26 | Feb | 14

Richard Johnson

Pure Imagination

Street food has a few advantages over restaurant food — being able to show “the process” for instance. Traders can whet a crowd’s appetite by showing everything from prep to plate-up. All the mixing, ladling, chopping, searing, frying and grilling. But, with no swing door to hide behind, it’s harder to create an element of surprise in your food. Everything is on show. On a recent family outing — for tea at One Aldwych — it made me realise how much I miss that surprise. With the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory high tea. Just to hear the family go ‘Oooooh’ as dish after dish arrived — from decadent golden eggs to the rhubarb and custard flavoured candy floss — made it all really special. Every item reflected the wonder of Roald Dahl’s story. Wit is vital. It’s lovely to see on the streets too, whether we’re talking about Jez’s van at The Bowler. Or the arm wrestling Mussel Men and What The Dickens. More please!