Street food makes a world of difference

  • Food and Drink
Street food makes a world of difference


Tue, 30/08/2016 - 15:07


Camden Market has become a thriving street food hub
Camden Market has become a thriving street food hub
30 August, 2016

CAMDEN Lock is a tourist hotspot, but most locals shun the crowds – especially if they want to eat out. 

Some takeaway food – picture-boxes of tired noodles – was unremarkable. You had to hunt hard to find the hidden gems.

Now a controversial overhaul of the traders has transformed its appeal, with the owners offering a pitch to 35 of the most exciting food vendors in London. 

KERB, a hip collective of street food traders, has taken over management of the food stalls in the West Yard. 

Camden Brewery is also helping to run a new open-air bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. 

Some familiar faces remain, but there’s been a fresh injection of new talent. Make no mistake, this is big news for anyone interested in food. 

Fans of the street food scene would typically need to travel far and wide to sample these wares. 

The nearest KERB outpost was down on King’s Boulevard in King’s Cross, where around eight traders would typically strut their stuff. 

Now Camden Market has become the street food hub, although these traders have swapped their vans for a permanent pitch – which does diminish the romance somewhat, if you ask me. 

We shouldn’t overlook, too, some of the other established food and drink businesses on the market. Half Hitch Gin are distilling their spirits on a site that was once the epicentre of London’s gin trade. Chin Chin Labs do a roaring trade in their nitro wacky ice creams. 

KERB at Camden Market has only been open for a fortnight, but I’ve already popped down twice – once with my family, another for a quick lunch when cycling by. 

The quality and diversity is mind-blowing, from Pakistani filled naans to Filipino barbecue burgers. 

“You could eat something different every day for a month and you still wouldn’t have tried everything,” says Charlie Nelson from Fundi Pizza. 

So far, top marks to Square Root, who concoct exquisite fresh fruit sodas in flavours such as pineapple, grapefruit and lime. 

The Mexican food at Luardos is a humdinger. I can still savour the complex flavours of their torta, a crisp toasted roll stuffed with roast pork, black beans, pink onions, salsa verde, cheese, fresh herbs and chilli. 

But not all of the wonders are confined within the four walls of West Yard. The quality you’ll find at La Tua Pasta in Camden Lock Place is simply sensational. They supply fresh pasta to many top restaurants. Here, choose from around half a dozen. Wild boar tortelloni with mushroom sauce and parmesan was faultless. 

I did get the giggles, though, at the diners on the next table – two young Italian tourists. They could have sampled food from every corner of the world at KERB 

Camden Market, but couldn’t resist pasta with pesto. 

Camden Market
West Yard
Chalk Farm Road, NW1

• KERB Camden Market is open seven days a week: 11am-6pm on Monday to Thursday; 11am-10pm on Friday and Saturday; and 11am-7pm on Sunday. The bar is open Friday and Saturday only, 6pm-10pm.

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