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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Markets & Feasts

All my ultimately favourite things appear to be squeezed into a grotty old 1950's market area in Lewisham (who'd have thought it?!), and I couldn't be happier at a discovery that I wish was my own! Model Market is brought to us by Street Feast, who have sporadically set up various (and fabulous) micro diners in quirky locations around town, but whose home has predominantly been based at Dalston Yard, before their SE13 awakening.

Come rain or shine every Friday and Saturday nights between 17:00 - 01:00, you can expect a delectable array of street food traders who have each set up camp in their own crumbling corner of the had-been market - each hole in the wall every bit a miniature vibrant dining room as much as it is a busy and curious culinary pitstop! Entry is free before 19:00 and you will probably see a few hip families getting involved early on, but as the night creeps on and the sun sets, the crowds grow, the fire pits are lit (yes, you will smell like a woodburner tomorrow and yes, every inch of smelly clothing is worth it!), and the funky beats from Winyl permeate around the market as the transient revellers all digest their feast, oaked Chardonnay in hand! Incidentally, Winyl's retro wine bar is a pretty ideal place to catch up with your mates if you're lucky enough to find a seat.

I usually expect to pay around £6 per hearty meal at the average food truck, so I was fearful that not only would I end up skint, but that I'd need to be rolled out on a bariatric stretcher if I wanted to try more than one foodstuff! Much to my endless delight though, each micro diner served small tapas-style portions for around £3 - £4.50, which then gave me ample license to gorge (eat your heart out Augustus Gloop!). I stopped at five vendors (actually, four if you minus my second portion of hirata bun from Yum Bun!), though not through choice. They don't call it a feast for nothing eh!

After sourcing a cold beer at the bar and getting our bearings, we headed for a starter of BBQ chicken tikka naan sliders at Rola Wala (£3.50 for one or £9 for a trio), which proved to be a mouthwatering start to our blowout feed. Tempura prawn and pork belly hirata buns came up next at Yum Bun for a similar price, then I almost died over a mac 'n' cheese toastie from Grill My Cheese at only £4 for a mini portion (you can go large if you so choose, but my desire to eat everything in the market forbid me from binging on so much cheese on this occasion!). To add to the carb fest, I supplemented all of the above with one of my favourite sides of fried plantain from Mama's Jerk, before collapsing in a gluttonous stupor amidst a log burning smokey haze! No longer could I squeeze in the beer, so I swapped for a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Winyl and learned a little about the humble grape from the in-the-know-and-willing-to-share bartender. Let's not get started on the Rum Shack...

Will I be going back? YES (before it ends on 27 September). Can't wait. I'll be taking everyone I know...

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