Cambridge is fortunate to have foodPark, a collective of top quality local street food traders. The brainchild of Heidi White, foodPark has a solid presence in Cambridge for its regular lunchtime markets. Occasionally pop-up events are organised, such as the foodPark NIGHT MARKET, where the best of Cambridge street food and drink is the main attraction. Heidi has embraced the street food movement and works to remain true to its ethos of sourcing traders who provide high quality, artisan food and care about provenance. It’s not about flogging mass-produced food with cheap ingredients.
“foodPark is a collective of street food traders, formed and operated as a not-primarily-for-profit organisation which promotes local, independent street food in Cambridge. We select traders based on strict quality criteria. foodPark was founded and is organised by Heidi White – just one local person with a huge passion for street food and experience in business, events, and marketing”. (Official Website)
Therefore, it’s no wonder foodPark NIGHT MARKET has been increasing in popularity. The last one took place on Valentine’s night at Burwash Manor and proved to be massively popular. (I raved all about it here). The much-anticipated second instalment of this pop-up night market was held on 9 May, 2015 at Gravel Hill Farm at the North West Cambridge Development, as part of Eat Cambridge’s fringe events. The venue was spacious and could accommodate a greater number of people.
The event was very well organised. Based on the popularity of the previous night market, this time it was a ticket-only event to ensure everyone could get in. It sold out very quickly so I was glad I got my ticket nice and early! People arrived in droves by foot, bus, taxi, bicycles and cars (we found parking on nearby streets and those cycling in had lots of space to store their bikes on site). The queue started before the opening time of 5pm. The anticipation was building!
The site was nicely laid out, with a barn to house the majority of the street food traders and accommodate lots of seating space. There was even more space outside the barn for food, drinks and music. The event appealed to all ages so there was a really nice mix of people there.
Sponsors Cambridge Consultants provided some really useful items such as table covers, coasters, hand wipes, napkins and blankets.
foodPark NIGHT MARKET took place between 5pm and 10pm so we had many hours of daylight for the event. The sky looked beautiful when the sun started to set and the gorgeous lighting in the barn was even more prominent.
The foodPark BAR wasn’t housed in an airstream caravan this time but it was just as nice and functional. The bar team worked steadily to provide the crowd with expertly sourced craft beer, wine, Prosecco and gin. Soft drinks were available too.
The tasty line-up of foodPark NIGHT MARKET traders:
Steak & Honour added a special menu item… a spicy burger aptly named Some Like It Hot featuring a large patty, American cheese, jalapeno, onion and their own hot sauce.
Fired Up’s stand, including their handcrafted portable brick oven, was located outside the barn. All of their authentic wood-fired pizzas were made with homemade dough, tomatoes from Italy and virgin olive oil. I had the ‘Nduja & Basil pizza, same as the last night market. I can’t enough of that delicious ‘Nduja, a spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria, Italy.
Jack’s Gelato mind-blowing Apple & Gin Sorbet made its debut and it was a hit. The Earl Grey & Plum gelato, as well as the chocolate one, were sublime too! Have a look at Jack’s other tantalising flavours served that night!
Jalan Jalan served some yummy banh mi Vietnamese-style sandwiches as well as sarawak laksa, a spicy Malaysian soup. So very delicious.
Buffalo Joe’s served up buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and spectacular buttermilk chicken burgers with candied bacon.
Tin Kitchen offered three delicious options for their grilled artisan ciabatta sandwiches: porchetta, celeriac and apple slaw, crackling, rocket and English mustard; grilled halloumi, aubergine, tomato, rocket and pesto mayo; and Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder, tzatziki, pickled red onions and rocket.
The Juice Box was a new addition to foodPark NIGHT MARKET. Healthy and delicious juices and smoothies, chock full of fruits and veggies, were freshly prepared to delight foodParkers for the first time.
Guerrilla Kitchen served up a succession of their famous steamed buns (bao). There were many choices of fillings… pork belly, chicken, salmon, tofu etc, served in light, pillowy, melt-in-the-mouth buns. Bun love, indeed!
GoGo Gogi Gui‘s succulent marinated beef (Gogi) and marinated pork (Gui) burgers were on the menu but they also introduced a new burger for foodPark NIGHT MARKET… the Dakgalbi, featuring fiery stir fried sesame chicken, Koleslaw and sesame mayo in a brioche bun. Sides included the aforementioned Koleslaw (cabbage, red cabbage in a sesame mayo and spicy bean paste dressing), Wakame Salad (seaweed in a sweet sesame dressing) and Roasted Seaweed. They even had Soju, the national drink of Korea.
Churros Bar had one of the longest queues at the end of the evening. It just goes to show that people crave a little something sweet after their meals and Churros Bar did not disappoint with their yummy churros and dips! I had the salted caramel dip with my churros but also sampled one of their newer dips, lemon cheesecake with ginger biscuit crumb. It was as delicious as it sounds and worked surprisingly well as a dip!
Warming Your Cockles Coffee Co.’s Emily and Jenny not only delighted foodParkers with coffee (hot or iced), there were also other options available, such as hot chocolate, tea, soft drinks and a selection of sweet treats. The banana/chocolate chip loaf and peanut butter cups proved very popular.
I was thrilled to learn that the next foodPark NIGHT MARKET will be held at this same excellent venue, some time in July 2015. Stay tuned for the exact date to be announced!
I’d like to thank Heidi and all at foodPark NIGHT MARKET for putting together such an enjoyable event and spreading the joy of street food in Cambridge.
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.
Unless otherwise noted, I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use, reprint or publish any material.