Food & Drink

Adventures at the KERB Street Food Festival

[Image - Aliona Shi]
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

It’s time to buckle yourself and your kids in for one of the best culinary adventures to hit London this month.

In my experience, there are two types of children in the world. Those with a sense of adventure who will try anything and those who stick to what they know. When I was younger, I was the former. I would relish any opportunity to try new things, especially when it came to food. I have my Grandad and the multiple trips we took to the seaside together to thank for that, as he would let me treat the seafood trucks like a pick’n’mix counter, letting me try everything and anything, exploring new flavours and textures and learn for myself that Jellied Eels are in fact the worst things ever!

As a result of my Grandad broadening my pallet as a child, my love of food is now so intense that I have opted to actually make a career out of eating it. Obviously not everyone wants to dedicate their lives to food, but there is nothing that frustrates me more than dining with a “fussy eater”. Food is a gateway to an exciting adventure that you can have every day and let’s be honest, no real adventure starts with a bowl of chips and a dollop of ketchup; It starts with interesting dishes from around the world, exotic ingredients and bold flavours!

With that all said, the KERB street food festival is returning to the Southbank Centre this weekend, showcasing some of the best street food vendors that the city has to offer and it’s the perfect chance to broaden your kids dining horizons!

The collection of traders is 28 strong, including some of the hottest dishes on the block, including two brilliant coffee stalls, four sweet stops, a soda bike and two KERB bars (one strictly London beer, one strictly London cocktails). There is quite literally something for everyone, whether you’re a bit of a food adventurist or prefer to stay within your gastronomic comfort zone.

For those who know what they like and are less inclined to venture into the unknown, the traders to look out for include the brothers from Fundi Pizza, who serve a selection hand stretched, baked to order wood-fired pizzas. They take just 90 seconds to bake and are simple but delicious. The Pepperoni is one not to be missed, especially when topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan & black pepper and a small splash of chilli oil.

If you want to try something a little different, why not give your taste buds a holiday to Korea with a burrito jam-packed with juicy, punchy ingredients from the ladies at Kimchinary? Choose from slow braised ox cheek, spicy confit pork belly or the grilled aubergine and braised winter greens. I defy you to eat the whole thing in one sitting as they are huge (perfect for sharing) and I also defy you to stop thinking about them hours after they’ve finally been devoured!

If you want to try a twist on a classic, pay a visit to Anna Mae’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese van. Macaroni Cheese is one of the top trends in the food world this year, popping up on most menus in and around London as a must-have side dish and these guys have helped rocket this cheesy classic to the top of the charts. They have several different cheesy dishes, all with their own style. Maybe The Kanye Western might tempt you with its Mac with hot dog and housemade BBQ sauce & fresh chives, or maybe the The Spicy Juan will grab your fancy, as creamy mac is topped with jalapenos, chipotle pepper, sour cream and coriander.

Finally, if you want to treat your mouth to something so delicious you might actually cry, get yourself  a small pot of chocolatey delight from the wonderful girls at Batch Bakery, who have turned the brownie game on it’s head with a flavour list that is ever evolving. The creations range from cookie dough and salted caramel, to blueberry cheesecake and gooey marshmallow ‘smores’. You can add a scoop or a sauce or even just enjoy your brownie by itself. My recommendation: buy more for later, because you’ll just be sad when you get home and realize the sweet gooey joy is over!

If none of my suggestions appeal to you, there are 24 other traders for you to try out – all priced pretty reasonably for the amount of flavour and happiness they provide. KERB truly is the best way to open your kid’s eyes to some of the best food available to them and the perfect way give them the chance to embrace a world outside the standard meat and two veg… or chicken nuggests and chips!

Where: KERB can be found at the Southbank Centre this weekend.

When: Friday 12pm – 9.30pm, Saturday 11am – 8pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm. Can’t make it this weekend? Have no fear. KERB will be retuning to this buzzing riverside spot again on 4th July, 1st August and 5th September.

Georgina writes about her own food adventures at www.georginaolive.wordpress.com