foodPark NIGHT MARKET, a pop-up night market featuring the best of Cambridge street food, was held on 14 February, 2015 at Burwash Manor. It was part of Burwash Food Hall‘s Love Food festival. With so much love in the air, it was only fitting to have foodPark’s very first NIGHT MARKET on Valentine’s night.
The evening’s focus was LOVE… mainly love for street food, all freshly prepared by the carefully-selected traders that form part of the foodPark collective, founded by Heidi White who has been instrumental in promoting street food in Cambridge.
“Street food markets are for wandering around, taking in the sights and smells, for tasting, sharing, anticipating food cooked “just-so”, and experiencing something different from your usual idea of eating out. But please remember the NIGHT MARKET *is* different from a usual restaurant, pop-up dining experience, or supper club. It is a market, it is not somewhere where reservations are taken, and here at foodPark the food and drink is THE main attraction.” (Official Website)
foodPark NIGHT MARKET featured some of the best street food traders in Cambridge. I’ve tried each and every one of them at various foodPark locations and they are all amazing. Serving up tasty food and drink on the night were: Steak & Honour, Churros Bar, Fired Up Pizza, GoGo Gogi Gui, Buffalo Joe’s, Tin Kitchen, Warming Your Cockles Coffee Co. and Guerrilla Kitchen. Oh, and let’s not forget the foodPark Bar, operating from a stunning Airstream caravan!
The street food traders were nicely spread out in the courtyard and many of the fabulous shops at Burwash Manor kept their doors open. I know I enjoyed browsing through the shops and I’m sure many people found a few treasures to remember the occasion. The ambience was enhanced by music, festoon lights and cosy seating, most of it under marquees.
foodPark’s mobile bar served up a variety of craft beers, premium wines, fizz and soft drinks. I especially loved the half bottle of pink champagne, which was perfect for two! Paulo and I enjoyed ours whilst we walked around, chatting to people and queuing for our food. The social aspect was one of the best parts of the night for me and I got to speak to some really interesting people. For some of them it was their first street food experience whilst others were there to visit their favourite traders.
Paulo and I started our Valentine’s feast by sharing a Fired Up pizza. This mobile wood-fired pizzeria uses homemade dough to produce a nice, thin crust topped with fresh ingredients. We shared the ‘Nduja pizza, described as “hot smoky loveliness” due to the flavour of the ‘Nduja, a spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria, Italy.
The best thing about foodPark NIGHT MARKET is precisely that… it’s a market. So Paulo and I shopped around and chose our main meal for the night. He chose GoGo Gogi Gui’s Korean BBQ burger. I went to Tin Kitchen as I love their grilled artisan ciabatta sandwiches. This time their porchetta sandwich featured pork from Burwash Manor, always a treat as they rear their own pigs on their organic farm. The porchetta ciabatta included crackling, celeriac and apple slaw, mustard, and rocket. Very fresh and very delicious!
It looks like our respective queues were perfectly timed. As soon as I received my sandwich, Paulo’s burger from GoGo Gogi Gui was ready. We enjoyed our meals by the glow of tealight candles in jars. Nice ambience, but even nicer burger! Paulo had the Gui burger, filled with sizzling dwaeji bulgogi marinated pork, gochujang mayo, kimchi, red onion, lettuce and cheese in a fresh brioche bun. One of his favourites!
Steak & Honour created the Holy Cow burger, which I didn’t have on the night but was able to try the next day at Burwash Manor. A real meat lover’s delight, the Holy Cow consisted of a Riverside beef patty, smoked brisket, pickled carrot, sweetheart cabbage and BBQ sauce in a brioche bun.
Some of the traders featured Valentine-inspired foods for the event. Churros Bar fried up some heart-shaped churros, with cute names such as Crazy In Nuts, Heart Warmer and Monkey Love. I loved sharing my heart churro with my husband. I joked that he was being good for Valentine’s Day because he usually doesn’t share. Who says romance is dead?
foodPark favourites Guerrilla Kitchen and Buffalo Joe’s served up their specialties to delighted customers. Guerrilla Kitchen’s steamed buns really are “heavenly clouds of deliciousness” (true to their hashtag) and Buffalo Joe’s chicken wings have been garnering rave reviews.
Jenny from Warming Your Cockles Coffee Co. was a lean, mean coffee-making machine (and other hot drinks). There was a steady queue all night at Gertie, the mini truck that was lovingly decorated with hearts just for the event! It just goes to show that people enjoy a good coffee at the end of a meal (or in my case, their gourmet hot chocolate)!
foodPark NIGHT MARKET was a huge success. Burwash Manor was a great location! A big round of applause to the traders who worked really hard to get their freshly prepared food out there as quickly as possible. I haven’t seen that many people in attendance since its inception. That’s great news for street food in Cambridge. Roll on the next NIGHT MARKET! It’s on 9 May, 2015 at a venue to be announced.
Kudos to Heidi, the foodPark team and volunteers for all their hard work in organising a memorable Valentine’s night!
foodPark NIGHT MARKET were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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