Where The Streets Have No Flame
Street food. Love it or hate it, there's no denying its popularity in Britain right now.
And even those abhorrent to the concept of walking and eating at the same time have to admit that there's no getting away from the burgers, hot dogs, burritos and the like.
Me, I'm a bit of a fan of street food. The chances of me being prissy about where I get to stuff my face are pretty slim and I will generally eat anything, anywhere (although I do think I'd struggle with a dirty burger whilst on the treadmill). And, for me, street food, or just eating food on the street, is far from a new concept. I've probably eaten more sandwiches, pasties and pies whilst wandering through town than you've had hot dinners. Seriously.
But, there is something exciting about this new street food craze and with street food being such an important part of day to day life in exotic and far flung countries such as India and Thailand, us Brits are demanding more than a soggy ham sandwich and a cheese and onion pasty.
Here in Sheffield, we've been lucky to have the likes of Street Food Chef and Fanoush Falafel on hand to satisfy the more adventurous of street food eaters, but things are really firing up with the arrival of NOSH The brainchild of both Andrew Critchett of Northern Streats (and Fish&) and Ben Smith of The Hop Box, NOSH already has three successful events under its belts and I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of them.
Kicking off on a freezing cold March night, NOSH looked (and tasted) promising from the off. Held at the Nichols Building, this first event was perfect for both scoffers and shoppers with food being served out in the yard, craft stalls selling their wares on the ground floor of the building and vintage shops open for trade on the floors above.
On this occasion I chose to feast on a bunny chow from Manjit's Kitchen and by 'eck was it good?! So fresh and tasty, I still dream about my first NOSH meal. Also on hand food wise was Street Food Chef, Pizza Pod and Fish&. I liked that I didn’t feel inundated by a huge selection of food stuff but a few more options would have been good. Having said that, there were some good drink options with The Hop Box and Tamper Coffee serving up local ales and hot drinks. And with this being a Thursday (i.e. the ‘new’ Friday) I stuck to the beer and enjoyed a couple of Bradfield Brewery's Brown Cow.
Obviously pleased with the success of the first event, NOSH quickly confirmed that NOSH 2 would be on the cards. Sadly I couldn’t make it this time and so I missed out on paella kings Las Paelleras and Cowboys Burgers,but this just made me determined to make it to NOSH 3.
The third event saw a change in scenery as the traders all headed towards Sharrow and set up shop in The Old Junior School. This time I took the husband which meant that we could share different dishes rather than pinning all our foodie dreams on just one option.
Intrigued by the 3 Bears Kitchen, who only recently opened a café in the school, we headed over to their Bear Pit for an ODB burger with wu-tangy sauce (yes, really) which was a good starting point. Tasty beef patties encased in a toasted bun with jalapenos and cheese impressed and the guys in the kitchen were working non-stop throughout the evening to keep up with demand.
After a wander around some of the craft stalls and a gander at the auction held in support of Article 25 we felt that we had mustered up the courage to brave the cold weather outside (despite NOSH 3 being held in May, it was freezing) and we stepped out into the playground in search of Soi Truck who are relative newcomers to the Sheffield scene. Sadly news of their attendance must have spread a little too far as they had totally sold out of their pad Thai by the time we arrived. So we headed over to old favourites, Street Food Chef for a plate of nachos. A large portion of tortilla chips came smothered in chilli, cheese, soured cream and jalapenos and they were just the ticket; warming and comforting.
Having previously spotted that Tamper Coffee would be there with a few bottles of O'Hara's spiced rum, I had to check out how this collaboration was going to work. One espresso rum martini and a rum and coffee affogato, made with Our Cow Molly ice cream, later and I can quite safely say that this combination may be making its way into my dessert and after dinner drinks menus!
Thanks to a slightly larger selection of stalls than previous there was enough to keep everyone occupied for a good couple of hours and had we arrived earlier we’d have tried some of the Mexican drinks from Chinampas and the hotdogs from Diamond Dogs…maybe next time eh?!
And there will be a next time as NOSH are planning summer specials for the Sheffield Doc Fest and Tramlines. Follow them on Twitter for more details.
Clare's Food Blog is sponsored by Nonnas Cucina. Get 50% off Nonnas Pizza every Wednesday when you quote Exposed! www.nonnas.co.uk/pizza