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Street Food events in Cardiff this Summer

street food warehouse

Street Food Warehouse

These guys came from nowhere with these event and i only found out after it started, which is rare for me. They launched on April 3rd and are taking place at the Cardiff Arms park next to the Millennium Stadium just off Westgate Street. Expect similar to the Cardiff Street Food event at the Depot last October with a multitude of different vendors offering food, music, craft ales and cocktails. You can register for que jump for free on Fatsoma or there is a £2 walk in charge on the day.

street food circus

Street Food Circus

Brought to you by Somthing Creatives, the guys behind the biggest street food event the capital has ever seen. Something Creatives is a collective of people who live and breathe festivals, music, food and the arts. They’ve been the brainchild behind some of the hippest events and pop-ups around Cardiff over the past few years with one member being Simon Tuft the owner of the once iconic Catapult Records (sadly closed in January 2015 after 16 years of being the only independent electronic music retailer in Cardiff) and creator of Chucks Burgers who had their own events in Pontcanna, which was the first installment of street food we had on a regular basis for a few months back in 2013 offering craft ales, burgers and live music.

They helped launch and market Cardiff Arts Institute over a 2 year period, brought you the Secret Garden Soundsystem Parties and bi monthly street markets on Womanby Street. The team were also the mastermind behind the successful launch of the Dirty Bird Chicken brand for a small trailer selling chicken that had only set up stall for one event to be picked up by the likes of the Daily Mail tabloid for their branding that is some pretty good work! These were on what you could say a small scale and just to dip their toe in the events and marketing but this has helped them fine tune their trade and this year they mean business with some of the biggest events they’ve hosted to date.

The Street Food Circus will take all the good bits from the Street Food Cardiff event and bring it to a new level with them teaming up with NoFit State Circus with their circus tent bringing you some high stakes entertainment. You can expect some of the same great food traders on a weekly rotation from Hangfire Smokehouse, Chucks, Dirty Bird Chicken and the guys from Hokkei bringing you some of the freshest Asian food I’ve ever tasted! Back with a new direction is Jamie O’Leary who was one of my favourite traders at a few of the street food event’s I went to last year with his Jol’s Food but this time he’s back with his new venture called Patagonia selling all things beef from locally sourced suppliers with a touch of Argentinian thrown in for good measure. It’s fair to say this stall will be one of the first on my list to try!

The Street Food Circus Starts on May 1st to the end of June every weekend between 5pm and 11pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm till 10pm on Sunday at Old Stable Yard off John Street behind Radisson Blu Hotel.

depot weekend events 2015

Depot

The abandoned warehouse on Dumballs Road in Cardiff was transformed into a collection of food trucks, long dinner tables and street art by the guys from Something Creatives for their Street Food Cardiff events that started back in October 2014 on Friday and Saturdays for 2 months. It looks like the venue has had a £25k makeover to spruce things up a bit with outdoor dinning/drinking area now available they will be hosting a number of events themselves over the summer months starting with their Sunday events over the two bank holidays in May featuring hip hop music from Last Skeptik, skate ramps and your chance to learn the basics of graffiti art if you fancy yourself as the next Banksy.

There will be the hot tub cinemas events in collaboration with Motley Movies whereby you can hire out an inflatable hot-tub between groups of up to 8 people whilst enjoying some classic flicks on the big screen and their burger and beats events.

First event starts on May 3rd but there will be lots going on with various music, arts and food pop up’s taking place throughout the summer there. The Depot is based on Dumballs Road which is behind and between Cardiff Central Station and the Cardiff Bay.

Motley Movies rooftop cinema in Cardiff

Motley Movies

I first heard about these guys last year just after the last film they did at Jacobs Antiques Market. They are back with a number of collaborations this summer including a return to Jacobs Antiques Market with their rooftop cinema events showing some classic movies, street food and delicious cocktails as they usually team up with some of the best mixologists such as Two Finger Drinks and street food vendors such as Macho Nacho to offer you the full package for some adult cinema fun that you couldn’t get at the likes of Vue and Cineworld.

As mentioned above they will be trying out a hot tub cinema with the Depot and I heard yesterday they will be hosting some outdoor cinema nights at the Cardiff Bay Waterfront too for some pretty epic backdrops to whatever classics they have playing on the night.

Events taking place at Jacobs Antiques Market, The Depot and Cardiff Bay throughout the Summer.

Jacobs Antique Market Events – Mad Max 1st May, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 2nd May, The Breakfast Club 3rd May, Snatch 22nd May, Naked Gun 23rd May, Hairspray 24th May, Pulp Fiction 14th August, Ferris Buellers Day Off 15th August, When Harry Met Sally 16th August, From Dusk Till Dawn 28th August, Ghost 29th August, Boyz ‘n The Hood 30th August, Fight Club 11th September, Alien 12th September, The Bucket List 13th September.

For tickets for all of the Motley Movies go to Fatsoma

The rise of street food in Cardiff

It’s taken a while but the Welsh Capital is finally catching up to the likes of Bristol and London in terms of street food. With the likes of Wahaca with it’s Mexican flare of street food favourites and Burger and Lobster who are frequent at street food festivals have even decided to open shop with their first restaurants outside London in Cardiff within the last year.

I first started to notice small street food festivals popping up in Cardiff towards the end of 2012 with Cardiff Street Food holding their first event at the Mackintosh Sports Club and Community Centre just behind Miss Millies on Albany Road. It was here I got to try my first bite of Got Beef’s famous Welsh Black Beef Burgers back when they were serving out of their converted bus! They also had a few other street food regulars such as Fired Up Feast with their food fired pizzas.

fired-up-feasts-lamb-and-leek-pizza

Chucks Burgers ran a weekend pop up with their burgers, live music and cocktails in Pontcanna around the summer of 2013. This was the first venture into the street food scene and a dip in the toe for Something Creatives, which would go on to launch the very successful Street Food Cardiff event at the Depot in 2014.

I managed to catch the Got Beef guys for the Soprano burger at a street food festival in Swansea the following summer with veggie favourite Parsnip Ship, which converted me for the first time and i ordered my first veggie burger (although this was in between the Got Beef burger and a steak roll from Philly Cheese Steak Co).

got-beef-soprano-burger

Coming onto the scene around then too was the girls from Hangfire Smokehouse with their now legendary pop ups literally popping up all around Cardiff and the City for their BBQ takeovers at some of the less well known pubs (for me anyway). I’ll be the first to admit i leave everything till last minute well not me I try to plan things at least a week before but my mate on the other hand … well let’s not go there! It’s been hit and miss with these guys at no fault of their own well it is they should be selling such smoke crusted meaty deliciousness but the first 4 times i attempted to grab food there when they were at the Canadian in Splott and the Lansdown in Canton I was turned away twice as they literally had people begging to lick the plates clean as the food had flown out of the kitchen! I can’t complain though as i’ve been fortunate enough to sample most things on the menu now with my three successful visits including the pulled pork, pork ribs, chicken wings, all the sides (i basically ordered the whole menu the first time just in case i couldn’t make it back), Louisiana Creole, burnt ends, Texas Hot links and the flat iron steak on my last visit back last October when they were at the Pilot in Penarth, which took me two sittings!

 

hangfire smokehouse ribs

hangfire smokehouse everything on the menu

hangfire smokehouse flat iron steak

Half then and after taking a bottle of the mustard sauce and bbq sauce I had the other half in two yes i managed to get my leftovers to fill two baguettes for work the day with one smothered in each of the pungent yet addictive sauces. They have one more night left at their most central takeover yet at one of my favourite pubs in the capital recently and that’s Brewdog.

There are a few food festivals around the summertime but it’s just the same old shit different year with rows and rows of stalls selling what looks like and tastes like the same cheese, burger vans selling plastic burgers and fake sausages with a choice of plastic cheese and cremated onions or a Hog roast, which hasn’t even been cooked on a spit or over real coals they just look like a slab of pork joint that’s cut with a knife not even pulled apart as it should with crisp salty crackling and real, homemade apple sauce!

There is now more of an emphasis on street food from around the globe from the street food pop up’s springing up around South Wales in the last year, which are much more my cup of tea than the bog standard Cardiff Food Festival down the bay, which if you went 5 years ago you would be hard pressed to find something different on offer there apart from one that is. Quite possibly the best plate of street food i’ve ever experienced from something so simple yet delicious with lobster frites and lemon mayo.

lobster-frites-res

The guys from The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company know their seafood thats for sure! The lobster was cooked fresh in a giant paella type pan with whole blocks of Welsh Sea Black Butter giving it an extra punch of taste from the sea. I’d had lobster a couple of times before once in Tenerife about 10 years ago but you could of used the thin slices on my starter as tracing paper and a rather miserable and cold effort from Loch Fynne when it was open down Cowbridge so never really had fond memories but after the smell wafting over from the crab and lobster shack i didn’t care how long it would take me to wait in that 100 yard que that was going in my belly and i wasn’t moving till it did!

Last summer for around 12 weeks there was the street food festival at the bottom of St Mary’s street opposite the Cardiff Castle entrance and outside pizza express every Sunday. This was a taster of things to come with the likes of Dirty Bird Chicken with their buttermilk fried chicken and probably more famous logo of theirs. There was Jamie O’Leary, the sous chef from the Hardwick in Abergavenny with his rich, hearty fair of Italian food with his Jol’s food truck and Bar 44 with their silver American airstream trailer offering mobile tapas.

dirty bird chicken

dirty bird hot wings and posh fries

I did take a trip down several Sunday’s for posh chicken and chips at Dirty Bird with Korean spiced chicken hot wings with chips tossed in truffle oil and smothered in parmesan but I couldn’t leave without sampling whatever Jamie had been cooking in his sou vids for however many days to perfection. I managed to try the ragu of confit duck and crispy onion and thyme risotto cake, then there was the rabbit dish and then the 20 hour  steak roll that just melted as soon as it touched your lips.

Jols food ragu and potato cake Jols Food menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was quite surprised at the turnout for this though as the food on offer was amazeballs but it might be the fact i was stuck to my pillow dribbling in a hungover mess till about 3pm and missed the crowds, which is a win anyway if your asking me.

Next up was the big one taking street food in Cardiff to the masses and to the central stage and that was Street Food Cardiff’s sell out night’s at the Depot taking over a disused industrial units, dotted with street art, knocked together tables in school esque fashion then littered with some of the best street food vendors in the South Wales area that not even i had encountered previously I was just gutted I only made it there twice as the crowds got quite mental after half hour and i only managed to sample my first experience of Burger and Lobster a week before they opened the Cardiff restaurant with the lobster roll in freshly toasted brioche roll that quite frankly was on par with the lobster with it’s gorgeous butteryness. I just had to sample the mulled wine as it was sold out of a big hippy wagon and you just know those guys know how to party and they didn’t disappoint with added zing from whatever concoction of spirits and potions they added to my cup.

burger & lobster in Cardiff lobster roll at Cardiff Street Feasts

I know it sounds boring but I do love a good cheese toastie after sampling the mother of all cheese toasties at Abergavenny Food festival with Trethowan’s Dairy’s Award winning Ogleshield Cheddar Cheese and Shepherd’s Loaf Sourdough toastie fit for a king and a close runner up with cheese, red onion, leek and garlic toastie at Bermondsey Square Market up in London that i had for breakfast on a Sunday morning after a heavy night at a Wedding I wanted to sample some crispy, cheesy, goey, magic on my tongue and got my toastie charring whilst the warm mulled wine trickled down my throat sending christmassy tingles through the rest of my body and the blood straight to my head!

The weather has been pretty dire since the last of the Depot nights took place over Christmas but Cardiff just had it’s new recruit in the street food scene with Street Food warehouse starting two weeks ago at The Cardiff Arms park just off Westgate Street and taking place Friday and Saturday’s 5-11pm and Sundays 2-8pm till July 5th.

Running at the same time is the guys at Something Creatives and Street Food Cardiff off the back of the success of their nights at the Depot they are bringing us some of the old favourites but with a new venue the aptly named Street Food Circus taking place at Old Stable Yard off John Street just behind John Lewis. We will see the return of the Hangfire Smokehouse girls dishing out some meat sweats, Dirty Bird Chicken, the new venture from the magician behind Jol’s Food, Jamie O’Leary called Patagonia. I just bought a pair of waterproof boot’s for snowboarding from the brand Patagonia but fret not he’s not leaving us for a world of fashion anytime soon (i hope) but he will be feeding us from the steak shack with protein rich Beef and plenty of it!

Rumour has it that Burger and Lobster will be back with their £10 lobster rolls instead of the £20 cost to eat at the restaurant although it doesn’t come with chips and more importantly a gallon of one of the best things on the plate the garlic butter I could of ate out of a cone with a spoon. I’ve also heard rumours Masterchef finalists Larkin Cen and Dale Williams will be making an appearance with their new venture Hokkei an Asian takeaway on Crwys Road in Cardiff serving their new Baos, which I happened to sample last weekend which are all steamed buns with me opting for the Moo Baoes with beef brisket in black bean and my favourite korean side dish kimchi but stuffed with cabbage, spring onion and coriander

Hokkei Moo Bao steamed buns

The Street Food Circus is set to start on May Bank Holiday weekend starting on Friday 1st right up to Sunday June 28th from 5-11pm Friday and Saturdays and Sundays 2-10pm.

The Depot will also be launching a series of their own pop ups throughout the summer with collaborations with Motley Movies providing hot tub cinema viewings.

Check out the upcoming street food and pop up restaurants this summer