10 | Mar | 14

Richard Johnson

File Under Stupid

It’s a discussion worth having — what defines something as ‘street food’? If I cooked a Sunday lunch, and then ran outside with my plate and gravy boat, would I qualify? Or does there have to be a certain ‘style’ to the food? Hawker House in London have taken their traders indoors and shaped them into a concept that’s new and exciting — with spectacular success. They’re trying something similar at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in Leeds. And the new Friday Food Fight in Manchester. Then there’s Trinity Kitchen, where they’re not just going indoors. They’re actually lifting vans, trucks and trailers onto the first floor to ply their trade in a highly-designed food court. For a shift of 28 days. There’s street food appearing in supermarkets, as I wrote here. And there’s street food in restaurants. The hottest openings in the last couple of years all started off on the streets – Meat Liquor, Pizza PilgrimsYum Bun, Homeslice, Patty & Bun and Pitt Cue just for starters. And this summer we’ll have three more — three of the biggest, to boot — at an iconic new central London transport hub. More details to follow. All of the above retain a street food swagger, even if they’re not serving on the street. But how about restaurants with no real street food tradition setting out to serve a ‘street food’ menu? Can it work? A long shot, according to the Independent, who suggest here that we file Lanes of London under ‘Stupid Ideas’.