‘Twas a rainy day when we decided to meet up with Jess, a primary teacher from Canada.
Our first stop in exploring was Boxpark, a series of small boutiques all laid out in boxcars stacked side by side. This just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of space to be chic.
On a second level we found #foodshops. I don’t know about this whole hashtag business, to be honest, but every sign had it to optimize for the inevitable Instagrams (that’s my theory, anyway).
To be fair, the weather was cold but the food didn’t seem particularly attractive at Boxpark so on we went into Brick Lane, where we stumbled rather by accident into a near hole in the wall. That hole led us into a wide open area filled with – you guessed it – food vendors. Oh golly. I later found out that this particular location used to be an old brewery, and is known as the Boiler House Food Hall (only open on weekends).
For starters we had a Mediterranean plate (£5) with fried spinach and feta on pita, banana peppers, dolma and hummus. The hot pita was welcome but the rest, being consumed on a chilly day, were not an optimal choice. Flavours were there but cold food really should be consumed on a summer day.
Jack followed that up quickly by ordering some Taiwanese fried chicken in a cone (£4), sprinkled with a spicy chili sauce and sesame seeds. ‘Twas hot, fresh and oh so tasty. The breading was crunchy throughout and the chicken still tender in its crackalicious casing.
Jess, on the other hand, decided to try out an Ethiopian vegetarian plate (£6). I wasn’t able to try all of it but the selection and variety on the plate was certainly amazing. The one thing we all disagreed with was the injera, a sourdough-like flatbread with a very spongy texture. Because injera is made from fermented dough (similar to sourdough) the sour taste that came through was startling and quite different from what we were expecting. I suppose the bread scoops up sauce really well because of its texture but none of us ended up being fans of injera.
Still hungering after some hot food, I ended up going back to a Sri Lankan stall to order their curry chicken and a sweet and spicy beef stew (mix plate; £5). The beef stew was delicious, but I had not counted on the green chilis in the curry and chomped on one in my haste. Instant inferno.
In fact, the burn was so hot I cried. Food has not made me cry in ages. Jack solved the issue by buying a lackluster mango milk tea (£3.50) which finally did the trick of soothing my blistered tongue.
We went exploring after that, walking around until our feet were sore. The food was great (albeit hot) and the sights were neat; all in all, we passed another Saturday enjoying what London had to offer.