Feast – London food festival from 6th – 9th December, 2012

Feast is the latest food festival from the people behind The Long Table, a hugely successful night market run in Dalston. Feast is inside an old sorting post office and looks beautiful, hung with huge twinkly lights and areas for reclining like you find in shisha bars. But on the night I went it was absolutely freezing, wrap up warm if you’re going; and Feast- please get some more heaters!

There is also performances from the Woodburner collective – such as ‘an alternative christmas’ below.

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However, there are a couple of definite improvements over the original night market. One is that there is now much more seating, so there isn’t the same scrabble to find a place to perch with your food. The other is that there are dedicated table clearers, a big plus if you don’t enjoy eating your meal amongst the detritus of other people’s dinners.

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Onto the important business the food stalls:

1) Jasmine scented ribs with sticky rice and daikon soup -Naamyaa £5

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This is the new Thai place from Alan Yau, the restaurateur who brought us Hakksan, Yauatcha and in terms of chains Wagamama and Busaba Eathai. He’s just opened up in the Angel Building and I was curious to try it out.

The ribs were quite a small portion but they had a lovely glaze and jasmine flavour. The rice was super sticky and you could rip off chunks and dunk it in the soup. I’m not sure if you were supposed to do this but it worked for me! The daikon soup was peppery and warming and just what I needed on such a cold night.

2) PX sticky pork belly roll- Moro £5

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I’m a sucker for anything with the words pork belly in the title but frankly they had me at PX. I was expecting masses of sweet sherry stickiness from this, but to be honest I couldn’t detect any PX flavour whatsoever. The pork though was juicy and melting and the bread was soft enough to mop up all the juices. Eat it quick though, as this is a sandwich that will disintegrate if you hang on to it too long. I also liked the little curl of pork crackling that came with it (who wouldn’t!)

3) Rudolf vension burger w/ Stilton, blueberries and applewood smoked bacon- Lucky Chip £10.50

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Normally I love Lucky Chip, but here I just felt the delicate flavour of the venison was overwhelmed by everything else in the burger. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night.

4) Meringue apple crumble w/ hot custard- Meringue Girls

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I really liked this apple crumble the meringue topping was unusual and contrasted nicely with the crunch of the more traditional crumble topping. However, I would have liked more custard; if it gets joint top billing I want more than a couple of dribbles!

We had lovely drinks from the Background Bar – a lemon-grassed infused ‘Dark and Stormy’ and a Pickled Plum & Ruby Port punch.

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That was as much as my stomach could hold on one visit but there were lots of other favourite places that I would like to go back to, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Yum Bun, Delhi Grill, Randall & Aubin; and the lovely Lily Vanilli, who I got a little bag of takeaway goodies from. DSCN0217 DSCN0221 DSCN0218

Feast

The Former North
London Mail Centre
Islington Square
Studd Street
N1 0QJ

Tickets: £7.50

http://wefeast.co.uk

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About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from: http://www.royalorienttrain.com/goa/goa-history.html
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