Meet the new faces at KERB St. KatsSpring 2019
Street food lunches. They're pretty much the highlight of anyone's day, right? And even though it's only been a year since KERB opened their market on Marble Quay, it's hard to think of a time when we didn't build our entire week around which delicious dish we'd be eating on Friday.
Well we have good news for you... on Thursday 16th May, KERB will launch their second day at St. Kats, featuring the hottest new street food talent as part of their inKERBator scheme.
To help get a flavour of what's in store, we asked three of the new traders about their journey here – and what dishes we're about to go crazy for.
Gul and Zia are the two lads in question, and they'll be serving up traditional Afghan dumplings, grilled meats, lentils, rice and bread.
They first met in 2013, when then-student Gul was getting some extra cash as a ScooterMAN and became a semi-regular driver for Indian street food trader, Baba G – where Zia happened to be working.
Zia carried on at Baba G, settling into their Camden eatery. Gul trained as a chef before starting his own restaurant, Yum Afghan. Then, just one month ago, they decided two chefs are better than one and created 2LadsKitchen.
As Gul says, "This is our chance to show people the great flavours of Afghan cuisine. And while restaurants are great, you don't get to see the customers. Street food is our passion. It's more fun. It keeps you young."
"Plus, we're surrounded by the smells and spices of our culture. A taste of home."
Afghani cuisine is about subtle spices and herbs. Don't expect lots of chilli: Zia and Gul's cooking let each ingredient sing.
- Traditional, handmade dumplings – either Mandu (lamb) or vegan Pashek (leek with yellow, green, red peppers and coriander)
- Traditional BBQ chicken or lamb fillet, marinated in Spanish onion, garlic, lemon and pepper for 12-24hrs
- Split pea lentils, creamy yoghurt, chutney sauce and gravy
- Kabuli pilaw rice
- Afghan naan
Gul says to ask for:
"Lamb dumplings if you're me. If you don't know Afghani food, ask me for a bit of everything – so you can decide what you like the best."
If you haven't had pide (pronounced pee-de), you're in luck. Piddaji is run by Ersin, a second-generation Turk who's bringing the tasty topped-flatbread dish to the Docks.
From a young age, he helped out in his dad's Bermondsey kebab shop. But even with a multimedia degree, he never lost his passion for cooking.
So, when the place next door became vacant; the family bought it, turned it into a pizzeria – and gave Ersin the keys.
A chance meeting with the Pizza Pilgrims lit the flame of his passion for street food. And he knew that by mixing his knowledge of the pizza business with his Turkish culture – the traditional pide was the perfect dish to serve.
Armed with his wood-fired Dragon Oven, Ersin's excited to be part of Kerb's inKERBator stable: "There's more to Turkish cuisine than kebabs. Our pide's been a hit at Blackfriars market. Now we're ready to take Piddaji to the next level."
Italians don't have a monopoly on wood-fired oven cooking. The dough used in pide is left to rise for 12 hours before cooking, a method dating back to Ottoman times.
- Diced beef pide with peppers and tomatoes
- Minced lamb pide with feta and spinach
- Roasted vegetable pide with aubergines, peppers, courgettes and spinach
- Vegan pide with soya mince, onions and tomatoes
- The special pide, for example, Sucuk sausage with cheese, peppers and mushrooms
- Scrambled egg
Ersin says to ask for:
"My favourite: beef pide, with scrambled egg – the peppers are crunchy, the tomatoes are full of flavour, and the egg just works."
The team behind Baba Dhaba's Pakistani dishes are ex-accountant Anoushay, ex-retail and merchandising pro-Malaika, and ex-gastropub manager Haaris.
Between them, they've got all the skills to be a success on the food truck circuit. In fact, they already are in a way, as Anoushay and Malaika also run Waffle stick, a Belgian waffle on a stick truck that's hugely popular at weddings and corporate events.
Baba Dhaba, though, is their second venture and a real labour of love ¬– no surprise considering they all come from Pakistani families. The recipes are inspired by their parents; translated into modern dishes that work for London's streets.
Says Anoushay: "Street food initially appealed because I wanted more flexibility than had with a 9-5 – especially as a mum.
"But the most exciting thing is sharing our families' food with people. These are authentic Pakistani dishes we've grown up with, and it's great to see customers get excited about them too."
Baba Dhaba's speciality snack is its papri chaat ¬– spiced potatoes and chickpea salad topped with crisp wafers (papri). Their version's vegan too.
- Lamb mince burger with coriander, green chilli and tamarind chilli sauce
- Chicken tandoori burger with coriander, green chilli and tamarind chilli sauce
- Aloo tiki burger with coriander, green chilli and tamarind chilli sauce (ditch the bun to go vegan)
- Papri chaat
Sides and snacks
- Vegetable Biryani
- Home-made chutneys
Anoushay says to ask for:
"The tandoori chicken – with veg biriyani on the side, or on top of the papri chaat. Either way, make sure you get lashings of our green chilli chutney."