My boyfriend is obsessed with hot sauce.
I know, that’s a strange statement, but it’s true. He considers himself a connoisseur; like someone who collects fine wines, but with these fiery, peppery concoctions instead. We have an entire shelf in our little kitchen filled with different ones he’s tried. I have to admit that they all taste the same to me, but then I’m the kind of person who orders my Nandos with lemon and herb and then thinks it’s slightly spicy, so I might not be the best person to ask…
Anyway, as he’s such a big fan of all flavours hot, when we heard about the one off chilli food festival – Chilli Chilli Bang Bang – coordinated by Street Feast London, we knew we had to make a trip. Tickets were quite pricy but included two free drinks…and yet more free hot sauce! Stalls included SmokeStak, B.O.B’s Lobster and more.
The weather was playing up on Saturday but when we got there it was sunny, and there was quite a lot of shelter, with open fires dotted about for warmth. We had to queue to get in at 6pm, so I’m glad we got there early!
We collected our free Coronas and tried to decide what to eat first.
Eventually we plumped for Wahaca and their pork pibil tacos. This was nice, but not spicy at all (probably because I picked it).
Next up, we headed to Som Saa, where 2009 Masterchef winner Andy Oliver was cooking up Thai delights. Ian was really impressed to see he was there! (We’ve been obsessed with Masterchef lately – I want Luke to win, but I don’t think he will! Good luck though, Luke!)
I can’t remember exactly what this Thai chilli soup was called, but it was seriously hot – maybe a bit too hot for me. Tasty all the same, and watching Ian try to eat it was the icing on the cake…
It had started to rain at this point so we decided it was time for more drinks. I collected my free margarita, which was gorgeous, and Ian got himself a beer. We drank them by the fire, warming our hands happily. There was a really nice, buzzy, festival vibe about the whole place – everyone was just having a good time!
Yes, I do have food in my hair. Oops.
The next place we went, we couldn’t pick just one thing so got one each. DF Mexico – ‘Mexico Meets Chicago.’
I picked the grilled chicken torta with habanero mayo. I thought I’d hit the jackpot – I mean, just look at it – and when I tasted it, I was pretty sure too. Juicy, smokey chicken with a perfectly spiced mayo and avocado on top – how could anything beat that?
Move in Ian’s choice – the four hour slow-cooked beef torta. It may not look so special…but I’m not joking, my few bites of this were one of the best things I had all evening. The beef just fell apart in your mouth, leaving the most amazing flavour behind it – spicy and grilled and oh, just SO good. Seriously, I’m going to find this place again! I had major food envy!
After a quick toilet break (which actually weren’t bad – not too much queuing, which impressed me) we went for an Indian option. Rola Wala offered a ‘trio’ of twisted Indian street food – a shredded BBQ mint chicken slider, which was mild, a medium beetroot Dal ‘Rola slider’, and finally the hot option – a Goan-style Pulled Pork slider. We ordered the trio, and although they were out of the pork, they kindly knocked us up a chicken version of the hot slider.
Unfortunately, I think some of the hot powder travelled onto my ‘mild’ option, because the first mouthful was alarmingly hot, but it calmed down after that! These were really good – authentic Indian flavouring and tasty meat.
I could’ve kept going all night, but we had an engagement party to get to so we only had time for one more. We headed to Andina for some Peruvian tapas, and picked the quinoa burger with kiwi yoghurt and chilli mayo.
The guy at the stall was really helpful and friendly and let Ian try all the hot sauces – which led to him buying a new one, obviously!
I didn’t know whether or not to be excited about the burger but actually it was so good – the quiona was so light and fluffy and it really absorbed the taste of the sauces.
We had a final drink by the fire and then, sadly, the queues were mounting up so much that we just had to go. I headed off to the engagement party with charcoal smelling hair, mud stained shoes, rain splashed legs, a full stomach and a big smile on my face!