Wednesday 7 December 2011

Tasty Treats at the Long Table

And so London's enduring love with all things pop up continues, this time in the form of The Long Table.  This Friday night market which is running for four weeks in December 2011 in a small car park tucked in behind Dalston Roof Gardens is a who's who of the London foodie scene -  from Big Apple Hot Dogs to Yum Bun and Moro they are all here. The highlight, however was a pop up rib shack from The Loft Project, the underground food society headed up by Viajante's Nuno Mendes (but more on that later).

The Fashionista and I headed straight from work on Friday night and managed to get there for just after half past six - we had hoped to beat the queue but unfortunately even by that time a large queue had already formed (apparently the week before had been even worse).  Having queued for about about forty minutes we were unleashed on the small car park stuffed full with food stalls and fire-filled oil drums - to say we were excited is an understatement.

Having done a quick initial circuit we started with duck and chorizo arroz with aioli  from Moro- a generous portion of super tasty rice with melt in your mouth chorizo and duck but with a couple of crispy bits of duck dropped in for a different texture. A great way to start the night!

By this time we were on a roll and so started the long queue for The Loft Project ribs - such was the queue that we carried out scavenger missions to keep us topped up - a pilsner from Meantime here, a croque monsieur from Petit Paris (a little disappointing, not enough ham) there.  At last we got to the front: having queried whether there was really any difference between a seven pound or five pound portion, I think the the girl at the grill felt obliged to give us a particularly large helping- delighted!

Apparently the ribs are marinated for 13 hours, they were sweet, char grilled, sticky, incredible.  They came with some wilted greens, mushrooms and a smear of sauce.  To my surprise it was the sauce that stole the show (even from the ribs).  I have no idea what was in it (although if I was to guess I reckon it must have included mushrooms, peanuts, chocolate - a kind of mushroom mole but with no chilies) - if anyone has any tips as to how to make this it would be much appreciated!

After the ribs we both agreed that we were done - and so, five minutes later with a beer in hand from the London Fields Brewery (called the Landlord - puts Timothy Taylors to shame), we were in the queue for Yum Buns.

While waiting in the queue we ended up standing next to a drinks place which looked like it was serving coffee.  Only when we got close (and having been informed by a rather excited chap in front of us) did we realise that they were in fact serving some of the most creative cocktails I have ever had: served by the former barman of Viajante, @kuckoos_nest.  And so the beer was suitably disposed of and we moved on to cocktails - my one consisted of old navy rum, lemon bitters and beer foam- innovative, brilliant!  The Fashionista had a cocktail of gin, mint, elderflower cordial and lemon foam, also very good.

A couple of cocktails down, we got to the front of the queue for Yum Buns- no vegetarian option left so we got one each of the pork buns -  soft bun, cucumber, spring onion, delicious pork with hoisin and chili sauce - very good.

And so, smiling cheek to cheek we headed off, thereby letting another two people from the queue in to the enjoy the delights of the Long Table.  If you can make it along in the next couple of weeks before the Long Table shuts up shop I would highly recommend it -  if you can't make it to Dalston by half five you will have to queue but its worth it even if its just to try those ribs! 

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