London Street Food market operator Street Feast, which operates Hawker House in Rotherhithe and Giant Robot in Canary Wharf, has opened its fifth London venue, Public, in Woolwich Indoor Market.
Described by Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey as a Street Food Stadium, the 86-year-old former covered market in south-east London has been transformed into an indoor street restaurant featuring an arched rainbow roof, two mezzanine levels and a large ground floor area which attracted 4,000 people on its opening weekend and seems likely to become a major South East London eating destination.
Eight food traders and numerous bars have been recruited to operate in the space which will open every Friday from 5pm and every Saturday from noon.
Dough is made from scratch on-site and toppings include pork sausage, mozzarella, fresh basil, broccoli, tomato sauce and courgettes.
“We wanted it to be good quality and organic without being expensive and to do it from scratch in front of people’s eyes and make them smile,” said Vito.
Ink, a crispy squid bar, was founded 18 months ago by Lucy Mee and has hit on the millennial pink trend. Instagrammers love these plates of crispy squid, which come with a choice of pastel coloured mayos.
“I did a dissertation at Leeds University about how food has become this sexy thing and people take photos of it,” says Lucy. “So I wanted to incorporate design in my food.”
She and boyfriend Joshua Paterson already run successful street food company Bill Or Beak and saw the gap in the market for squid as no-one was doing it.
The business started at Street Feast’s Model Market venue and are also at Hawker House.
A classic plate of crispy salt and pepper Szechuan squid comes with soy dressing and black garlic mayo (£10). Fillet O’Fish (£8) is a fish burger with American cheese, pickles and tartare sauce with fries available for an extra £2.
And they have launched an exclusive dish at Public – fish nuggets with sweet chilli glaze and lime salt, served with hand-cut chips (£7).
Lucy said: “I love street food because you can make restaurant quality dishes, sometimes better, and people can eat it on a little table in front of a fire for a lower price.”
They also do a kids portion (£4.50) and fries with curry sauce (£4)
Henhaus is a rotisserie chicken stand which cooks in front of its customers. The birds rotate on the spit and available as a quarter (£5), half (£9) or whole (£15) bird.
Henhaus company is an offshoot of Camden street food traders Steakhaus.
Owner Lily Bovey said: “Rotisserie chicken was actually my original idea. We have created a marinade we send to our butchers so the chickens are marinated for quite a long time. And then it is all about timing to make sure they are cooked to perfection.”
Lily (25) is originally from West Sussex, but worked in PR and bars before quitting her job to try her hand at street food. Now living in Haggerston she said: “I have always loved to cook and just decided to go for it and here we are three years later.”
They also serve up chicken bombers in Japanese panko breadcrumbs (£5), zingy slaw and rosemary salted chips (£3 each).
Lava Bar is the only place in London you can get their particular style of melt-in-the-middle filled doughnuts. The product is reportedly a new concept from the people behind Dinerama-based You Doughnut and stall manager Mollie Parker, 25, describes them as: “Hot doughnut bites made with our classic dough and with two fillings.
“They take a lot longer than our traditional doughnut as we have to make the cookie dough and truffles that go inside and roll them up.”
Lava offer Double Choc (£6) filled with cookie dough and molten chocolate topped with cornflake crunch and chocolate sauce; or the Salted Caramel (also £6) made with molten cinnamon fudge and topped with peanut brittle and salted caramel sauce.
Doughnuts are made fresh in five minutes and come with a scoop of cereal milk ice-cream.
Salt Shed’s owners Londoners Laurence Stevens and Francis Sweeney were best friends at school and began curing salt beef at University to impress their friends. They decided to turn their hobby into a job and the proud Londoners are now on a mission to recreate and develop the East End flavour of salt beef using modern cooking styles and cuts of meat.
Although they use a traditional salting method, as well as brisket they also salt finer cuts of beef short rib, which they then sous-vide low and slow until tender, and follow with an aggressive Argentinian style flame grill. They serve it with honey mustard glaze, chilli-churri and mixed fries (£10).
Frank says: “We are both from south east London and saw this as a great opportunity to be part of the project to rejuvenate the area and turn the old Public Woolwich into something special.”
Other items on the menu include a butterflied lamb steak with a rosemary garlic marinade, chilli sauce, mint yoghurt and fries (£12); crackling pigs tails with honey mustard glaze (£5); cauli cheese (£6), fried olives with pesto, yoghurt and chili dip (£5) and mixed fries made from potatoes and carrots (£3.50).
Owner Craig Povoas set up Burger And Beyond four and a half years ago and is also part of Street Feast venues Giant Robot and Dinerama in Shoreditch as well as Kerb Camden and Camden’s Daughter in Kentish Town.
“Street Feast is a great thing to be part of a leader in the pack of what it does,” he said.
Burgher and Beyond serves prime beef patties with cuts of chuck, prime rib and sirloin in every burger.
The menu includes two burgers with 45-day aged patties – The Hot Mess (£8) with pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, chipotle mayo and the Cheeseburger (£7) with double American cheese, onions, smokey mayo. The ultimate indulgence is The BBB (Bacon Butter Burger, £10) — a 90-day aged patty with double American cheese, crispy bacon, burnt butter mayo and onion. Waffle fries with secret sauce (£3) and deep-fried Parmesan tater tots with crispy bacon shards (£6) are available as side orders.
Yum Bun and Yumplings is a Street Feast veteran which also trades at Giant Robot where Yum Buns offers traditional steamed buns stuffed with slow-roasted pork belly, Japanese fried chicken, crispy cod or crispy tofu. Yumplings adds steamed dumplings to the menu which are filled with pork, xian-style sauce and sesame seeds or mushrooms, roasted cashews and green oil.
Street Vin is 21 year old Bartender Michela Risso’s operation and while originally from Piedmont in northern Italy, known for its Barolo she only became interested in the wine businesswhen she moved to the UK.
Now a Brixton resident she works full-time serving up glasses of red, white, rose and fizz from across the world.
Her pick of her wine list is the Wild Boy Chardonnay (£45/bottle): “I love the creaminess and the toasty notes. It’s very versatile with the food traders we have here.”
At the Market Bar you can taste the likes of Frontier, Cornish Orchards Cider, Kozel, Spaten, Goose Island Midway and Sierra Nevada on draught (£4.75-5.85); Corona, Pacifico Clara, Goose 312 Wheat Ale, Budweiser Prohibition in bottles and cans (£3-5.50); as well as highballs of Elderflower Spritz and Tequila Limeade (£8) and Pint Sized Cocktails (£10).
Gin Kitchen does what is says and meets the latest drinks craze. Choose from Bombay Sapphire, Star of Bombay, Sipsmith, Miller’s W, Tanqueray, Plymouth Navy, Tanqueray 10, Death’s Dor, Juniper and West Winds (£7-8). Or step up to get a Negroni (£7.50), Golden Americano (£8) or Direct Martini (£9) cocktail.
After gin, rum is said to be next and Rumhole is already in the space serving cocktails like the Zombie (£12), Mai Tai (£8.50) and Giant Pina Colada (£15)
The Union Bar Pool Deck offers that traditional combo of both pool and drinks, great for an after work meeting on a Friday or an afternoon/evening sesh on Saturdays.
Public, Plumstead Road, London, SE18 7BZ; 5pm-late Friday and Saturday from noon.