You can probably tell from the title of this post, that you’re in for a treat today…
Just to whet your appetite!
It seems like London might be having a heatwave this weekend (only Brits call 26/27 degrees C a heatwave…oh, and I’m not in London for it, typical), and I can’t think of many things better than enjoying a good food market on a sunny day in the city. Of course, you could head central and jostle your way around Borough Market, Street Food Union or Southbank Market (just to name a few) – or, you could try out one that’s a little more tucked away, but no less interesting or delicious. Like Broadway Market!
We had been meaning to try out John’s dumpling stall, aptly named Dumplingshack, for quite a while. It’s just that when you live in West London, Hackney just seems a tad too far. When you have to get a bus from the tube station, it somehow makes it feel so much longer than it actually is! Well, the journey wasn’t bad at all and Broadway Market is a 15 minute bus ride away from Liverpool St. Station.
So off we went with Yee, a seasoned visitor being John’s girlfriend and all, who lead us first to Yeast Bakery. A little bakery selling artisan croissants, pastry and bread, this was a little torturous for E and myself – we had held off from having breakfast knowing we had a feast lined up, and this tested our willpower to the max. We wanted to save ourselves for the main event(s), so we mumbled to each other that we’d come by on the way back and grab some of the Kouign-amann to go. We didn’t even notice that sneaky Yee had grabbed some for us to try, and popped a bagful into our arms! Thank you again, Yee!
We weren’t digging into them yet, though. First things first, we made a beeline for Dumplingshack, where John told us that we would be trying each of the three flavours that were on offer that day – Pork & Chinese Leaf, Prawn & Cornish Crab, and Spicy Beef with Sambalshiok (<- another food stand I’m dying to try) sauce. The DS team got to work making the dumplings fresh on order – John makes the dough himself, of course, and they are all cooked on site.
I can’t tell you how good these were. I’m no stranger to good quality dumplings, so I think you can trust me when I say that they are some of the best I’ve tried, and this is not a biased opinion. The fillings are generous and flavourful, the dough is spot on, and the seasoning is perfect. I tried one of each kind and it was hard to pick a favourite, but I would probably choose the classic pork.
We had a great time wandering around the rest of the market (this part of Broadway Market is the Schoolyard area), where they have several stands that caught my eye (like The Frenchie – I adore their duck confit burgers!). Yee got us a young coconut to drink, which was so good and perfect after that spicy beef, and we enjoyed some music and sunshine whilst waiting for Selena to join us for our next destination.
Sticking to the Asian theme, we headed to Salvation In Noodles for a proper lunch. I’ve reviewed their first branch before here, but it was my first time trying the new Finsbury Park branch, and I think it’s even better. It’s the best Vietnamese food I’ve had in London, and when you go there, you absolutely must try the Phu Quoc chicken wings. Dangerously addictive, and terrifyingly delicious.
I had seen a photo of the Mi Quang noodles on annixontong’s instagram, and I knew it was the one I had to try… only to discover that it’s only available past 6pm. With those bowl of noodle emojis in my eyes, I coerced Colin into seeing whether they could whip a bowl up for me, and the answer was yes! And it was so worth breaking the rules for. The noodles are cooked in tumeric, topped with braised pork belly, prawns and soft-boiled egg. Amazing.
The portions at SIN are extremely generous, and I’d advise you to get the Vietnamese iced coffee as well.
We rolled ourselves home, armed with treats from Yee, including incredible homemade brownies…
Let’s just say we were in a food coma for the rest of the weekend.
Can I take a moment to talk about how inspiring these guys are? John of Dumplingshack works full time, starts prepping for his stall during the week, gets up at the crack of dawn every Saturday and sells out his dumplings by 3pm. Colin of SIN is not much older than me (I didn’t ask him permission to disclose his age!), and has opened two branches of his restaurant that serves top quality, honest, and delicious Vietnamese dishes. The dedication and passion that drive these kinds of superhumans on is so inspiring to me, and I love meeting people who remind me to push myself, too.
So, tomorrow’s Saturday. Please go and relive my last Saturday, and do all of the above. You can thank me later.