Before I left the house, I was given this warning: “Whatever you do… keep your phone and belongings safe when you’re in Lewisham.” I will confess that I took this advice with a truckload of salt as my thoughts of the place were also a little foreboding.
However, after my ‘viewtiful’ ride on the DLR through the metropolis of Canary Wharf and the tranquil Heron Quays, I exit Lewisham station to what felt like an upcoming extension of that London beauty. The construction sites hint its early stages, but it was a breath of fresh air to see that Lewisham is showing less inclination as a place to fear. This is even more evident when you arrive at Street Feast’s Model Market – known for transforming derelict spaces into vibrant food environments – it was heart-warming to see how Street Feast had revived this market’s history, culture and purpose by bringing together a lovely community vibe and atmosphere in the name of food and booze. Some may view it as gentrification… but each to their own.
This was my second foodventure with Foodpunk Joe and his merry missus as we tackled various food stalls and made some fun memories, have a gander at the experiences below!
Creating a convincingly authentic and makeshift Izakaya styled food den, Nanban participated in this event bringing a tantalizing menu to the scene. This was my first time tasting the legendary jackfruit known to be the fruit that can replace meat with its chewy texture and unsweetened taste. This fruit was served to me as jackfruit karaage (meaning deep fried), and the verdict is strange since I’m not entirely sure what I tasted… but I know it was darn good. I would describe the bite as a chewy pineapple while savoury flavours of fleshy cheese and fruity chicken came to mind… forgive me if you are as baffled as I was but I promise you it was lovely. The traditional Japanese chicken karaage on the other hand was a little overcooked though still tasty and the honey miso and scotch bonnet miso sauces unfortunately didn’t bring much justice either.
Up in my Grill
These guys truly are all about the grill. Sweating out perfect cuts of steak varying from chuck to ribeye on roaring charcoaled grills, it really does excite your palate as you order. They ran out of shin nuggets but we were still able to sample the main shebang of the meats with their £12 steak plate.
Getting to the chow down, the steak’s texture was perfect and the juices flowed beautifully but, chef or no chef, the moment the meat hits your tonsils you can tell that it needed salt. I felt they were a bit too reliant on the chimichurri relish, though a very beautiful addition with its fragrant and herbaceous pesto-like taste, the lack of punch in the succulent meat still couldn’t be ignored. Luckily the oregano fries were very moreish.
It was an interesting visit to the Caribbean wonder Mama’s Jerk as Foodpunk Joe had reviewed these guys in the past, so when we asked the chef if he recognised him, after a minute of mental speculation and reminiscing – we got a discount on the fried plantain! Along with our freebie we ordered two roti wraps (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), and some jerk chicken wings. The roti wraps were very filling and full of tropical flavours. Their wings were on steroids, they may as well have been thighs! But still donned that classic jerk taste with its slightly fiery kick. The fried plantain were chunky and well done – personally I prefer them oily, thin and crispy but these were still good stuff!
Finally, after three hours of food and our stomachs pushing their limits, we ended our evening stopping by the local hip hop favourite – SE Cakery to satisfy our sweet tooth. With mountains of brownies on the desk to tempt you in all things chocolate, we succumbed to the brownie stack along with a cheeky Nutella brownie bar as a side dish. We would have ordered the bronuts too but they sold out – please don’t judge us! You can tell why their brownie bars are award winners from the first mouthful; sweet, moist and chocolatey – everything you want in a brownie. The brownie stack was also good (though the brownie itself was a little tough) and visually stunning, apparently their ice tea is great too. Alas we were too full to finish but it was a lovely dessert.
A great day and a great time, big shout out to Street Feast for creating a great venue filled with good food, drink, culture and good vibes. I hope to visit the other venues soon!