UK Taking it to the Streets, Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar, London Food Trucks

Before the onslaught of new cookbook releases in September, I have been checking titles published in Albion whether they make it across the Atlantic or not.

One that definitely caught my attention was Street Food Revolution (Kyle Books UK, June 2011) by Richard Johnson.

The author traveled "across the UK and Ireland in a campervan, he tells the remarkable stories of 12 budding entrepreneurs who have chosen wheels over bricks-and-mortar to peddle their wares. From the porridge bar outside Edinburgh castle to the coffee cart on the north coast of Ireland to the Ethiopian food stall in London's East End, these vendors serve up delicious meals that are prepared and cooked right in front of you"

Street Food Revolution also includes 60 recipes from around the world.

Richard Johnson illustrated the budding scene with favorites and recipes in Street food: the latest rage (The Observer, June 19).

The Citroen Van from Luardos (Mexican food) brought back memories of Epiceries on Wheels that used to roam the French countryside to serve small villages and hamlets.

The part of the article that interested me most actually is about Dishoom 'Bombay Cafe' and its Chowpatty Beach Bar pop-up at Southbank Centre.

Dishoom gives us a little historical background on Irani cafes that inspired them:

"The old Bombay Cafés – or Irani Cafés – are one such tradition. They were mostly opened in the late 19th and early 20th century by immigrants from Persia, who had been coming to India for over a thousand years. These cafés were part of the fabric of urban life, functioning as an eating, meeting and drinking place for people from all communities, for rich and poor alike. They all had that distinct comfortable look of faded elegance. Britannia and Leopolds are good examples that are still around. Café Naaz is one that was much-loved but that closed in 1999."


The Chowpatty Beach Bar pop-up aims to recapture some of the atmosphere at "bars found along Mumbai's most famous promenade, overlooking the Arabian Sea" writes Richard.

Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar is located on Queen Elizabeth Hall Terrace at Southbank Centre (London). It is opened Monday through Sunday until October 4, 2011.

Check their Menu, Hours, How to Get There and other practical details.

(* Photo of Chowpatty Beach Bar pop-up from Dishoom site)

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