Street Feast #dalstonyard: BOB Lobster, Bleeker St. Burger, Breddos Tacos, Sorbitum Ices, Rotary Bar & The Gin Store
Easily the best thing about Summer in East London is Street Feast, every Friday and Saturday night until September in Dalston Yard. I had such a blast at my first ever Street Feast experience at Street Feast Europe last year I’d meant to catch up with them again sooner at Hawker House over the Winter. However, real life happened and it was Summer again before I managed to make it to my next Street Food festival in #dalstonyard, the car park full of old shipping containers they’ve made their home a stones throw from Dalston Junction Overground Station on Saturday night to fill up on their new offerings.
As there is free entry for the first 2 hours between 5pm and 7pm (after that it is £3) we got there nice and early. Therefore, the only natural place to start was The Gin Store for a pre-feast cocktail. With over 40 different gins on their menu, they’d set up a lovely little bar area around the back with candles on gin bottles on all the tables, and earlier in the evening before the scrum, service too. Jon went for a really great, classic Ramos Gin Fizz, but we both decided that I made the better call by ordering a Florodora with its fruity ginger kick. The perfect, refreshing way to kick off the evening.
They also have a great thing going over there if you’re a Street Feast regular (or there is a big group of you!) that if you buy a bottle of gin, all the cocktails mixed up with it will be free, and they’ll keep your bottle behind the bar for you ready for next week!
They’re one of the street food vendors I’ve been most excited to try, so obviously I headed over the B.O.B’s Lobster first. I did not want to fill up too much early, so I went for one of their 1/2 mini taster Lobster Rolls. A nice glossy, fried roll filled with fat, rich and juicy chunks of well seasoned lobster. And did I also mention that there is table service?! Now they’re selling at Borough Market, I know what I’ll be having next time I’m working on a feature over there around lunch time. I’d really, really recommend their lobster rolls and will be making sure that I have at least one more this Summer! I also managed to snap some shots of others enjoying their famous Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, which I would have tried, but I can’t eat the cheese part!
Jon started off with a Pulled Pork Bun from Smoke Stak. Whenever I’m eating out anywhere I have a terrible habit of stealing my friends food because I don’t want to miss out on anything! Luckily most of the time they don’t mind (one of the perks of the job, and I do let them try mine too!) This means I can tell you that this beautifully glossy bun was filled with the most succulent pulled pork I’ve ever tasted and a really great punchy slaw. I can’t pass final verdict without eating a whole one, but I think it might even be better than my beloved Pork & Co. in Canterbury. Something I really need to assess properly.
Deciding it was time for more drinks, out next stop was Rotary Bar. I’m a sucker for anything frozen, especially margaritas so I had the Frozen Paloma, which tasted just like the classic, except for it was better because it was a) frozen, and b) had a lovely and complex taste that was slightly herbal, slightly bitter that made it a much more grown up drink than I’d have expected. Jon had an equally delicious, festival sized ‘Devil In Dalston’. He has a thing (that I always laugh at) about cleverly or amusingly named cocktails.
Next it was the turn for the Breddos Tacos/ Slider Bar duo. With a margarita in hand, I obviously had to go for the tacos, that I was already super excited about trying after Rose waxed lyrical about them at their pop up last month. While B.O.B’s lobster roll came a close second, my pulled pork taco had to be the best thing I ate at Street Feast this time around. It seems funny, but my test for if a taco is really great or not is if the taste instantly drags me back to some of my favourite tacos at TLT Food and Blue Plate Taco in Los Angeles. I had that with my pork taco, on a proper heated corn mini tortilla, full of amazing flavours. Best taco I’ve had in a very long time. The chicken was also pretty good (but not as mind blowing-ly amazing), and I really loved the raspberry hot sauce they topped it off with.
It used to be that everyone said that Slider Bar’s sliders were amazing, and the tacos came in as an average second place, but I was informed that the pastrami slider Jon ordered was not all that great. I’ll always choose tacos over sliders, hands down, but it is interesting to see how they’ve upped their taco game.
After lots of deliberation (I loved Rola Wala, but I already knew what their food tasted like, and while I’ve been trying to finish shooting my feature on Kimchinary for ages, their burritos are filling enough to make a whole meal!) we settled on something that you won’t believe that I had not tried yet so I could see what all the fuss was about: Bleeker St. Burger.
Crunchy buns. Smokey bacon. The juiciest, most melt in the mouth amazing patties I’d ever tasted. Please remind me why I’d waited so long to try one, and when will I be able to go back to sample some of their equally amazing looking standard and sweet potato fries? I now totally understand the hype.
To round off the eating, before grabbing another round of cocktails I’d spied Sorbitium Ices, whom I’d first sampled at #streetsofspain at the beginning of last month. Last time around I’d had one of their sorbets, and while I was disappointed that their Raspberry & Rose Wine sorbet had sold out by the time I got there, I was glad to sample their ice creams. I went for a scoop of their Salted Caramel (which honestly was nothing to write home about), atop of their Strawberry Buttermilk which was simply a revelation, and came in joint second with my lobster roll as one of the best things I ate that evening. Sweet, creamy, tangy, perfectly balanced and very more-ish. I’ll be making a bee line for it next time I see the Sorbitium truck parked up somewhere.
Something else that I did not try, but I have firm plans to is relative newcomers (who are being mentored by Gizzi Erskine at the moment, so they have to be good!): Le Bun. They do French/ American street food, and don’t these beauties look divine?
We ended the evening curled up in two giant old squashy leather arm chairs in the Whisky Bar at the back, next to Gin Store. I’m not much of a whisky drinker so I slipped back next door to grab a simply perfect French 75 (gin, lemon and champagne) to sip on as the sun started to go down over East London. Street Feast in #dastonyard is running from 5pm till midnight every Friday and Saturday until September 27th. You can check who is going to be there and scope out their menus on the Street Feast website, and I urge you to grab a couple of friends and head over their sometime this Summer. It really is the perfect way to spend your evening!