25 | Oct | 23

Richard Johnson

New Dawn

Wow! What an opening weekend. A glorious autumnal afternoon in Chiswick, sharing the Old Market Place with friends and family – and a plateful of food. Feedback was VERY positive. Thank you to the London Borough of Hounslow for giving Food St. a chance – for three months at least. Thank you to the people who came to support the venture – and then continued on to support the other businesses on the High Road.

Thank you to The George IV in Chiswick for letting us use their facilities – all day. Without a word. And to give traders access to their water. Thank you to Blue Collar for their top-end production. Great generator work. And thank you to Team Johnson, for quality litter picking and non-stop Food St. sweatshirt wearing. More of the same please (including the sunshine) when we go again for Food St Market November.

And, finally, thank you to the traders – a lovely bunch of people who totally GET hospitality. Surely there’s a British Street Food Awards winner among them for 2024? Stay tuned.

1. Mr Pig Stuff
Iain’s favourite colour is orange. Stevie likes house music and QPR. Together they are Mr Pigstuff – famous for slightly mad banter round London markets. And their Dirty Mac. “People love it” says Iain. “It’s an amazing version of a family favourite – a griddled mac and cheese dish topped with 14-hour slow cooked pork. Our regulars will travel to eat it.” Finalists at the British Street Food Awards.

2. The Mjolk Float
Joe and Chris – friends and very chilled out owners of The mjolk float – want to bring the Swedish ‘FIKA’ culture to the people. In Ebba the milk float. “Really taking time to stop, socialise, enjoy a cinny bun” they say. “That’s what we want to try and recreate when people visit the Mjölk Float.” And that’s what they brought to Chiswick High Road for the October 22 opening of Food St. And maybe win Best Dessert at the 2024 British Street Food Awards along the way?

3. Bombayish
Our never ending hunt for the best street food traders in the UK – for the British Street Food Awards and now Food St – is always turning up new talent. Like the married couple behind Bombayish, who travel to India every year – to visit their parents, yes, but also to bulk buy all their spices. “We love buying our spices from their place of origin” says Dana.
Trading less than a year the couple have done well to graduate to four wheels already. “We cook all our food fresh in our van. We have equipped her with all the equipment we need to serve our delicious food. Our wrap is particularly special to us, as it was designed by our daughter. Both our children take a keen interest in supporting our new venture – it’s definitely a family affair!”
Any advice to new street food traders? “Be prepared to work long hours” says Dana. “There’s no such thing as a ‘day off’, because on those days you’ll be prepping for your next job. Forget your weekends, as you’ll be working most of them. Expect to be extremely humbled and grateful when your customers tell you how much they love your food. When you’re exhausted, the adrenaline will keep you going!“

4. Hermanos Taco House
Food trends come and go. Wine coolers. The spork. Edible flowers. But good food never goes out of fashion. Check out Hermanos Taco House. White corn soft taco shells topped with baby gem, smoky ground beef cooked with chipotle and guajillo chillies ?️ diced red onion, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime. ? We’ll be bringing Hermanos’ sister businesses to the market before Christmas, so get ready for Guasa with their arepas, and the awesome sliders ? of Mr Pork. ?

5: Ugly Dumpling – nothing ugly about these exquisite, handmade little parcels of flavour. Currently leading the way on the London dumpling scene…

6: Potjie Man
He’s a London institution – and a two-time British Street Food Awards finalist. So of COURSE we want Nick and his Cape Malay flavours for Food St. Signature dish? His 12-hour Welsh lamb. “I use a dry rub of toasted mustard seeds, peri peri powder, garlic, oregano, rosemary and black pepper. Then slow roast it for 12 hours with garlic, onions, white wine and chicken stock. Results are extremely tender and flavoursome.” Even though he says so himself. “Served with my famous fragrant Cape Malay curry sauce, on a bed of yellow rice with added piri piri, cashew sour cream, toasted almonds and coriander to balance all the flavours together. I have some customers who literally haven’t missed one of my markets in three years just because they can’t get enough of my lamb. Another customer from Turkey came back from his holiday to my market in Piccadilly and said that my lamb is the only food in London he misses when he’s away.”

7: The Whistling Oyster
Chiswick’s very own independent fishmonger joined Food St to serve up oysters and fizz. From a trike. Don’t you know….Chin chin!

8. Ma Ma Boutique Bakery – Gluten free bakery
What makes a baker special is not only their regard for recipes, but also insistence on the best ingredients. That way they’ve no need for the ‘mould inhibitors’ or ‘crumb softeners’ you’ll so often find in commercial loaves because the bread is made on the day it’s sold. That’s what happens at Ma Ma Boutique Bakery from the Hammersmith end of Chiswick High Road who joined us for the opening Food St market.

Marzena and Nigel run Chiswick’s only dedicated gluten-free bakery. And it’s a bit special. “We blend tradition with innovation, creating new, feel-good classics” says Marzena. “We believe that bread should be made the old-fashioned way, using only natural ingredients from the finest sources and long fermentation methods without compromising on taste or texture.”

9. Mari Deli & Dining
We’ve been BEGGING Mari Deli and Dining to come and trade with us at Food St. We knew the authentic Italian deli and restaurant, situated on the corner of Eyot Gardens – a picturesque and peaceful residential road in Chiswick Mall – would be a PERFECT addition. Well…..they only went and said YES! ?
For the past six years, the independent, family-run business has served their riverside neighbourhood impeccably. With Marina, the famous Fiat 500 Giardinetta – open trunk stuffed with colourful fruit and vegetables – parked up outside.
Over the years, Marina has become a local celebrity. She even graced the BBC News on Coronation Day – a testament to the captivating allure she possesses. Unfortunately she wasn’t roadworthy enough to join us on Chiswick High Road on October 22 – but stay tuned for future plans….

10. Oh My Dog Hot Dogs – One of the current superstars of London’s hot dog scene. “London’s hottest dogs” according to the website. They offered up “six inches of London’s finest” when they traded at Food St. Rude to say no.

11: Avila London – Venezuelan kings of arepa and (look them up) patacon, pabellon and tequenos. And regular finalists at the British Street Food Awards.

12: Naakaa Foodiescorner – HUGELY exciting food adventurist serving up fusion goodness from a cart.

13: Suya Boiz – Big Big Naija Flava. Which meant Nigerian barbecue, with skewered beef suya with jollof rice, fufu and fried plantain. Wow.

14. L’Amuse Bouche – who specialise in crepes and galettes – sweet and savoury. With a twist!