Last week saw the return of Auction Against Hunger‘s Street Feast evening at Hawker House, a short walk away from Canada Water station. Firstly, I cannot recommend this evening enough as it’s a great cause to support and there are some truly great lots up for auction. I mean who wouldn’t want a year’s supply of Meat Liquor burgers, I know I would!! Secondly, it’s a perfect opportunity to sample some of the best street food stalls alongside some of the city’s best chefs and restaurant dishes. A mix of refined restaurant dishes, honest street food, unlimited cocktails and Gary Lineker made for a very enjoyable evening with friends.
When we got there just after the doors opened at 6pm the queue was right around the corner and down the street, but it didn’t take long for them to get us all inside, sadly we weren’t within the first 500 entrants however and missed out on a glass of Tattinger champagne on arrival. Tickets were available for just £60 and you are given a card with all the stalls and dishes on offer throughout the evening on arrival. Until 8pm you’re limited to 6 dishes with a free for all after this time and until the food runs out. We managed about 5 dishes before 8pm as you do need to be prepared to queue, but I had about 8 in total throughout the entire evening with the boys having 10! To say I was stuffed would be an understatement but extremely happy and content with it!
Our first trip was to SmokeStak, which was in fact everyone’s favourite of the evening, 4 out of 4 votes is pretty good going! The USDA Brisket was unbelievably tender with a perfect amount of rich smokiness coming through. Served in a fresh brioche bun, smeared with an onion relish and topped with pickled red chillies this was truly the piece de resistance of the night. So much so when they ran out at about 7.45pm we were devastated as we’d all decided to get a second. Luckily as we were sat on a bench right outside the stall we were first in the queue (jumping over said bench and table to get there mind you!) as we clocked them bringing out a couple more briskets about half 9. Prime positioning from us thankfully!
Next up we headed to Hamish Brown for Roka which you’ll know never fails to disappoint with the freshest of fish and new exciting sushi rolls to try. The Tataki with sesame ponzu and sweet potato was my favourite from the trio to sample, having never had sweet potato as sushi before I liked how the thinly sliced vegetable acted as nori. Unfortunately the third visit of the evening to Barrafina didn’t get my vote. I’d never tried Cuttlefish until this night and perhaps I just don’t like it, but the feeling from the entire group placed the Cuttlefish Croquetas with fennel aioli at the bottom of the ranking list for the whole evening. Disappointing but I guess someone had to be there.
For our Fourth dish of the evening we enjoyed a rather unusual and posh take on a pot noodle! Served in an actual pot noodle pot – which I loved – this Aged beef and Szechuan pot noodle from Lee Tiernan and Neil Rankin of Black Axe Mangal and Temper was a great collaboration light and fresh but packed full of that rich aged beef flavour.
Our final dish before the 8pm cut off was from Robin Gill and Shaun Searley of The Dairy and Quality Chop House restaurants. Without a shadow of a doubt my second favourite sample dish of the evening. I’m a big fan of the Quality Chop House already and have been there a few times with work so when I saw it on the menu card I was adamant the group should try it! Barbecued Denver Steak with confit potato, fennel kimchi and burnt cream was an absolute delight with each element of the dish answering a different taste note. The steak was juicy and tender, whilst the fennel provided a sour note and the confit potato was creamy and crispy. So many good elements brought together on one plate that wasn’t overpowering but perfectly balanced. I could eat that fennel kimchi all day long!
For my last few dishes I tried Scoopsy Daisy raspberry real fruit ice cream which was churned right before my eyes. Rola Wala‘s Naga Lamb Vindalho on a Black Charcoal Naan with cucumber pickle, fresh mint and Naga pomegranate chutney was hot but sweet at the same time. This dish was also beautifully presented and looked so appetising, I’ve never seen Indian food look so pretty and refined.
An awesome £218k was raised on the night for Auction Against Hunger which will go to an amazing cause and help treat malnourished children as well as providing families with long-term access to food and water.