25 Oct Food Urbansk – The Urban Streetkings review
October 2017 note: Food Ubansk is now Guerilla Kitchen. website
An evening of Ying and Yang and local foodies – Street food is the hottest trend in the food scene at the moment. It has taken London by storm and you can find innovative street food popping up all over town. It has now come to Cambridge too!
Ok fair enough, street food has always been around. It’s not difficult to stumble across a kebab van in the streets of Cambridge, but this isn’t what I am referring to. There seems to be a call for easily accessible food of high quality. Some of the regular street vendors you can find on their set spot every day of the week e.g. on the market: Belgium waffles, Chinese food, German sausages, Ostrich burgers and on the Sunday market: Caribbean food, Hungarian food, Fresh juices and espresso coffee. Around the corner from the market square you can find scattered around, Falafel’s, Crêpes and more sausages. If you head a bit further afield to Newmarket road, you’ll spot a hidden gem with an array of Caribbean food, but new to the Cambridge scene is the young entrepreneurs with a refreshing take on existing food.
Steak & Honour and Jack Gelato are a well-known feature in Cambridge. On a hot day, you can find Jack with his delicious homemade ice cream in the hot spots of the city. His flavours are not only very good but very innovative too. If you’re a liquorish addict, then you have to head off to Nord where liquorish ice cream is always on the menu in their café.
Leo from Steak & Honour has a huge following as his burgers are without a doubt the best ones in Cambridge. The secret is in the ingredients: the bun, the salad, the sauces and most of all the meat. His flavours change, so you can expect Mac’n cheese, chilly, plain, blue cheese and for special pop-ups, he creates something unique. The other day he served ribs at the Cambridge Wine Merchant in Cherry Hinton. The big treat is finding Jack and Leo at the same time on the same spot. If you do, then it’s definitely your lucky day!
Last night local foodies had gathered together to check out the latest addition to our local food scene. I was lucky enough to have a taster of what is about to hit the streets of Cambridge – Vietnamese street food. The Urban Streetkings or better know on Twitter as @food_urbansk specialise in this delicious food of the East. I have been fortunate to have travelled a lot in the Far East, but Vietnam is still on my bucket list.
Vietnam is one of those cultural melting pots which has always intrigued me. Luke Nguyen’s food and travel programme about the Far East gave us a really good flavour of what to expect in Vietnam and its neighbouring countries. I can highly recommend treating yourself to his book Indochine – great recipes and not very difficult to make at all.
So who is ‘the Urban Streetkings’? They’re three local chef’s all working at the Three Horse Shoes in Madingley: Richard Stokes, the patron, Jay Scrimshaws and Greg Proud. Their love of Vietnamese food has inspired this new venture. Last night it was time for the Guerilla Kitchen. Every dish was full of flavour, a little bit of a kick and with so many foodies around our table, it was a constant guessing game as to which spices and herbs they had used. The most predominant one was the Thai Basil. The food was delicious. Do you know what the best part was? We had to eat with our hands so we could lick off our fingers and not waste any of the lovely sauces.
What can you expect of Richard, Jay and Greg?
Street Kings will be serving seasonal, healthy, innovative but affordable food every weekday lunch. The menu will change weekly drawing on their skills and influences gained. The food will be creative without being pretentious.
Guerilla Kitchen will take over restaurants, cafes, warehouses and office spaces for ‘supper clubs’, pop-ups and dinner parties at secret locations. They want guests to have a gastronomic and enjoyable and unique experience without the price tag usually associated with such events.
About Vietnamese Cuisine
Vietnamese food was influenced mainly by two cuisines, the Chinese and the French. Vietnamese shares many of its characteristics with Chinese cuisine and when the French established a colony in Vietnam, things started to change rapidly. The French brought their own food so it slowly started to penetrate the Vietnamese cuisine. Just to name a few ingredients: potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, baguettes and coffee. On my travels in the Far East, I always found it very difficult to find a good cup of coffee, but I have to admit that you don’t crave for it when you’re out there. In Vietnam it’s a different ball game. It’s hard to walk more than a few meters in any city in Vietnam without getting a whiff of dark chocolatey Vietnamese coffee, or noticing a pile of fresh lightly-baked baguettes. Vietnamese coffee is quite different to French coffee. It’s sweetened with condensed milk and often enjoyed over ice. You might not be aware of it, but Vietnam is is the world’s largest coffee exporter of Vietnamese style coffee.
What about Ying and Yang?
The Vietnamese always use the principals of Ying and Yang in composing a meal. This gives them the balance, which is beneficial for the body. The principal concerns are the ‘heating’ and ‘cooling’ of ingredients. For example, spicy food is balanced with sourness and seafood ranging from cool to cold are perfect to use with ginger, which is warm.
Below you can find a taster of what you can look forward to!