    We also were given a taster of their chicken sausage, which was equally delicious, it’s definitely a stall to look out for whenever you get the chance.

It’s lucky we were sharing the food between two as the portion was very generous and it could easily have been all I managed to eat, so it’s great value for a fiver. But, as it was, I couldn’t resist a few little snacks from elsewhere which I’ll write up in Part 2 of the London Street Food Festival, coming to Eats of London very soon.

You can find these street food vendors of Twitter, so look out for them coming to a spot near you: @Anna_Maes & @LabelAnglais

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