Il Casolare, Grimmstr 30 10967
Cafe Einstein, Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785
Il Casolare, Grimmstr 30 10967
Cafe Einstein, Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785
It’s funny that as street food is such a big deal right now no-one is letting Winter stop them from carrying on with the craze. The latest foodie venture to open is Night Tales, an outdoor pop-up by the people behind Dalston Roof Park. On Friday I went to check it out.
Nestled into a small space in Abbot Street car park (off the road next to McDonald’s on Kingsland Rd), you wouldn’t know it was there unless you were looking for it. Kept warm with plenty of heaters and by letting in as many people as possible, everyone seemed to be in high spirits. One girl was obviously so excited by the new street food destination that she’d rolled around in cutlery and was sporting a fork on the back of her jacket.. (lolz).
While much smaller than its nearby neighbour Street Feast, Night Tales has a certain charm about it, a wintry novelty perhaps. There are only a few stalls offering food and two bars serving drinks. I liked that it had a DJ (the programme changes with line-ups from NTS, House of Disco, Seth Troxler & Vortez Jazz Club) and, potentially, space for dancing, under which a mezzanine area spilled over with revelers.
Lovely people from Patty & Bun serving up beef
Whilst we were tempted by a P&B burger, we ended up going for Smokey Tails’ pulled pork in brioche buns with pickled red cabbage and a side of smoked mac’n’cheese. (There was also BAO steamed pork buns and Rainbo’s gyozas on offer.) The negroni bar was a bit unloved (ice cold drinks at £7.50 a pop are probably not the way to go), but the Hot Toddy (£5) and Hot Spiced Cider (£4.50) went down a treat.
It is slightly disappointing that places such as Night Tales are charging an entrance fee of £3 per person, but the fact of the matter is Dalston foodies will lap it up and pay the cover charge (- the alternative FOMO syndrome doesn’t bear thinking about). I just hope that at least in this case a good proportion of that is going towards a good cause, as Bootstrap Company (Night Tales’ daddy organisation) supports Bootstrap Campus, a project to help young East Londoners get into work.
My advice is get down there early if you can and bagsy a table for your eats. It’s a popular one.
Night Tales, open Thurs-Saturday until 14th Dec
Thurs 6-11pm / Fri 6pm – 12am / Sat 3pm – 12am
Last week S. and I had an impromptu dinner at Barrio East. I had previously been to Angel’s Barrio North on Essex Road and am a fan of its dilapidated/reclaimed vibe (picture a vintage caravan in situ in the bar.) But Shoreditch’s outpost – the word ‘Barrio’ literally translates as ‘neighbourhood’ – has a somewhat slicker aesthetic, albeit nonetheless charming.
As the East version of Barrio actually has more room to breathe it makes more sense as a restaurant than Islington’s, which is more convivial and rum-focussed. The booths are really cosy and the menu of tapas, tacos and nachos mean it’s hard not to order loads of platos to share and fight over.
We had ceviche de salmon (fresh cubes of salmon and prawns marinated in passion fruit, lime juice and dark rum, with red onion and coriander), nanchos with salsa and sour cream, moros y cristianos (Vegetarian version of the classic Cuban rice and beans dish), empanadas & chimichurri (beef and tomato crispy pasties with herb sauce) plus my personal fave, chicarrones & platano frito (Latin style crunchy pork belly with fried plantains and apple and chipotle salsa).
OH and of course we ordered ‘Amigo hour’ cocktails – S. had the ‘Face Planter’ – Kraken spiced rum with pineapple and lime juice, I had the ‘Hawaii-N-Dry’ (pictured) – Ketel One Vodka with grapefruit, guava and lemon juice.
Expect live music and full, happy bellies. Go immediately!
141 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE
I’m really excited about this event which I just found out about via Ms Marmite Lover aka Kerstin Rodgers. Taking place in a two bed flat/garden on the weekend of bonfire night the Underground Farmers and Craft Market offers up a food and crafts stalls, entrepreneurial advice from a foodie ‘dragon’s den’ (on the Saturday), a cocktail bar on the ironing board (I LOVE this) and food demonstrations plus live music from the She’koyohk klezmer band on Friday night and the accordionist Tom Baker on Saturday, as well as Phat Lizzie and her bluegrass players.
This feels really appropriate for its industry and completely down-to-earth without trying to be gimmicky. I’m definitely getting a ticket.
I am not at all religious. I think I attended Sunday School until I was about 7 or 8 when I decided I wasn’t into it. But in today’s culture – which embraces none of the religious doctrines but all of the fun food-related holidays – it seems fine and dandy to dip a toe into the odd religious festival. So while every year my friends are giving up chocolate for the tenth time, I’ve decided that this year I’ll give something up for Lent. Not for any specific reason other than right now I could do with losing some weight and saving some money.
So for the next 40 days I’ll be giving up…. MEAT.
I’m not a huge meat-eater I suppose, but no one could accuse me of cheating. Living with a self-confessed KFC-fancier who doesn’t feel full unless his meal consists of at least 1/3 meat (bar, perhaps, breakfast) I’ve come to realise – the hard way – who you live with can really impact on your meal choices. Especially when said 30-year-old boyfriend has the metabolism most teenagers dream of. So while he chomps down on meat galore, I’m just going to say no.
It feels kind of good knowing that I’m not alone and that it’s still a talking point – most people seem to be giving something up (even if it’s as ridiculous as going without massages for 40 days). And armed with vegetarian recipe books, a cupboard full of lentils and my veggie father on speed dial, I’m intrigued to see how hard this will be..
Wish me luck!
When I first started blogging way back in the February of 2009 I was living in Berlin and was attempting to take the opportunity to do some of the things that I never had time to do in between studying.
Those things included (but were not restricted to):
No mean feat then.
Needless to say I barely got started on this. Once you’ve factored in improving German, attending classes, making friends and writing a dissertation, there wasn’t really much time left for intellectual improvement, never mind colour-coded folders and life plans.
That said, the year abroad did help me to realise that fashion is most definitely the industry for me – I started my blog, started interning and went to my first Fashion Week. But more than that, I fully realised that although I adore writing in particular, I’m really just a creative beast in general.
You see, it was in Berlin that I started blogging, but it was also the time I really started obsessively taking photographs of food.
This is a bit of a bizarre first blog for me, but I only just remembered this today because of the competition NOWNESS are running at the moment called ‘Fantastic Food’. Readers are uploading pictures of ‘decadent dishes’ and then everyone votes for their favourites…
“The top ten most popular photographs will be included in a NOWNESS guide on Foodspotting.com and reviewed by our panel of judges, which includes chef April Bloomfield (of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and The John Dory), food artist Jennifer Rubell, restaurateur Frank Falcinelli (co-creator of Frankies Spuntino and Prime Meats), Swallow magazine editor James Casey, and Foodspotting.com’s Fiona Tang. The panel and NOWNESS will select the winning image, to be showcased in a feature on the site—placing the photographer in the esteemed company of NOWNESS contributors considered to be among the world’s leading image-makers.”
You can upload your competition entries until Wednesday 22nd December. Until then, here’s a selection from my personal archives…
(It’ll also give you an opportunity to get used to my *superb* photographic skills)