Rock Lobsta makes a splash in Shoreditch

July 4th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink

Rock Lobsta arrived with some fanfare in Shoreditch on Thursday June 23rd.

With over 1,000 followers on Twitter, newspaper articles and food bloggers spreading the word before the ad hoc bar even opened in the annex of popular boutique store Luna & Curious, expectations were high.

What greeted me was a blast of pink and yellow peeking out from behind the all white exterior – think punk rock meets East London hipster – a killer 80s soundtrack and a masterful chef hard at work.

Provenance is an easy thing to preach but a difficult thing to get right. In this case, the minimal menu showcased the best of British sourced seafood. Fresh market lobster, crab and freshwater crayfish all available in a one-off, uniquely British, environment.

Drawing inspiration from the rise of New York lobster bars, the concept is the brainchild of three long time food professionals, consultant Adam Van Den Bussche, chef Carl Clarke and entrepreneur David Wolanski.

Their aim: to demystify a perceived luxury food that is viewed as unfashionable and unaffordable. Their motto: all things ‘lobsta’ to all people.

It worked. Over 500kgs of lobster and crab sold in just 4 days of trading.

Although you may have missed your chance at this incarnation, the trio have more ideas in store for a large scale ‘itinerant’ restaurant and a further assault on our tastebuds in the Autumn with another food concept hitting the streets.


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Kappacasein Dairy & the evolution of a very famous sandwich

June 30th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink

A regular feature at Borough Market over the past 10 years, Kappacasein is famous for its toasted cheese sandwiches, served with that magic mix of Poilane sourdough and Montgomery cheddar, and its own version of raclette, a swiss specialty, made with the spectacular Ogleshield cheese from Somerset.

Owner and cheesemaker Bill Oglethorpe, previously in charge of cheese maturing at Neal’s Yard, was one of seven traders recently asked to leave Borough Market with the Board of Trustees citing an alleged conflict of interest.

Raw in its execution (one trader was given just 48 hours to leave), the expulsion of the Bermondsey 7, as they have named themselves and now tweet under (@bermondsey7), has removed some of the most trusted and popular features that arguably have assisted in building the popularity and reputation of Borough Market in the the first place.

For Bill, this action proved a catalyst for Kappacasein to set up in a new and bigger location. Now based under the railway arches at 1 Voyager, off Spa Road in Bermondsey, the new location will be home to a new cheese making room and maturation facility, where things are afoot for bigger and better things.

A mere hop, skip and jump from the burgeoning Maltby Street collection of food stores, where most of the Bermondsey 7 are now trading, Bill talked to me, whilst the trains rattled past, about the development of his famous fare, why Ogleshield is the best cheese for raclette and his thoughts on the future.

UPDATE: As of October 2011, you will find Bill and the team back at Borough Market selling their fabulous raclette and sandwiches. Check their website for further details.

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Fumio Tanga’s Okonomiyaki Adventure

June 25th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink


Fumio Tanga lives in Clapton and loves to cook. As part of the now weekly Chatsworth Road Market, he makes Osaka style okonomiyaki, a true street food hailing from Hiroshima, his home town.

With his only background in food working in one of the thousands of okonomiyaki restaurants in Hiroshima as a teenager, Fumio wanted his stall to be, above all things, fun. It’s something you can really tell from the easy, friendly service and spectacularly simple but absolutely delicious one dish menu.

After a busy day in the market, he told me about his special recipe, experimenting on his friends and the inspiration for picking up his spatula and starting the stall.

 You can follow Fumio’s stall & “pop-up” okonomiyaki adventures on Twitter & Facebook.

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This video also features on new food webzine Debate Your Plate

Schnitzel & Things takes New York

June 1st, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink

A former investment banker, or “slave to powerpoint” as he describes his old job, working in Vienna, Oleg Voss found himself a victim of the global recession.

However, deciding that since the best thing about his now defunct job was his lunch break and the schnitzel he enjoyed everyday in the Austrian capital, he would make it his new full time obsession.

In its first year of trading Schnitzel & Things was nominated at the Vendy Awards (New York’s Street Food Oscars) for Best Rookie Van 2009 (an award they subsequently won) and went on to be nominated for Best Street Food Vendor in 2010. A fantastic achievement for a first timer in the business and a testimony to the quality of their amazing food.

After watching a busy lunchtime service and sampling the delicious offerings, I spoke to Oleg about his journey from the office, onto the street and beyond.

You can follow the original schnitzel truck on twitter @schnitznthings or check out their new store at:
Schnitzel & Things
723 3rd Avenue
New York, NY

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This video is also featured on new food webzine Debate Your Plate