I was a big fan of last year’s inaugural Street Food Circus pop up in Cardiff city centre and when I heard rumours of an even bigger shindig at Sophia Garden’s I was even more excited. I’d been to a few food fests this year or festivals with a bit a food section but I was missing the street food scene as I’d not even visited Depot this year yet.

The Street Food Circus 2016 residency that at Sophia Garden’s kicked off on Thursday 18th August and is parking it’s ass there till 25th September right next to the new (ridiculously situated!) National Express station and a short walk from Cardiff Castle.

I wasn’t planning on attending the opening weekend as I had a calendar full of events that weekend but had my arm twisted to pop down for some hangover food on the Sunday. I wasn’t quite feeling it but thought the fresh air and stodge might shake some life into me so didn’t have to be asked twice.

The weather was a bit crap to be honest and nearly put my welly’s on had it not been a good half hour walk from my current location so that on top of the pneumatic drill going off full pelt in my head didn’t put me in the best moods there but i soldiered on scouting out the stalls when i first got there. There were a few familiar faces and instantly realised Hangfire Smokehouse weren’t in attendance and learned they will only be attending Friday and Saturday’s for the duration of the Street Food Circus residency.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted and nothing was really jumping out at me not even my festival staple wood fired pizza as none of golden, crisped dough toppings were whafting their tantalising scents in my direction in fact they sounded a bit boring.

It then started to rain and found a bit of shelter in the Asian section called Singha Street in the top left hand corner and it’s there were started to explore what was on offer as they sounded a bit more appealing.

Tukka Tuk by Purple Popadom


Kerala spiced fried chicken, fries and thousand island sauce – £8

If the crowds were anything to go by this was the sheer winner in the popularity stakes and it wasn’t hard to see why as the menu sounded awesome. Just what I needed a bit of fried chicken with a decent whack of spice to give the perfect crunch, fries coated in indian spices and a huge dollop of homemade thousand island, which I wiped up every morsel with the fries then my fingers when I ran out.

The Kerala spiced chicken thighs and fries was the most expensive item on the menu at £8 but the portion was pretty good compared to others i’ve had recently. I was so lucky too as I managed to nab the last basket of chicken, which I think would of sent me over the edge and brought a little tear to my eye that day with the current state of my spaghetti brain.

Little Bao Peep

Red Pulled Pork, Wasabi Mayo, Pickled Cucumber, Peanut & Oreo Powder – £5

I’m usually a big fan of the little clouds of steamed buns generously stuffed with asian spiced meat and pickles and devoured a few from Hokkie last year till it nosedived under and from a recent trip to Camden Street Food Market where I had the best bao i’ve not only seen but tasted too.

The option on the menu on the day just wasn’t sitting right with my current state of affairs and just couldn’t understand the logic. I’m all up for innovation and thinking outside the box but who the hell puts oreos in a chinese? Little Bao Peep as it goes and was so glad I didn’t waste my hard earned 5 of the queens gold coins as I tried a little bite and nearly spat it out it just didn’t work for me. I’d had one of their boa’s at one of last year’s Depot Saturday’s and enjoyed what they stuffed into the little white pockets of dough so I know they can do some really tasty food but for me this was a step too far and would of been ok without the oreo dust.

Patagonia / Jol’s Food


Patagonia Cheese Steak 48 hour brisket, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella and stilton – £8

Ok before I write this section I’d like to start by saying Jol’s has been one of my favourite food vendors at every street food event i’ve been to and seen him always innovative and pushing out new exciting dishes. Jamie had both his instantly recognisable Jol’s blue food van and his new venture Patagonia at last years Street Food Circus with Patagonia even being shortlisted for the best street food vendor awards after the appearance there. I sampled both with the scallops and humous dish from Jol’s being my fav of the season and the steak and chimichurri ticking a few of my boxes as I’ve made my own chimichurri a few times. I thought it was a good steak roll but a few of my mates from Crossfit who tried it weren’t very impressed saying it was cold and just a bit of a let down, to which I was very surprised.

I’ve been keen to try Jamie’s newest venture well one of them Jol’s restaurant in his hometown Merthyr Tydfil for some time but not managed to sample it yet and also noticed he’s also doing the catering at the Redhouse the newly renovated town hall that’s now an arts and creative centre when I went to the food festival up there a month back.

It seems there’s lot going on for Jol’s at the moment and might be the reason the standards slipped a bit on my first experience of the ever growing brand this year. I wanted to just try the £5 grazing plate option of deep fried beef shin and cheese but they were all out so opted for the Patagonia Cheese Steak 48 hour brisket. At £8 and knowing that brisket is the cheapest cut of beef you can get I was looking forward to a decent stuffed roll to chomp my lips around but this is where i was wrong. Not sure if it was because Jol’s head honcho wasn’t gracing the hotplate that day but the miserable and lonely two chunks of beef squished in hidden amongst the tomatoey based mushrooms and onions left me incesed. Over reaction? Not if you knew how much I love my food and especially as this sorry looking plate was coming from my favourite food vendor and for the amount of beef I got for my £8 it would no doubt surpass the price per kilo of some of Japan’s finest wagyu steak.

There was nothing exciting else on the menu not the Jol’s i’d grown to love and hunt down in festivals. The only option coming from Jol’s side of the food cart was the Pad fries ( pad thai made with fries instead of noodles, which i’d sampled the year before.

After deciding to give the Street Food Circus another go the week after the menu was the same with nothing other than the pad fries from Jols and the 3 steak roll options still available as Patagonia as they serve from the same food kiosk. I did notice though that the portion of the miserable steak roll i’d been served the week before was slightly better this time and might of been because Jamie was serving up the food this time. I do hope they put something a bit more exciting on the Jol’s menu next time as although I was disappointed with my Steak roll from Patagonia I know the quality of food they can churn out and would love for them to be the top of my fav list again this year.

Science Cream


Liquid nitrogen chocolate ice cream – £5

I’d tried the salted caramel nitrogen ice cream from them back at the Depot last year and i’d a similar flavoured one at Camden too albeit with the cardamon dust, pistachio and burnt white chocolate but I fancied something different and opted for the chocolate option. It was ok really, tasted of chocolate so can’t go far wrong but it did mention white chocolate in the sauce so was hoping for a bit of contrast between the milk/dark chocolate but it was milk chocolate on milk chocolate but did have a little nugget of burnt white chocolate.

The hit of sugar did do me some good and can’t say anything bad about the ice cream but it wasn’t anything special.
I wasn’t happy with my first visit but thought it might of been mainly due to the hangover from hell so decided to return minus the thumping headache and impending fear of projectile vomiting of unsuspecting diners at Street Food Circus and went back the week after.

I was hoping for a few new faces and stalls the week after but there seemed to be the same minus a couple after no doubt selling out after a bumper bank holiday as it was the bank holiday Monday and getting fresh supplies was probably an issue.

I did a lap again and once again Tukka Tuk the star of the show the week before was the most popular with some crazy queues meandering through the crowds but I wanted to try something different.

Early Bird Bakery

Review of the mini dough bites with chocolate sauce at Street Food Circus in Cardiff

“Malt-ilda” mini doughnut bites with espresso sugar, malt chocolate sauce, honeycomb and fudge pieces – £5

Not one to do things the right was I opted for dessert (one of two) first and a good selection. I hadn’t been down to Porthcawl for a bag of pipping hot doughnuts from the fair for years but something was telling me they might just be up there with Porthcawl’s finest…and then some! Freshly fried, golden sugar laden pieces of dough slathered with warm, malt chocolate sauce and squidgy chocolate fudge pieces were presented to this grinning cheshire cat.

I was a bit disappointed in the portion size with only 3 doughnuts seeing how them emphasised they were mini doughnuts too and one stindgy little piece of honeycomb that I didn’t get to even try as I was sharing and that had been half inched before I even saw it. Ok they couldn’t fit anymore in the tub but that’s not the point get a bigger pot in future or drop the price. £5 for 3 doughnuts would be steep by Krispy Kreme standards so i’d suggest the price about £3.50 even though they were good they weren’t worth the £5 especially when you’re sharing so 4 to a portion would be a bit more value for money.

I was torn between the chocolate and the “Golden ticket” with cinnamon sugar, baked apples, salted caramel and candied walnuts but not a great fan of walnuts and with the price i didn’t want pick bits out.

Dirty Bird Chicken


3 pieces buttermilk chicken pieces (nuggets more like!) £6.50 + fried halloumi bites £4

Ok so I’d been an avid supported of Dirty Bird when they first came onto the scene taking the media by storm with their tongue in cheek branding and marketing. I’d first put the golden nuggets in and around my mouth around 2 years ago when the weekly street food market took up shop in St Mary’s street on a Sunday afternoon for a month back in 2014.

Again Sunday being the day of rest (and the day of recovery from the night before) my friend and I sought to rid out bodies of this savage hangover and wasn’t quite ready for a grease fest at KFC so fancied some home style, freshly made chicken and stumbled upon Dirty Bird and went back for more for 3 weeks on the trot and was no better feeling that chomping on some fried chicken with a can of lemon Sanpellegrino, sprawled out on the grass outside Cardiff Castle with the sound and site of chinhooks spiralling hypnotically overhead during the G8 summit that was going on and had the roads at a standstill at the time.

I hadn’t had any chicken from Dirty Bird since then and not because I didn’t like it but I just like to keep trying something different but stuck for things to eat again at this years Street Food Circus I thought i’d return to a trust favourite but oh how wrong was I!

I opted for the 3 pieces of chicken with slaw and dirty sauce over the posh box as I’d tried the whole smothered in truffle oil and parmesan with the posh fries but wasn’t sure it would work with the chicken alone. I wasn’t queuing up for it so put a portion of halloumi bites on top of my order whilst I got the rum cask ciders in and was gobsmacked with presented with what my £10.50 had bought me. Bearing in mine  could of had a bargain bucket with about 6 pieces of agreeable sized portions of chicken and 4 bags of fries at KFC and had change for the same amount i’d spent on my 3 chicken wing esque piss takes! When I order 3 pieces of chicken I want to be chomping on a decent spicy crusted hunk of meat especially when £13 got me 2.5kg of boneless chicken thighs a whole 30 pieces in Costco the day before.


I’ve never been so disgusted with a plate of food in my life for the portion size anyway. The halloumi bites portion size wasn’t too bad in comparison and luckily gave me some of the much needed protein I was expecting but the 3 pieces I’d got given for £6.50 was embarrassing and probably would of had more meat content in a children’s happy meal chicken nugget option no lie.

I’d been a big fan of these guys but after the piss take of a portion of 3 chickens I was given I will never buy from them again until they re-assess the quality control and they haven’t got Stevie Wonder handing out dishes.

Science Cream


Hazelnut liquid nitrogen ice cream – £5

Ok I know I said I like trying different things but these guys know how to make ice cream and I wanted them to pull it back after last weeks okish chocolate option and they didn’t fail to deliver with the Forrero Rocher inspired hazelnut ice cream freshly frozen in front of my eyes in 20 seconds,with a generous helping of chocolate sauce and dusting of freshly smashed hazelnuts for the piece de resistance of the dish.

I didn’t want each spoonful to end letting it melt on my tongue swirling it around my mouth to suck every last microscopic sense of flavour out onto my taste receptors.

So i’ve tried all the flavours on the menu for now so I might just have to give them a visit at the actual shop to sample the full menu and see what the crazy sugar scientists concoct for me on the day.

Being a non Welsh speaker the thought of attending the annual Eisteddfod sounded a bit stupid to me in past years as I just assumed it was a week of church choirs and schoolchildren singing in a language I didn’t understand. It sounded like a cross between a school assembly and being stuck in an Christening on a Sunday afternoon except I wouldn’t have a clue what was bellowing out of the peoples mouths around me, so not thanks i thought.


This year’s event was set to take place in Abergavenny so only an hour up the road and with the largest Waitrose I’ve seen this side of the bridge in the centre of town along with the offer of a free ticket, a sofa to rest my head in for the night and the promise of some festival food and cider I had a welsh translator app downloading onto my phone within seconds!

The event is in full swing Monday to Saturday but the grounds do open on the Saturday and Sunday for a nosey around and to sample the local produce and street food vendors on offer before the masses of historical school children. Not only that but what I could only imagine as being like walking through M & S on a Sunday full of geriatrics only on a grander scale taking up the whole walkway talking to Doris and Dai they haven’t seen for a whole 7 days since their last visit for a Rotisserie chicken and a packet of dutch shortcakes to go with their afternoon cuppa, which drives me mental and has me cursing the grey haired lane hoggers under my breath!

The weather was set to be gorgeous all weekend so off I went Saturday afternoon in the Fiat up past Merthyr on the A470 towards Abergavenny, which must of been the furthest i’ve managed without using my sat nav as i’m bloody useless at directions.

Anyway I got in and managed to sneak through the back entrance to save my disco ravaged legs strapped up and e45’ed to death from a night of old school house disco dancing to Sasha at the Tramshed on Friday followed by an afterparty at Club Ifor Bach for Time Flies event with some Ibiza legends on the turntables. I must of burned over 5000 calories and sweated enough to liquids to fill the Rio Olympic swimming pool so I needed re-charging with some stodge and fermented apples like yesterday!

The Eisteddfod 2016 Festival site was much bigger than I imagined but luckily for me the fence I jumped over was right next to the food stalls and beer wagon. (I did have a ticket don’t worry I was just meant to walk about a mile around the perimeter to the front entrance and I wasn’t in the mood with my half melted skin graft needing inside legs blistering with every friction burning step I took)

I was a bit disappointed with the number of food traders having been to the Cardiff International Food Festival and the Royal Welsh a couple of weeks before but there were a couple of new faces but the first one I spotted was my good friend Gabriel of The Spanish Buffet with his wizard like churning of his cauldron / paella pan into golden mounds of Balearic comfort food.

I’d sampled his epic Paella down in Cardiff the month before and known him for a while from creating his website thespanishbuffet and had a chat the week after to catch up and see how the festival season is going at the Royal Welsh so gave him and wave and headed on to find something my ravaged lips hadn’t gnawed at before.

El Sals – Nachos

When you’re feeling like death what’s the first choice you scramble together on a plate in the house? NACHOS because you can throw the whole cupboard and fridge on there with little nuggets of cheese, piquant pockets of saltiness from the brined jalapeños, the refreshing taste of tomatoes with probably the only vitamin my body had seen that day tossed in fresh coriander, piled with chipotle pulled pork and fresh guacamole now then El Salsa load that bloody plate up thank you please!

The verdict: £7 fully loaded with chipotle pork I thought was a reasonable price for the portion considering you pay about £6 for a small tray of chips left dying in the open air for weeks on end with the gelatinous gloup of stingy nacho cheese, a teaspoon of salsa and a scattering of flavourless jalepenos in the cinema. To put them in the same sentence as cinema nachos though would be an insult to the girls of El Salso who knocked up the epic plate of Spanish happiness and would definitely recommend it. The guacamole was good too as sometimes they just spoon it out of a tub from Makro and the portions were as plentiful as you could want at a festival food stall if your anything like me and want small plates so you can tick off as many as you can before needing to lay down and have your stomach pumped for round two!


Meet The Greek- Chicken Souvlaki Pitta

Well they were never going to gather dust on the table next to my pint of Thatchers Gold so it was only right to have a side dish to go with it and from being put off with the queue stretching and meandering to the entrance of the Wales Millennium Centre some 100 yards from the front of the queue of Meet the Greek at the Cardiff International Food Festival I thought I’d sample my first charcoal seared Chicken Souvlaki generously stuffed into a toasted pitta with shredded lettuce, fresh lemon, tahini and humous.

The verdict: I didn’t see what all the fuss was about at the Cardiff food fest with such a big queue of people waiting as I just saw it as a kebab but it was tasty and the toasted Halloumi extra was a nice touch. Worth the £7-8 I’m not sure, I did enjoy it but probably wouldn’t rush back if propositioned by someone new on the scene or one of my other fav’s on the festival scene in the near future.

Anyway after a few more ciders and as I didn’t get there till 5pm we headed back for a bit of cured meats, cheeses and bread for tea and that was Saturday night over with.

I’d been to Abergavenny a few times with the food fest and what have you over the years but never stayed the night or been there anywhere near early enough to catch breakfast so this time I was going to do it properly and find somewhere decent for a decadent breakfast of proportions whilst I was staying the night. After a bit of research online I couldn’t make my mind up and overlook the Angel Hotel as I’d heard the afternoon tea was good there but didn’t realise it was the same brand behind the Michelin Starred Walnut Tree just up the road, which I was denied sampling on Saturday as it was fully booked and they don’t open for Sunday lunch WTF what restaurant doesn’t serve food on what’s probably the busiest day of the year? Anyway my mind was set and I was going there for breakfast of which you can read the review over in another post when it’s finished as this is about the festival food.

I wasn’t planning on attending the Sunday at the Eisteddfod as I usually go up nanny Carole’s for her bicarb saturated roast on a Sunday but thought what the heck why not actually eat something with some flavour in on a Sunday for a change.

goats cheese proscuitto and fig pizza at the Eisteddfod 2016 in Abergavenny

Wood Fired Pizza – Goat’s cheese, prosciutto, fig and rocket pizza

After i’d left my full Welsh breakfast washed down with a smoked Chase Vodka Bloody Mary cocktail it was onto sampling the other delights on offer at the food stalls at the festival and i’m usually quite partial to a pizza especially a wood fired oven pizza. I studied the chalk board of concoctions and after finishing heaving from the first one on the list the Hawaiian (utter sacrilege in my eyes) my eyes were transfixed on what sounded like the most beautiful pairing to grace an ash crusted and blistered dough base…I give to you the prosciutto, goats cheese, fig and rocket pizza mamma mia! Anyway as soon as that volcanic puddle of cheese had dropped from the pizza cooks ashen peel that thing was snatched and savagely bubbling away on my gums the way it should as it tastes so much better with the inferno in your mouth blistering every surface with that pleasure and pain sensation I just don’t know why but I have to do it!

The Verdict: Everything about this pizza was perfect, the crispiness of the pizza base from it’s almost tracing paper thickness, the caramelisation of the cured pork strands of prosciutto, the oozing golden goats cheese tempting me in for another slice paired against the soft tender fruitiness of the fig and peppery rocket adorning the top. I was almost tempted to queue for another as I shared a couple of slices and wasn’t sure what time my next plate was going to come as there were no plans for the afternoons activities at that point.

Brecon Venison Farm – Venison Nachos

A few more ciders, a Caerphilly Hallet’s Cider to be precise were expertly savoured in under the glare of the suns rays perched on a bale of hay. Time for feeding 3 of the day and following the motto of go hard or go home it was time for sample 2 of the nachos on offer but this time it was venison nachos from the Brecon Venison Farm.

I went and ordered some veggie fritters whilst these were being assembled.

Back to the venison nachos, which the girl behind the counter was just spooning a bit of what looked like good ole Makro esque guac onto my plate as I neared with my bowl of veggie fritters.

The verdict: I think I paid about £7, which was about the same as the fully loaded ones from El Salsa. The plate did have a lot more meat on this time probably and with the cost of venison being considerably more than pork that didn’t seem too high but they were a bit stingy on the portion of tortilla chips and the guac looked a bit fake but all in all they did taste good and I love a bit of game meat and what better to match it with than some nachos so win win.

No Bones Jones – fried veggie fritters with chilli jam

I nipped over to No Bones Jones as I’d been fancying their fried veggie fritters with chilli jam since I walked past it on Saturday. I ordered some of the freshly plunged veggies that had just come out of the fryer, topped with chilli jam (or sweet chilli sauce to you and me, which made me a little disappointed by the false advertising) and I sneaked a ladle full of mint sauce over the top too.

The No Bones Jones verdict: These cost just £3 or £4 if you want salad but I was in no mood for rabbit food especially with my side of venison nachos being prepared as I ordered these. To be fair there was a generous portion for £3 with about 3 large fritters and a few bits of broken ones added to the tub.

I was disappointed with the chilli jam as I was handed the bowl with nothing on I said is this the chilli jam pointing to the only bowl on the side but that was some kind of tomato sauce and pointed to the plastic catering bottle, with what looked suspiciously like sweet chilli sauce. For £3 I wasn’t in the mood for expressing the ins and outs of the trade descriptions act so cheekily spooned a good dollop of mint sauce to pair with the chilli sauce over the fritters. I shared the plate of nachos and the bowl of fritters and they were rather tasty compared to the bag of indian sides I bought from Samosaco at the Caerphilly food fest not long ago but these were freshly cooked and still warm whereas they had most probably been cooked the night before and were quite flavourless and hard to break down to chew whilst cold and ended up going in the bin after a single bit of all 4 items.

There were quite a few other veggie options on the No Bones Jones menu on the day such as veggie lasagne and some chickpea curry plus I did notice sticky toffee pudding but i’d just fought my way through a generous chuck of salted caramel brownie i’d bought for a good friend of mine Llio Angharad’s birthday that day as she was working at the festival and annoyed she wasn’t celebrating her birthday as well as she should be and not had the chance to blow out a candle.

At this point i’d probably eaten the average human’s weekly calorie allowance so I called time on anything else passing my lips that night and so my quest for festival food was over on this adventure at the Eisteddfod 2016 in Abergavenny.

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.


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).


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.


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