The street food of London
You can easily say that for each weekend the hippest part of East London transforms into an open restaurant. Brick Lane Market feels like one big festival. My friend Angelika Erdélyi invited me and showed me around.
Every week Brick Lane gets crowded by food trucks, which not just attracts locals but tourists as well.
The venders usually offer the foods of different nations with a simple, not too wide but rather high quality assortment. All these treats are the results of their family recipes and the years how they pursued perfection.
You can choose from Indian, Vietnamese, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Moroccan, Mexican; a wide selection of food vs. a couple tiny delicious snacks. In bread, pita perhaps with hands or with forks - in any possible ways.
Would you ever assume that you could find and taste around 10 or 12 nation's culinary goodies in that empty old factory building?
But what's street food really about? It's not only the trucks with kitchen integrated in them, it’s much more than that; attitude, freedom, an underground culture, rebel against the Michelin stars.
The success in London lies in the multicultural atmosphere. Migration brings various culture’s habits, and types of food to the city.
Once you are inside it is clear that you have to be hungry when you come to the Boiler House Food Hall.
It became popular not to sit down and order but walk around and hold your lunch in your hands. To chat, to meet and to concentrate on details; to order smaller but more different kinds, to talk to foreign chefs and get to know their lives.
Just look around in the court of the Old Truman Brewery; it became a cultural hotspot where street food is a permanent phenomenon.
Food and eating can be a very important and strong link between cultures, as it is basically also a very easy way to contact with others. Eating is necessary for everyone; it’s a basic need. It is also soothing, joyful and enjoyable.
Even only for a minute or two, there will be always the connection between the chef and the customer. Food is always a perfect topic and talking about it is a rather useful feedback for the chef. Most of the time a non-spoken reaction is already enough appreciation.
You can immediately feel the enthusiasm. Street food is clearly about honesty! If you only do it for the money, you might not keep that many customers as if you do it out of passion. And if you happen to manage all this in supreme quality, then you can count on a stable and big fan base.
Usually this is a parking lot, but for a Sunday it transforms into a restaurant as part of the Sunday Market.
The opponents of street food often argue the quality of the food made inside a truck. All is relative but also both the customer and chef have to compromise a little.
It’s clearly a success. You can find food festivals all over the country and not only foreigners and immigrants are cooking and selling but also British youngsters.
They see potential in it, so they transform their food trucks in the most extraordinary ways; you can’t even recognize them anymore. And it is quite spectacular when all these vehicles fill empty city spaces up, then move on at the end of the day.
Street food in London is a must! Take London Overground until Shoreditch High Street or the Underground until Aldgate East or Liverpool Street. If you are around also explore Petticoat Lane Market and Columbia Road Flower Market!