On July 20th & 21st, the Glasgow Barrowlands Art & Design Centre played host to the first ever ‘Street Feastival’, organised by the folks at KILTR, who wanted to inject some of the latest gourmet street food craze into Glasgow’s East End.
The idea behind the ‘feastival‘ was simple. There were no tickets or entry fees, simply turn up, browse the food on offer and order whatever you want.
The centre was the perfect location for an event like this, and as I walked into the venue, I was reminded of the potential that the Barrowlands area holds. After a few seconds, I was picturing a new, re-imagined Barrowlands with high quality food stalls, good markets, friendly bars and gig venues – something along the lines of Camden town, but in the heart of Glasgow. While that may only be a far away dream, the ‘Feastival’ certainly demonstrated that the potential is there and with the amount of people that came out to the event, it’s clear that there’s certainly a market for quality street food and unique events of this nature outside of the usual city centre and west end locations.
Among the restaurants that ‘popped up’ were the likes of the Hanoi Bike Shop, Lebowski’s, The Finnieston, Babu Bombay Kitchen and Kimchi Cult, a London-based pop-up serving up Korean fast food, who were debuting their food in Glasgow for the first time. After hearing reports of their burgers going down a storm on the first day of the event, we decided to make it our first stop. Kimchi Cult’s ethos is: “punk riffs on Korean classics” and we were looking forward to giving it a try!
There were a few burger options available – plain burger, cheeseburger, kimchi burger and the kimchi special, which we decided to go for. It consisted of a beef patty topped with kimchi, bacon and cheese on a toasted bun and was priced at £6.50. For those who have never sampled Kimchi, it’s a fermented Korean side dish consisting of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
Each burger was made from scratch as you waited (pictured below) and the smells of the beef, bacon, kimchi and mustard all flowing from the stand was enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
After being flipped and flattened, the patties were topped with the cheese, kimchi and mustard and ready to go.
Presentation-wise, the burger looked pretty good as far as street food goes. It was served in a plastic container and the kimchi and cheese spilled out from the sides.
Taste-wise, the patty was seasoned well and had a nice hint of mustard throughout; however, it was a little more well-done that I’d prefer my burger to be. The kimchi was the standout flavour here, which struck the right balance of sourness and spiciness, without being too salty. It had a potent, slightly spicy aftertaste, which worked very well with the American mustard which balanced out the flavour rather than overpower it. It was crunchy and a fantastic texture – I wanted more immediately. I’m not sure if plates of kimchi were available as a side-dish, but I’d have definitely ordered more if there had been an option to do so.
Despite the delicious kimchi, the burger wasn’t perfect. We weren’t too keen on the bacon, which was a bit too stringy and not crispy at all. The bun was lightly toasted and dense enough that it didn’t fall apart or lose its contents. It wasn’t anything overly flashy, but it was effective and tasted fresh.
While I enjoyed the burger, at £6.50 I felt that perhaps the price was a little high when compared to other dishes served at the event and it would have been nice to have had a small side portion of fries to go along with it. The Kimchi definitely stood out and was the highlight along with the patty; which, despite being a tad more well-done that I’d have preferred, was very well seasoned and a nice, bold flavour.
The Street Feastival was a great concept and I was impressed by the strong line-up of restaurants and bars that came together for the event. With another already in the works for August, I hope that the guys can build on this first experience to make the next one bigger and better. Aside from the burger and the excellent kimchi (dear Kimchi Cult – please come back and bring more with you), we were also able to sample some fantastic vegetarian food from Fire in Babylon‘s Roots Kitchen and some expertly made cocktails from the in-house bar. The huge crowd, thumping music, wide range of food and outdoor beer garden helped set the tone for a great event that ran well into the night on both days, from what we’ve seen from all of the chatter on Twitter. It’s fantastic to see events like this being brought to Glasgow’s East End and we certainly hope it continues.
+ Delicious Kimchi
+ Well seasoned
+ Good bun
+ Wide range of food available at the event
+ Great atmosphere. An event of this nature has been long overdue in Glasgow’s East End.
– Bacon was a little stringy and not crispy at all.
– Patty was well seasoned but would have preferred it a little less well-done.
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