Berber and Q
The Facts
NAME: The Kitchens
IT'S: A collection of restaurants serving street food in Old Spitalfields Market

13-10-2017

OPENED: October 13th, 2017
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Nuno Mendes of Taberna do Mercado, Stephen Macintosh and Ten Ten
LOCATION: Spitalfields
ADDRESS: 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
Travel To: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street, Aldgate, or Aldgate East
OPENING TIMES: Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm; Saturday: 11am - 6pm; Sunday: 11am - 5pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
FACEBOOK: Visit Facebook
TWITTER: Visit Twitter
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

The Kitchens at Old Spitalfields Market

OPENED October 13th, 2017

The Kitchens at Old Spitalfields Market opens at midday today.

The market has been undergoing a revamp and the first phase is now finished. It’s called The Kitchens and is basically a collection of some of London’s best restaurants, serving street food on the market floor. Exciting stuff.

The Spot:

So the larger revamp is ongoing until 2018, and there will be new market stalls and a new events programme, but forget about all that, because we’re here for the important stuff: the food.

Nuno Mendes, who owns restaurant Taberna do Mercado on the edge of the market (best custard tarts in London, FYI) is involved in this as part of Ten Ten, a creative organisation headed by him and hospitality consultant Stephen Macintosh. Apparently, their vision is that ‘the new market becomes a hub for creative and entrepreneurial talent, serves the local community and celebrates its East End origins.’ Sounds good to us.

The Food and Drinks:

They’ve basically installed ten full working kitchens in units around the market and installed ten traders inside. We’ll be honest and say we were a little cynical about who might be moving into them (oh come on, this could so easily have been a bit of a tourist trap) but oh, have they proved us wrong. Here’s the line-up:

Breddos Tacos: Another place to get your Breddos fix! What is not to like? These guys must be run off their feet right now, what with the new place opening on Kingly Street and now this. We love their Baja fish taco more than life. Here, though, they’re serving BBQ duck, tamarind, piloncillo and burnt onion tacos and we are good with that. We are willing to embrace taco change because that sounds fit.

Berber & Q: Brilliant. We love their loud, in-yer-face grilling palace in Haggerston and we adore their Shawarma Bar, which has sorted us out with many a pitta. If you were wondering what you need to eat next in London then we’re fairly confident it could be their rolled shoulder of lamb Mechoui, blackened chilli sauce and bread and butter pickles on flatbread. That’s like sticking two fingers up to a boring pepperoni pizza. They’re also serving that whole grilled cauliflower from their main restaurant which is one of the best vegetarian dishes in London, full stop.

Bar Barbarian: This is a cool concept from two guys called Hugh Thorn and Luke Clarkson. who are using British seasonal produce but Asian tecnhiques. They’re serving what is arguably the world’s greatest tofu dish — mapo tofu. This is a street food classic from Chengdu, where it was made famous by a woman called Mother Chen, who used to sell it to hungry commuters. If you think you don’t like tofu, or know someone who doesn’t, give them this dish and watch them eat their words.

Dumpling Shack: Yes. Yes yes yes. Dumpling Shack are serving some of the best dumplings in London right now. John Li and Yee Li will be serving the Shengjianbao dumplings they are famous for (pan fried soup dumplings from Shanghai), but also, another Sichuan classic (see also: mapo tofu above) — dan dan mian, or dan dan noodles. We don’t eat this in London often enough. It’s a noodle street food dish topped with a highly savoury topping of minced beef (or pork) which is then mixed together in the bowl by the diner. We love it, and so will you.

Flank: It’s alll about the beef at Flank. This is run by a guy called Tom Griffiths, who is massively into nose-to-tail beef cookery, over open fire. It’s not just beef though, because he’ll also be serving duck. Mallard with fermented peanut, anyone?

Happy Endings: This is your dessert sorted. Who doesn’t like ice cream sandwiches? No one, that’s who. These guys won a Young British Foodie Award for their sweet things, which include ‘the Naughty One’ — salted caramel and miso parfait between fine layers of chocolate Guinness cake.

Rök: These guys are well established in Shoreditch and are bang on 2017 trend with their focus on fermentation. They’re doing classic Scandinavian dishes, but serving them in a street food format, so there’s smoked duck leg in a bun, served with lingonberry jam. They’re also selling mead, which seems to be really taking off this year. Theirs is a low alcohol version, and they’re also doing fennel wine, which sounds like a must-try, even if it’s just to see how weird it is.

Thousand Knives: This is a new venture from the people behind Brilliant Corners, which is a Japanese restaurant in Dalston. They’re doing more Japanese food here, with both a vegan and non-vegan menu and natural wines alongside.

Sood Family: These guys are serving pasta. We are always up for more pasta. On the menu are dishes including amatriciana and radicchio, gorgonzola tortelloni and breakfast brioche buns with guanciale — a beautiful cured product made from pork cheeks. They’re also selling burrata (yes please), other cheeses and cured meats.

Yum Bun: We love these guys and their fluffy sandwiches. Steamed buns are here to stay in London and these guys were some of the first to serve them. They’ve launched a new dish for the market, too: a spiced fried chicken, salted celery slaw and Szechuan mayo bun. Yes.

The Damage:

It’s a sort of hybrid street food/restaurant situation so you’re not going to break the bank. It all depends on how many dishes you eat, of course. Prices start at £4 (Yum Bun, Breddos). Medium-large dishes are £6–10 and desserts £3–5 (Rök, Happy Endings).

In a Nutshell:

This is a really exciting development for Spitalfields. Mendes said, ‘We want to put Old Spitalfields Market back on the map as one of the most exciting and lauded destinations in London. It’s a chance for us to bring Old Spitalfields Market into the modern day, and to celebrate all of the creative people and talent within this pocket of London. In an age where retail is becoming much more impersonal and en masse, we want to re-establish that unique connection between traders and consumers, creating a more rewarding and personalised experience.’

For more places to eat and drink in London, check our interactive map of the newest restaurants and bars.

The Facts
NAME: The Kitchens
IT'S: A collection of restaurants serving street food in Old Spitalfields Market

13-10-2017

OPENED: October 13th, 2017
WHO'S BEHIND IT: Nuno Mendes of Taberna do Mercado, Stephen Macintosh and Ten Ten
LOCATION: Spitalfields
ADDRESS: 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
Travel To: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street, Aldgate, or Aldgate East
OPENING TIMES: Monday - Friday: 11am - 8pm; Saturday: 11am - 6pm; Sunday: 11am - 5pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
FACEBOOK: Visit Facebook
TWITTER: Visit Twitter
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

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