Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Evening Standard Night Market, which kicked off London Food Month, and it was an amazing experience from top to bottom! The Night Market was located in Perks Field, a beautifully manicured green expanse sandwiched in between Kensington Palace and Hyde Park – not a bad spot to be, if you ask me. Running from June 7th to 18th, the Night Market also offers an outdoor cinema and live music, in addition to over 40 stalls of diverse and delicious food.
As soon as I walked onto the premises, I felt as if I had come upon Coachella for foodies! The décor looked like a blogger’s Pinterest board come to life. There were antique mirrors and cheerful pops of colour everywhere, huge beanbags to recline on, and cute little domes filled with pillows you could hideaway in to eat your food in peace. Even the food stalls themselves were all decorated wonderfully, some painted with loud colours to grab your attention and others operating out of artistically painted trucks. But enough about décor, let’s focus on what’s really important – food! And boy, did I eat a lot. Thankfully I had a friend with me to help share some of the food, but by the end of the evening, we had to pretty much roll ourselves out of there!
The first stall we hit up was SMOKESTAK, where they were serving up barbequed meat from the 2.5 ton smoker they’d gotten all the way from Texas. We tried the brisket with chips and pickles, and the pork ribs, both of which were slathered in their special sauce. The brisket was so tender it was nearly falling apart, and combined with the fresh pickles and spicy chilies, it was a party for my taste buds. The ribs were amazing as well, as they were super meaty and the sauce dripped all over your fingers just waiting to be licked off. For our first stop, we were happy campers!
While doing a couple of rounds around the venue to check out all the different stalls and see what caught our eye, we stumbled upon KraPow LDN, drawn in by the mouth-watering smells wafting from their tent. The people working there were kind enough to let us try some of their food for free, but after one taste, we ordered a whole portion of their KraPow Moo, a minced pork and basil stir fry, served on top of a heap of rice and covered by a fried quail egg. It was spicy, warm, and utterly delicious. Though KraPow doesn’t have a permanent location in London yet, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them on the street food circuit!
For our third and fourth dish, we tried Raclette and the CHOP BAR by Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. I’ve been dying to try Raclette for a long time, and they did not disappoint. Raclette is both a Swiss cheese and the name of the dish I tried, which involves melting down a wheel of Raclette cheese and scraping it onto a helping of potatoes, pickles and onions. A tray of melted cheese on potatoes? You bet I ate the whole thing! The food at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen was amazing as well. After not being able to decide on all the enticing options, we ordered a plate of everything, which included jollof rice, fried chicken, kelewele (spiced and fried plaintain), red red beans, and fried okra, all of which pretty much just melted in our mouths.
I had a fabulous time at the Night Market, though the waistband of my pants wasn’t thanking me! I’m glad we got to try so many different cuisines, and that every dish we ate was just as yummy as the last one. Now I know of a few more awesome restaurants to eat at in London that I wouldn’t have previously known about, and I can’t wait to go back! Tickets are still on sale for the Night Market, as it’s on for another week, so definitely check it out if you’ve got the chance. For more information on the Night Market, click here.