Eating Our Way Through Street Feast: Hawker House

Sunday, 5 June 2016

We'd been planning our trip to Hawker House for just under a month. I'd been sending Jack pictures of fat, succulent ribs charred and glistening; filthy stacks of nachos, nestled under slow-cooked brisket and bedecked with sour cream and hot and sharp jalapeƱos; and Willy Wonka-esque ice creams, topped with torched, fluffy marshmallow.

It happened to be a coincidence that on the Friday evening when we wandered our way east, bellies groaning in anticipation, London had also decided to roll out the most delicious of Summer evenings. We decided to enjoy the soft air and take the 45 minute walk from our flat near Borough Market to Canada Water. I wore open-toed sandals and Jack went without a jacket. Small, but very resolute, gestures to begin our Summer in the capital.

Hawker House is one of Street Feast's four locations. Under the huge roof of a car park, a collection of vendors specialising in particular cuisines - or hell, just really owning one very specific dish - grill, fry, flip and stir up paper dishes of stripped-back, simple but absolutely sumptuous street food and share it with hundreds of people over the evening. The venue fills up, and quickly, and the place jumps with atmosphere, sways with eager queues and buzzes with the satisfied hum of punters sinking their teeth into one delicious dish after another. Fires are lit, beers are poured and London starts its Summer in the utmost of style.

We tried as much as we possibly could. Starting with Smokestak Pork Ribs (the best I have ever, and I mean ever, had. I couldn't even bring myself to pause for a picture), Nachos from Club Mexicana, Bang Bang Shrimp from Prawnography, tender Steak, chips and gravy from Meat Hook and Hot Chocolate topped with blazed marshmallow and liquid-nitrogen mixed Sticky Toffee Pudding from Chin Chin Labs. We could've dined happily on the ribs alone, and if you go, you must buy them for the sake of your happiness. Sit down and eat them, slowly, by candlelight. Roll your eyes with an oh-my-god-how-good-are-these-ribs expression at the stranger sitting next to you. If they've had them, they'll get it.

Our evening was a haze. Of food and heat and too much beer. We took the tube home, suffering from first-wear-of-the-summer sandal blisters. I was asleep before 10.30pm, tipsy on food and happiness and the second beer. I think you can tell I recommend this place. Take your friends, take your lover, take your parents. Go, eat your fill, be happy.

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