Eat Street looks for a new home

Eat Street Leamington Spa

Initially I was sad to hear that Eat Street market is not going to return to Regent Court in Leamington Spa, especially I was involved in the launch, but I’m hopeful that they will find a new location soon.

Here is their announcement in full  –

“We regret to inform you all that Eat Street which started in September 2013 will not be returning to Regent Court in Leamington. The new centre manager feels that due to the way in which Regent Court is changing from a retail venue into that of a food venue, Eat Street no longer has a place in the centre.

“He has been in talks with the restaurants and they are all of the same mind-set that Eat Street is watering down the Friday lunchtime trade and as they are paying comparatively high rent and rates, they feel it would be unfair if Eat Street was to return.

CJs Events

“We are in the process of finding a new location and would appreciate your feedback. Ideas for locations, days or frequency on which it could be held or anything else will be gratefully received @cjseventswarks.

Jamie Walker added “We will miss the happy smiling faces on a Friday, but it won’t be forever. Eat Street will rise from the ashes and feed the hungry masses again!”

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New markets for Warwickshire towns

CJs Events

If you’ve been to Eat Street in Leamington Spa (the Friday street food feast) you will have come across CJs Events who manage this weekly market.

They are a family owned, local company with a passion for food events who are celebrating being awarded a tender from Warwick District Council.

Starting from 1 February, the company will host the weekly food markets in Leamington Spa and Kenilworth as well as the monthly Warwick Farmers Market.

Warwick markets

Jamie Walker and his team are thrilled with the new business and commented; “ Markets are an important and valued asset to Warwickshire and we are really looking forward to working with current and new traders. We have lots of exciting plans which will be revealed over the coming months.”

The markets relaunch in February so dates for your diary are Thursday 5 February in Kenilworth and Saturday 7 February in Warwick, with Eat Street in Leamington set to return in March.

”Any new traders looking to take part at a Warwick District Markets event can contact the team by calling 01926 800 750 or by visiting www.warwickdistrictmarkets.co.uk

#FoodieFind – Mama Eti’s

Back at Eat Street food market in Leamington Spa for Halloween, I met the lovely Jeremy and Tina Stone from Mama Eti’s.

Mama Eti's

 

Mama Eti’s is a new Indonesian street food brand. Like many people I guess I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Malaysian and Indonesian food when presented with dishes, so it was great to learn about the cuisine from the couple.

Mama Eti's branding

Jeremy lived and worked in SE Asia for ten years where he met his wife, Tintin (Tina) in Jakarta and moved back to the UK in 2009 to settle in Bournville.

Jeremy says; “We have set up Mama Eti’s to fulfil our passion for Indonesian cuisine and street food. It’s the influences from China, India, the Middle East and Europe that make Indonesian food so diverse and delicious.

“We have ten speciality dishes which my wife has developed using authentic Indonesian recipes. Once people have tried them they’ll fall in love with the subtle spices like we did.”
Mama Etis food

Main dishes include:

Soto Ayam (fragrant lemon grass and chicken broth with rice noodles, fried soya beans and crunchy vegetables).
Mie Pangsit (steamed egg noodles served with chicken cooked in ginger and other spices, steamed pak choi and a crispy fried wonton).
Mie Aceh (a very soupy and rich Sumatran curried egg noodle dish with minced lamb, bean sprouts cooked with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, cardamon).
Pepes Ayam (A Sundanese dish of steamed chicken cooked in spices wrapped in banana leaf)
Satay (chicken, beef and lamb satay served with our own satay sauce, Indonesian pickle and rice).
Ayam Penyet (chicken cooked in spices and then deep fried served with rice, deep fried tofu and Indonesian sambal).
Nasi Goreng (fried rice with chicken and vegetables served with a prawn cracker and Indonesian pickle).
Tahu Sumedang (from Tina’s home town, deep fried cubes of tofu served with Indonesian sambal).

Mam Eti's menu board

On the menu at Eat Street were Beef Rendang (a very rich and succulent slow cooked Sumatran beef curry cooked in coconut milk and spices served with cassava leaf curry, coconut rice and Indonesian sambal) and Ayam Padang (a Sumatran chicken curry cooked in coconut milk with lemon grass, galangal and other spices served with coconut rice and Indonesian Sambal). I tried the chicken padang, the delicious, succulent chicken had been marinated overnight and just melted in my mouth!

 

Mama Eti’s went to their first food festival in July, which they followed by appearing at Brum Yum Yum in Kings Heath, the Sketts fine food market in Solihull and Eat Street in Leamington Spa. As they find their feet, receive customer feedback on dishes and develop their offer, the Stones have lots of ideas to raise the profile of Indonesian cuisine. Plans to bottle their sauces and even make Indonesian food kits are already in the pipeline.

Before they take a break for Christmas, you can find them at the Stourbridge Christmas Lights switch on Saturday 29 November.

 

Property group buys a ‘steak’ in Coventry

Plans for a new £5m food hub have been unveiled for Coventry.

Cathedral Lanes shopping centre

Shearer Property Group has bought the Cathedral Lanes shopping centre in Broadgate and plans to create a new food and drink quarter.

Built in 1989, the 65,000 sq ft shopping centre is in front of Coventry Cathedral in the heart of the city centre. The new owners plan to have the first phase completed in time to have restaurants and bars operating by Christmas 2015.

Shearer specialises in urban regeneration projects and has worked in towns and cities including Bath, Cambridge, Newbury, Weymouth, Shrewsbury and Swindon. The company says it has already attracted interest from several leading restaurant brands not currently operating in Coventry.

On Coventry Telegraph ’s website there is a small poll inviting you to nominate which brands that you would like to see in the centre, which suggest Yo! Sushi Five Guys and Wagamama.

Five Guys Burgers Bullring

Is it too much to hope that there will be some independents in there as well as the usual high street chains? Trinity Leeds has managed it with their mix of 30 cafes, bars and restaurants that are household names which sit alongside a permanent area for street food traders in Trinity Kitchen.

Trinity Kitchen Leeds Fusion

With the recent opening of Fargo Village and launch of Eat Street market on Coventry University’s campus, the city is making the right moves to encourage new, independent food businesses into the city. There is the appetite for more, but it remains to be seen if this thinking is extended into the city centre too.

 

Eat Street goes to Coventry

The lucky students at Coventry University were treated to their first street food market on campus last Wednesday.

Bare Bones pizza

Eat Street from Leamington Spa brought nine traders and live music over for a day of freshly prepared Turkish, Caribbean, Mexican cuisine, burgers, hot dogs, pizza  and even cakes.

63 Islands drinks

Refreshing drinks to cool down the heat of 63 Islands Caribbean dishes include sorrel and ginger plus carrot juice from Jamaica and an orange milkshake from the Dominican Republic.

Sultan montage

Maureen and Suat have been running Sultan, a Turkish kitchen for just six months and already loving the freedom to meet their customers.  I tried mucver – courgette pancakes with feta, onions, parsley and dill. Seasoned with sumak and served with a garlic yoghurt dip and esme  – crushed tomatoes , onions, parsley and pepper for a subtle heat. Maureen and Suat want to expand their mobile kitchen in the New Year with a gazebo to house a gas ring, so that they have the space to create more food including the “best kebabs you’ll ever taste” promised Suat.

Mister V

Mister V from Leamington Spa cooked his handmade sausages and burgers to an appreciative audience, with options to choose your bread and toppings to create the perfect snack.

The Cake Doctor montage

Within his funky vintage converted ambulance, Cake Doctor James provides what he calls “the sixth emergency service” serving delicious wedges of homemade cakes and freshly brewed Bluebird whole leaf teas. Taught to cook by his grandmother and mother, James bought the ambulance from Ebay to get his lifelong passion for a cake business moving. His carrot cake, banana loaf and chocolate brownies were gorgeous!

So with the opening of Fargo Village and the Eat Street market launch, Coventry is getting a taste of some great street food traders from the Midlands.

CJS Events at Coventry University

The organisers CJs Events hope that this will become a regular event and I’ll let you know when the next Eat Street market will take place in Coventry.

#Lunch

Bare Bones pizza

The quest to get out and about at lunchtime continues with my latest foodie find.

With their shiny van kitted out with a wood fired pizza oven, father and son team Mike and Tim Evans are taking local food markets by storm with  Bare Bones Pizza

Two pizzas stand out from their menu – Fishbone a 10″ pizza, with anchovy fillets, black olives and mozzarella plus Sweetza with butterscotch sauce, sliced apples with a cinnamon and all-spice mix, finished off with mixed chopped nuts.

Bare Bones pizza have been at Sketts market in Victoria Square, Mell Square in Solihull and Leamington Spa’s Eat Street recently – just follow the queue to find the delicious thin, crispy based pizzas!

Street food spectacular

Roll up roll up for a street food spectacular. I need a little trumpet fanfare for this post.

The majority of our local street food traders took an extended break over January, but the good news is that Eat Street and Digbeth Dining Club are back and a new street food collective is being launched.

Let’s start first with the big news from Flic and Barny at The Jabberwocky.

Scoff

“We have started a street food collective Scoff with some of our fellow outdoor chefs – the Hungry Toad, Spectacular Goat, Big Daddies Diner and Meat Shack.

“There are a fair few people out there who want to support the street food industry, but don’t know where to start. They have an idea for a market, or a piece of land, and don’t know where to go next. Individually all we could do is wait until they sort themselves out, hope that they didn’t go under and keep half an eye on the twitter feed. Now we’re actually in a position to help.” Follow @ScoffingFood for updates.

Eat Street Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa is the hometown for both Flick and Barny plus the street food market Eat Street. Joining the traders for their debut is You Me & A Cup of Tea.  With a passion for whole-leaf tea they will offering a ‘proper’ brew during the market. @umeandacuppatea

You’ll have to a bit a bit longer for the Digbeth Dining Club which returns on Friday 7 February. On the line-up are Meatshack, Esmies Seafood Kitchen, Fat Duck Spuds and Low ‘N’ Slow.

As this is my partner’s favourite (he gets meat sweats just thinking about it) I thought that I’d tell you more about Andy Stubbs.

Low N Slow burger

Andy is a regular at DDC. He specialises in slow-cooking locally sourced ingredients to perfection. He prepares, cures and smokes meats at home before taking them out with his stand, cooking them and serving them al fresco at street food events, markets and shows.

Andy’s signature pulled pork is smoked with oak and hickory and cooked for a mammoth 18 hours before being served with his own homemade coleslaw and BBQ sauce in a brioche bun baked by a fellow Brummie artisan. Andy’s other trademark dish is 12-hour beef brisket chilli with ranch coleslaw. He also makes his own pickles and cures his own hickory bacon.

Due to bad weather forecasted for Sunday, the Flying Flea street food market in Moseley has been postponed, with the next event scheduled for Sunday 23 February. I’ll add details of these traders to the Events page on Monday 3 February.

Flying Flea street food

Eat Street, Leamington’s first street food market

Whether you eat it with a fork or your fingers, the quality of artisan food served from the vans and stalls in street food markets has been giving cafés and restaurants a run for their money for a while now.

In the West Midlands Birmingham has two successful street food organisers in the Digbeth Dining Club and Brumyumyum, so I was keen to see what genteel Leamington Spa had to offer in its first Eat Street food market.

Eat Street Leamington Spa

Situated in Regent Court, the wide paved area runs from The Parade to Regent Street in the town centre, it is a good location to attract passers-by. Maria Hughes, manager of Regent Court shopping centre said: “We’re pleased to be holding this weekly market. It adds another dimension to the offering here and I’m sure it will be popular with shoppers once they discover the tasty treats available.”

Fresh Rootz at Eat Street

The first two vans I saw belonged to BBC Good Food Show Midlands Street Food winners Fresh Rootz and Jabberwocky who are also both from Leamington. Jabberwocky’s Flic and Barney told me that “it’s great to finally have a street food market in our home town, this is what Leamington has always needed.” They have written about Eat Street on their blog  so you get a vendor’s perspective of the new street food market.

Barmey and Flic The Jabberwocky

Most food markets in the area are run by Sketts, but Eat Street is down to a family-run Warwickshire company CJS Events.  Jamie Walker said: “As a local company we’ve always been keen to set up a market in Leamington Spa. With other local towns having a market of some kind, we felt Leamington was missing out and Regent Court is the ideal place to have it.”

Annie's Ice Cream Van

Big Daddies Diner

The Big Red Pig at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Funky Cupcake Company at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Deli2dine4 at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Leamington already has a thriving food festival and variety of food shops, so I hope that the town, residents and visitors grab the delicious, innovative, food to go with both hands.

Eat Street plans to have around a dozen stalls selling tasty food and produce, every Friday from 9am – 4pm.

More pictures on www.facebook.com/MidlandsGourmetGirl

STOP PRESS:  New food openings in Leamington over the next few weeks include The Larder, a deli and coffee shop, followed by a bakery from George Casey – so keep checking the blog for updates.