So it finally happened. I was hired for two jobs this week – a part time waitress at a second, more established hospitality company in London; and a shop assistant in a large supermarket chain. It felt time to celebrate, and fortunately, the Streatham Food Festival happened to fall this weekend.
Any way, there’s a range of events going on over the next couple of days, but the one that most captured my interest was the ‘food tour’. They’d arranged with 20 restaurants around Streatham to do a special cheap taster menu for the festival, with each dish ranging from £2-£5, and people were to hop from place to place, trying new things and types of cuisine.
Now I’m never one to turn down a free (well, close enough) meal, so leaflet in tow, me and my other half went striding into the midst of it.
The restaurant we chose first, one we had in fact had our eye on for a looong time, was ‘The Hideaway Jazz Cafe’. Behind it, there lies a jazz bar, but right on the street there is a cafe that serves from early in the morning to late into the night. They’d laid on quite a gourmet sounding menu, and eyes wide with excitement, we picked the:
‘Confit Pork Shoulder with Smoked Eel and Poached Quail Egg Hollandaise’
(Excuse the less than spectacular photography. Once again, phone was running out of battery.)
Any way…delicious. Smoky, flavourful, just the right amount for a taster dish for us to share. I could ramble on, but I know little about food beyond whether it tastes good, its burnt or its cold. Either way, this was possibly one of my favourite dishes of the whole evening.
We splashed out for a dessert here too, with Home Made Coconut Ice Cream With Pineapple In Cardamom and Lime Syrup.
With a crunchy layer of desiccated coconut around the sweet ice cream, and with the tanginess of the pineapple and fruity syrup to set it off…well, I was a happy bunny to say the least. This is somewhere I definitely plan to return. The staff were friendly and obliging, the music played low in the background gave the whole atmosphere a lovely, relaxed vibe and the doors opened onto the street made for an open and airy room; I was surprised the cars and passers by didn’t have more of an effect.
Large murals decorated the walls, keeping the space from becoming too dark or dingy, and in keeping with the theme of the place…
They do regular jazz shows as well as comedy nights, and to anyone that would appreciate some blues or some laughs, I would recommend it heartily. It’s across the road from Streatham Rail Station, and about fifty (well, slight exaggeration, but a lot) bus routes go right by the door. Worth the journey.
Any how I visited 3 more restaurants, plan to head to a 5th tomorrow…but to give them all their due, I shall write separately. The Food Tour will be operating again at 12 until 10pm tomorrow – grab a guide (there are people standing around Streatham common in aprons and hats, or you can get one in a participating restaurant, or print one off at http://www.streathamfoodfestival.com!) and go sample the delights that Streatham has to offer. Despite many a bad reputation, it may surprise many to know the variety that is to be had, at a cheaper price than many more central eateries.