Showing posts with label street food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label street food. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Artworks Elephant, a foodie destination in South London

The Artworks Elephant

The Artworks Elephant opened a food and drink offer in Autumn 2014. Since then, it has become one of those favourite destinations of locals and foodies in South London. From a small group that has grown to 10 amazing local entrepreneurs serving food and drinks, the shipping container food yard has certainly received much attention from more locals and even tourists!

To celebrate this huge achievement, they launched a special Friday event that is held weekly which they call #FoodYardFriday. Most definitely, they stepped up their game with a wide selection of food and drinks combined with great music and art and so much more. 

On a weekly basis, all these foodies and art enthusiasts as well as those who just want to grab a drink or two while listening and dancing to great music and appreciating artworks head on to The Artworks Elephant. The food yard space is filled with eclectic beats from it a charming bar and awesome guest DJs. 

Long Wave Bar drinks, 'Walworth Spur'

A Southbank Food Market favourite, the Ladle and Skillet otherwise known as the Elephant Shack has been in the area for the longest time. Serving burger buns and hand-made organic flatbreads, locals are surely thrilled to grab a bite with every visit. Now any visitor who’s been there will tell you that the Elephant Shack food is just superb. Great finds include rare-breed steak burgers and Latin-style wraps! Drinks are incredible too as you can choose from small estate wines to Mezcal-based cocktails and craft beers. Nude coffee is also available.

Elephant Shack: freshly made wraps

Elephant Shack's wrap

This past year, Marcel and Sons opened a small black box gallery-style restaurant, which then became one of the most exciting foodie destinations. Their Le Cordon Bleu chef Randy shows off his incredible creativity and skills by creative his own version of classic Mauritian delicacies.

Marcel and Sons

Marcel and Sons, Mauritian food

Another must-try in this food festival is acorn-fed Iberian pork products from the Black Acorn. Owner Mario guaranteed it be the tastiest Chorizo roll of all time and if you don’t agree, he’ll give your money back. His knowledge in handmade and artisanal methods combined with his partner’s knowledge and skills are ones that were passed from one generation to another and has now given them a huge success.

Black Acorn, Iberico burger in a brioche bun

Chris, who is a local resident, comes in with Tasty Jerk, a family business specialising in Caribbean cuisine.  Serving curry goat, oxtail, ackee and salt fish amongst other delicious dishes.  Fresh and food that comes from the heart.

Tasty Jerk chicken and rice & peas

Surely, the aroma spreads across the area and you know that it comes from Love Fresh Vietnamese from the Camden Market that cooks with Vietnam’s traditional flavours.  Deliciously fresh fare served by friendly staff.

Love Fresh Vietnamese

 The Frenchie , a rustic-style French bistro originated from The Frenchie, one of the most popular London street food stalls. In the Frenchie Bristro, the menu has expanded to include the most mouth-watering classic recipes from France but this time with a twist of London including Duck Fat Chips, Frogs Wings and Honey-Duck Confit Legs. 
The Frenchie

Elephantastic Pizza, which seats 18 people in an artisan pizza restaurant, shares an area with an Irish sports bar that’s continental-style called Six Yard Box. Here you can get a craft beer in exchange of your Panini football stickers. You can even enjoy a game of table football or Father Ted Bingo. 

Elephantastic Pizza
Six Yard Box

The Balham Kitchen is on Unit 4 which is an expansion of the demand for them became huge with their stalls in Balham. A unique British Classic concept by a mother and son, you can enjoy a heavenly serving of BLT in The Elephant anytime of the day!

Wash down all the great food with a healthy weekend boost as you enjoy award-winning cocktails and cold-pressed juices at the UK Juicing Championship winning Spark. 

Spark cocktail

For many generations now, the Elephant and Castle has been associated with Baldwin’s Sarsaparilla, the “Walworth Spur”, a signature cocktail based on this fact, can be found at  Long Wave Bar which will definitely be the best conclusion to your Friday. Enjoy this as you dance to the music played by the Long Wave Bar DJ. 

Food Yard Friday 
The Artworks Elephant 
Elephant Road 
Elephant and Castle 
 SE17 1AY 
Tel: 020 3143 3948 
Finding them:
Underground: Elephant & Castle
(Bakerloo and Northern lines). Follow the signs to the Shopping Centre. Elephant Road is a short walk from the shopping centre.

National Rail: Elephant & Castle
Exit is on Elephant Road with regular services to Blackfriars and Kings Cross.

There are 28 bus routes which leave from various locations within Elephant & Castle. Please visit for all route details.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Darjeeling Express, afternoon chai

A colourful, spicy and tasty adventure, a Darjeeling Express Afternoon Chai hosted by the Asma Khan, who has been living in London since 1991, and only started cooking when she went back to India in 1993 to  learn and master her ancestors cuisine, back four generations of cooking wisdom. 
Learning cooking from her family started a long love affair with food and the now well known Darjeeling Express Supperclubs in Kensington. Asma's love for cooking and feeding is translated in a vibrant table of fresh and delectable fare.The Darjeeling Express, afternoon tea, no cake to be seen at this tea party - I called it Afternoon Chai, is the latest of Asma venture in her beautiful, full of light and airy home. I was invited by Asma to experience the traditional Calcutta afternoon tea. I felt the love for Calcutta.  You will not go hungry for days afterwards....

We started with a refreshing Indian lemonade, which I forgot to take picture!
*Nimbu Pani- Indian lemonade- a lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemon juice- with sugar and a touch of Himalayan rock salt- perfect for the humid summer of Bengal- the touch of salt is to replenish the body salts lost in the humid muggy climate.

Momos and Paneer samosas with homemade chutneys and tamarind sauce by Asma
*Momos- Steamed Darjeeling Beef Dumplings with Sesame and red chilli Chutney- the momos  were steamed in the traditional Maktu (an aluminium steamer- so not bamboo!)- The sauce with sesame is the traditional dipping sauce- together with the spicy green chutney! All chutneys and sauces were homemade, I really enjoyed the superb heat of the green chutney.
*Paneer Samosa with Tamarind Chutney- Homemade Samosas- for Indians Samosa are like a sandwich- there are endless types of fillings you can put in a samosa!
This duo was an amazing start to the party - I love the texture of the samosas ans Asma's special Tamarind Sauce was the perfect match. Needless to say I eat lots of them!

*Aloo Bonda with Coriander and Green Chilli Chutney- Spicy Potato Chops- street food- every city in India has a version of potato chop or patties- fried in big iron karai (similar to a wok) or cooked on an iron tawa- cheap and cheerful street food! Simple snack made of potatoes, the texture is fluffy and the subtle mix of  of ginger, onion, turmeric, mustard was delightful.
*Dahi Puchkas- Chaat with spiced yogurt and Tamarind Chutney-  I ate this before at Asma's pop-up in Soho and I learnt that this street food has different names in different Indian region- Pani Puri, Golgappa, Pani Batasha- In Bengal it is called Puchkas. A street food speciality from Calcutta- the stuffing is the same as the Puchka- but instead of the tangy tamarind water- the shells are layered with two sauces- the first is a homemade Tamarind sauce that has been cooked for several hours and the second is spiced yogurt. The “chaat” is then garnished with served with chopped coriander.
 an explosion of flavours and texture - amazing!

a break with some delicious chai :

 *Masala Chai Asma's Chai had been cooking since early morning- with fresh ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaf- a fragrant sweetened tea which despite the combination of different spices still tasted delicate - not too sweet, delightful aromas and flavours, it's one of those things that you want drink more and more...

  *Calcutta Chicken Kati Roll- The paratha, egg and chicken kabab wrapped roll was developed in the 1800s in Calcutta to make it possible for the newly settled British residents of the East India Company eat something with their hands without coming into direct contact with the food! Some clever food stall owner realised these  and  that newly arrived Brits could increase sales- so found a clever technique.  Juicy morsels of marinated chicken served in a warm paratha layered with egg, very feeling and again genius!

Channa Masala - chickpeas, Venison Kofta,  and Puri (bread)
*Channa Masala- Chickpeas - white and black chickpeas loveleliness!

*Venison Kofta in “Shikar” masala (traditional Indian spices for game) Hunting game is no longer allowed by law in India. The recipe for this kofta comes from Asma’s family and is a traditional recipe for cooking game- usually was made by men in the family and contained much simpler combination of spices as this dish was often cooked outdoors during a hunt and away from the kitchen. - Beyond amazing, I can't explain how good this kofta is! Clever combination of spices made this, in my view, the star of the tea.

*Puri- Fried Indian bread

Gjjar Ka Halwa
*Gajjar ka Halwa with cream-This dish is a labour of love! Asma told us the Halwa takes hours to cook and has to be stirred regularly to prevent the milk from getting stuck and burnt at the bottom of the pan. This halwa was made in ceremonial and festive occasions in Asma’s family and often prepared with cooks working in pairs to take turns at stirring the halwa as it was too much work for one person to attend to all day! The Halwa was served with two kinds of cream- clotted and double!  I can confirm that this dessert doesn't taste carrot! I am not sure what happens in the cooking process the carrot taste disappeared. Served warm, it tastes heaven in double cream and topped with clotted cream that slowly melts into the pudding. I heard angel's singing! well, almost...

Brilliant experience of Indian afternoon tea, vibrant, colourful, explosion of tastes, great company and  superb hostess. Highly recommended!  The afternoon chai costs £25/head, BYO. The next Afternoon Chai is scheduled to take place on the 30 of August 2014.
for more last minute updates on Darjeeling Express supperclub and Afternoon Chai party follow Asma on Twitter: @AsmaKhanCooks

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Brazilian street food - Bahia - acarajé and vatapá

To celebrate another Brazilian match in the worldcup 2014, this Tuesday,  a recipe I adapted from the original so everyone can make at home a delicious canapé. Similar to Arabic Falafel invented in the Middle East, acarajé means 'eating ball of fire' due to the method of preparation, the dish got its name. The Arabs brought this delicacy to Africa in several raids during the seventh to the nineteenth centuries. Dried Beans and Chickpeas Falafel were alternated by local black-eye beans in Africa. This traditional dish was brought  to Bahia by the African slaves to Brazil in colonial times  They are sold under strict policies by the street sellers, the Bahianas who wear their customary white long and embroidered garments and headdresses.
Tabuleiro da Bahiana in the streets of Salvador - Bahiana's board, ph: Pierre Verger
Acarajé and vatapá,  are sold among other delicacies by the Bahianas (women from Bahia) in the street of Salvador, and it's the main attraction on their board (tabuleiro). According to history,  the recipe although not secret, can not be modified. Another dish steeped in local religion, culture and with historical references. 
The Bahianas, who sell acara in the streets of Salvador,  have been given national heritage status. Bahia Acarajé is recognised together with traditional knowledge, production methods and marketing of food called Bahia, made ​​with palm oil, especially acarajé. The production and consumption of food Bahianas Acarajé or Baianas board (tabuleiro da Baiana) are deeply rooted in everyday in the Bahia's population

This recipe is based on the original with a few alterations. 

Acarajé & Vatapa
Makes: about 15-20 canapes ( 1 dessertspoon) per Acaraje

Acarajé dough:
1 large onions onion
1/2kg black-eyed  beans

Salt to taste
oil to deep fry -  ideally, half flavourless oil and half palm oil. 
If you can't find palm oil, use flavourless oil only.

150 g of roasted cashew nuts
• 150g roasted peanuts 
150g dried shrimp
150g of fresh shrimp 
300g stale bread
• 50g freshly grated coconut or shop bought

5 tablespoons of palm oil, or flavourless oil
1 big tomato, skinned, de-seeded
1/2 onion, finely diced
 a handful of  herbs: chives, cilantro, parsley to taste , finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup shrimp broth
• 100ml of coconut milk
100ml milk


Acarajé dough:
1. In a bowl place the beans in water for 24 hours

2.the skins  will separate the grain,
3. Remove the floating skins and blend with the chopped onion until smooth. Salt to taste
4. pour into another bowl and continue whisking well, tapping the help of a wooden spoon, it will stay fluffy
5. fry them in  half oil palm and  and half oil

6. drain on kitchen towel. Reserve.

1. Dice the bread and let the pieces soften in milk and coconut milk
2. Then whisk this mixture in a blender and set aside
3. Blend together the peanut, cashew nuts, shrimp and the coconut. add to bread mix  and shrimp (fish) broth and blend again.
4. Beat well and season to taste

5. In a medium size pan, 5 spoons of palm oil (or flavorless oil), finely diced onions, tomato, bell peppers cook for 5 minutes,

6. place the nut and bread mixture stirring until the bottom of  the pan can be seen when traced it with a wooden spoon.

7. Add the herbs. Reserve.

To serve:
1. Break the  acarajés in half and fill with Vatapá
2. Preferably leave to fry the acarajés before serving

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Coxinha, Brazilian food

Here is an updated on my previously published coxinha recipe for this famous and delectable Brazilian bar/street/party food. Coxinhas are a very popular snack or appetisers in Brazil.  They are served in majority of bars and cafes to accompany drinks or as a quick snack. Or simply as a savoury treat, food on the go or street food. At parties they are presented in bite sizes as canapes. Home-made coxinhas are the best. There are a few variations on the recipe, specially the dough. Some people make with wheat or rice flour others with potatoes.  Other variations include maise in  Minas Gerais and countryside where maise is deemed a traditional ingredient of the countryside and the state of Minas Gerais. There are some unusual variations of the filling such as heart of palm as a vegetarian version.

I keep it very simple and light. Using chicken stock and flour and a very well seasoned filling. They are presented in chicken drumstick shape (or something similar). They are a bit fiddly to assemble to start with but practise makes perfect!

According to wikipedia  the history of coxinha: 'in the book Stories & Recipes, Nadir Cavazin says thаt the son оf Princess Isabel оf Brazil аnd the Count D'Eu, а child whо lived іn seclusion fоr having mental problems hаd а favourite dish, chicken, but оnly ate the thigh. Оne day, nоt having enough thigh, the cook decided tо turn а whole chicken іntо thighs, shredding іt аnd making the filling fоr а flour dough shaped іntо а drumstick. The child endorsed the results аnd Empress Teresa Cristina when she wаs visiting him, cоuld nоt resist the tasty delicacy, she liked іt sо much she requested thаt the master оf the imperial kitchen learn hоw tо prepare the snack. Sо coxinha won the nobility аnd became history.'


  • 750gr chicken breasts (about 4 halves)
  • 1250ml of chicken broth
  • 1  whole carrot
  • 1 finely diced red pepper
  • 2 medium onions, one whole peeled and halved and the other finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • handful of parsley finely chopped
  • spring onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 375 gr of flour
  • 2  large eggs
  • 300gr of breadcrumbs
  • 1l vegetable oil for deep frying
  • salt and pepper to taste 


1) Place the chicken breasts in a large pot. Cover them with the chicken broth, adding water if necessary to make sure the chicken breasts are completely covered.
2) Add the carrot and one of the onions (peeled and halved) as well as the bay leaves.
3) Bring liquid to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.
4) Set chicken aside to cool, and strain the broth. Reserve the broth.
5) Shred the chicken into very small pieces using your fingers.
6) Add the finely chopped onion, the garlic and the red pepper to a pan
7) Sauté them in 2 tablespoons of butter until golden and soft.
8) Add the hot onion  and garlic to the chicken mixture and stir until everything is well mixed. Stir lime juice into the shredded chicken.
9) Measure the chicken broth (you will probably have about 3 cups : 750ml). If you have less than three cups, add more canned chicken broth to make 3 cups ; 750ml. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, lower the heat and and gradually stir in the same amount of flour as you have broth (so if you have 3 cups broth , add 3 cups flour).
10) Stir vigorously and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will become a stiff dough. 
11)Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It will make quite a few bite size coxinhas or about 20 medium size ones (about 8cm tall).
12) To shape the coxinhas, take a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball with oiled hands. Roll it into a ball, then hollow out the middle for the filling.
13) Press a golf ball size (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) piece of the chicken filling inside the ball of dough, and press the dough closed around the filling. Shape into an approximate drumstick shape, flouring hands as necessary. Stand the coxinhas on a plate, so that the pointed end sticks upwards. Continue until you run out of dough or filling.
14) Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate plate and season with salt and pepper.
15) Dip the coxinhas in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Chill the breaded coxinhas for 1 hour.
16) Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the coxinhas. Fry the coxinhas in batches until deep golden brown.
17) Serve them warm.
You will love it too. 
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