04 | Jul | 23

Richard Johnson

Northern Soul!

Whether it was parking up on C4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch or cooking up samosa chaat on BBC Radio Leeds, it was clear that people were interested in the Northern heats of the 2023 British Street Food Awards. With good reason. Oi Dumplings from Marsden took home the Champion’s trophy with their AMAZING handmade fish dumplings, threaded with dill, and served with a rice wine dipping sauce on the side. Syiok-Lah from Sheffield took home the People’s Choice with their EXTRAORDINARY Nasi Lemak. That’s Malaysian comfort food with coconut rice, pandan leaves, lemongrass, ginger and shallots, served up with acar pickled vegetables, anchovies, peanuts, egg, and sambal chilli sauce. Both now go to London (early bird tickets on sale NOW) for the grand finals of the British Street Food Awards and, if they win, to the grand finals of the European Street Food Awards in Germany.

The results in full:

Judges’ Choice
1. Oi Dumpings
2. Syiok-Lah
3 Taco Or Don’t

People’s Choice
1. Syiok-Lah
2. Twisted Kitchen
3. Back-a-Yard

There were other stars in the firmament this weekend at Leeds Dock. Taco Or Don’t, for instance, who came with a laudable proposition – to make their own tortillas. And BOY was it worth it. A world of difference from the commercial offering down the cash and carry. Their innovative approach to flavours, introducing pear and pineapple, makes them ones to watch in 2024. The same goes for The Twisted Kitchen with their goat spring rolls – and a sweet gravy that won all the judges over. Plus Back-A-Yard and their Red Stripe jerk chicken. Finger lickin, all of it.

It was one heck of a weekend. Featuring dragon boat racing, a truck pull, kids rides and DJs sets from Released Records and Fearns, plus street culture from Speak To The Streets and Fresh Jive Events. With a celebrity judging panel (including Will Lockwood, the Michelin-starred chef from Roots in York, ex-champion of the British Street Food Awards AND the European Street Food Awards Ranie Sirah, and Jonathan Harris from the Yorkshire Food Guide) – and YOU voting for the People’s Choice – it was certainly one NOT to miss.

Other highlights included Roco BBQ with their killer birria; those amazing doughy bases of the House Of Langos; the freshly-made guacamole and salsa from the Mexican Pilgrim; Monster Grill and those burgers, with a classic 80/20 ratio of chuck to fat; Mario’s Portuguese steak sandwiches, sliced thin but thick with flavour; and Rita’s Indian exquisite chaat – home-cooking at its best. And what about those ingenious vegan fish and chips from Saving Nemo? Made from marinated tofu. Although the team must have been getting a LITTLE tired of explaining that To-fish wasn’t an actual fish by the end of the weekend. Next up? The Scottish Street Food Awards. See you in Edinburgh!