All of the best things come but once a year; Christmas, birthdays, the Urban Night Feast…
That last one there is, in fact, happening this very weekend so if you’ve not been yet, get your arse down there and commence stuffing your face to your heart’s content immediately. Unless you’re sadly reading this too late, eyes tearing up at the thought of all of the food that you have missed, in which case put next year in your diary now.
UNF brings together some of the UK’s best street food vendors and chefs and shoves them all into the (now famous for foodie events) Stephenson Building behind central station for us North Eastern people to enjoy. The UNF was one of Newcastle’s first street food festivals and has since prompted the creation of other, more local events such as the monthly Boilershop Steamer, held in the very same building.
For the official lowdown check out urbannightfeast.co.uk but I nipped along last night to ‘sample’ some of the wares. All in the name of research. Obviously.
When we arrived around 8pm the whole warehouse was buzzing; ablaze with the light of a hundred gold fairy lights, the air filled with merry tunes courtesy of familiar face Lauren Archer, DJ extraordinaire, and heavy with the scent of food being grilled, fried and roasted for eager punters’ mouths. The queues were long but not obscene and the vendors were friendly and professional. There were bubblegum martinis from iconic London hotspot Purl, artisan hotdogs courtesy of Big Apple Hotdogs, The Rib Man’s tender ribs smothered with Holy F*ck sauce, salted caramel milkshakes and Fat Hippo burgers (all the way from Jesmond), famous Luardos chipotle brisket burritos, whole coconuts and Thai treats from Pla’s Asian Kitchen, The Broad Chare offering their beautiful scotch eggs and other ‘bar snacks’, odd Scottish concoctions like haggis toasties from Deeney’s, tasty Indian veggie stuff form Horn OK Please, fresh wood fired oven baked Fundi pizzas from Oxford, delicious Italian wines enthused about by the Passione Vino chaps, hipster gin-based drinks thrown together by The Travelling Gin Company lads, Mark Hix’s ‘fish dogs’, some Real Nice Ice posh ice lollies, and then the usual suspects, Wylam Brewery and Riley’s Fish Shack, doing their thing, who hopefully you’ve already heard of.
I managed to grab a couple of G&Ts, some scotch eggs, a divine brisket burrito, a bubblegum martini, a bite of shredded ribs in a bun and some cinnamon ‘donuts’ (kind of more like churros) with salted caramel dipping sauce. Yes. A successful night. I may even be persuaded to head down for a tasty morsel or two again tonight before hitting the bars. If you see me there feel free to come say hi, tell me what you’ve eaten and, preferably, offer me a bite. Just kidding. Kind of.