Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Long Table

The concept is simple. Get together the best food traders in London, put them into a disused space, add a few long tables, some candles, drink, and a bit of music and the masses will come. And indeed for the launch they came in their droves. Fortunately I had the good sense to get there for 6pm. People were already waiting to sample the delights on offer.  The place filled quickly as people sought an eclectic eating experience in a convivial atmosphere.
When you look at the traders present, the quality is apparent. Moro from Exmouth Market brought their lamb to the table. I didn’t have it at the long table, but anytime I have it on Exmouth Market I love it. Yum Buns were there with their sublime pork belly. Everywhere I turned, everyone seemed to have a bun. Happiness is pork belly in a bun. Burger aficionadas were spoilt for choice and possibly need therapy having had to decide between the burgers from Hawskmoor or Lucky Chip.  What a choice!
I opted for the pork and beef meatball in a spicy sauce from the boys at the Bowler. The boys do great meatballs. Already well established at the recently created Brockley Market (more to come on that in future blogs), they bring their exceptional culinary talents to the table. I have mine with a little coriander which complements the meaty and spicy flavours. The meatball cost £2, essentially a taster.
I then have half of a chicken hot chicken ciabatta with salad and a chilli dressing. The reason I only had half, was because my friend has recently quit being a pescatarian and decided to give chicken a chance. It was an emotional moment. The chicken was roasted on a spit with potatoes roasted in the chicken juices. The ciabatta was tasty and the chicken of good quality, and very good value at £4.50.
The outdoor food revolution continues unabated in London. The best thing about the market is that the traders love their food and the quality is apparent at a decent cost. Everyone in London should make their way to Dalston on a Friday evening until December 16th and support these micro-enterprises.  Everyone wins.
The queue upon leaving was mental, working its way back to Kingsland road. Some people in the queue didn’t even know what was going on, but they figured it must be cool if so many people were queuing to get in. Sometimes it must be tiresome to try too hard to be cool. Forget about the queue, get there early and enjoy the evening. It is that good.

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