This Friday just gone saw the realisation of a months-long dream… we FINALLY made it to the wonder that is Dalston Street Feast. We arrived with the edgy horde in their weirdest and most wonderful attire, and were warmly ushered in by two friendly girls with too-short fringes and nose-rings. (Entry before 7pm is free, and is a huge £3 afterwards!) We made our way through the big warehouse door and were hit by an assault to the senses in the form of bright fairy lights, a contagious atmosphere of excitement, the beat of chilled music and chatter, smoke curling from the makeshift stoves and a multitude of mouthwatering aromas. Reminiscent of Singapore's hawker markets, the place seemed to be alive. We were quite literally taken aback and pulled ourselves together to make the impending decision of where on earth to start. So, obvs, we chose the Rum Shack, well, because rum. Crowded by a throng rather than a queue ('queueing isn't cool' reassures their sign) and were pretty damn pleased with our decision. Cue the most delicious, creamy piña colada this side of Mexico, perfectly frothy and better still, in a pineapple! We were also handed a refill, leading us to think we had died and gone to heaven. These cocktails (we also tried the Añejo Hiball which was a refreshing mix of lime juice, ginger beer, triple sec to compliment the serious lashings of rum) packed quite the punch - a few of these sent us on our way.
Next priority: food. We hightailed it next door to Killer Tomato, where they were serving up some incredible veggie fare. The deep-fried avocado (vampire?!) taco instantly caught our eye, and good thing it did! This was possibly the most droolworthy, melt in your mouth flavour explosion you could imagine, and was perfectly balanced and perfectly addictive. We had to drag ourselves away before we ate the entire stall, and moved on to some sticky goodness at Yum Bun: pillowy white dough encapsulating succulent pork belly with hoisin for B and fragrant coriander lime shrimp for H. Things then descended into a hunt for the ideal cocktail - contenders were the Cocktail Shed, the Gin Store and the rooftop Tequila Bar (which would've won it on the location alone). Wanting something refreshing, Billie got a Floradora gin concoction fresh with raspberries and mint, Emily tried a fragrant fizzy Brits Spritz and Hannah got a Frontier craft lager.
Then it was food's turn again. Sally was lured in by the promise of some authentic jerk chick, while the rest of us meandered towards the Chilean and Indian street food stands. Rola Wala dealt out some coriander chicken to 'tikka' Billie's fancy, and Hannah and Emily were enticed back to the crab shack we walked past on the way in. B.O.B.'s Lobster served up some exquisite lemony crab mayo on mini brioche - H was lusting after the lobster mac 'n' cheese but by this point we were all bursting at the seams. We may be going back to rectify this.
The beauty of Street Feast is that everything is palm- (portion) sized, and will only set you back around £3.50 per plate, which allowed us to completely avoid the painstaking decision-making process: we could get everything! And there really were tastes from every corner of the globe. Also, guzzle more than your fair share of scrumptious cocktails, and then head to Pizza Pilgrims in a booze-fuelled binge and burn your mouth on some garlicy portobello mushroom and truffle pizza - it is SO worth it. (And only £6, for the whole thing… madness).
Whilst this is (tragically) a seasonal affair, finishing on the 27th September (that's 2 weekends still to visit!), its winter counterpart (Hawker House) raises its head out of hibernation soon - find out more on their website.