CANTEEN: STREET FOOD SERVED IN THE HEART OF LEICESTER CITY
Let me introduce this concept to all you Leicester based (or not) foodies out there. Canteen is Leicester’s new street food pop-up, scheduled for every last Friday of the month at the LCB Depot’s courtyard. You may think why the name Canteen? Well that was chosen to reflect the once thriving Bus depots past, but is now a hub of 40 creative businesses!
Yes finally in the heart of our city, like minded individuals can gather and nosh on authentically produced street grub accompanied by an evening of a selection of music to lift the ambience (not that it needs lifting).
Being a resident of the cultural quarter, I had on occasions heard the commotion occurring at the LCB depot regularly but had no idea that it was an open street food event until I joined the LCB’s canteen Facebook page. Apparently this was officially launched back in January 2017 and is a collaboration between LCB depot, Grays Café and a Midlands based Events organiser, who felt Leicester was really lacking an event as such.
The UK traders are award winning street food specialists and trust me you will not be disappointed!
Check out the plethora of UK traders on the night…
Having travelled t Brazil, this was an interesting one for me not only because this was the first time this husband and wife team were showcasing their talents of a country where they had lived, but also because I know Brazilian food is very meaty. I’m a pescatarian so this one was never going to be for me, but this stall was super busy, they definitely had the charcoals going and the smells enticing the crowds in no time!
A colleague had told me this was a Birmingham based trader, specialising in Pan Asia food. So obviously we had to sample the faithful Malaysian cuisine. With sauces and pastes made entirely from scratch this was always going to be a winner for me but the icing on the cake, gluten free, dairy and nut free curries on offer too, oh yeah! We had a little chat with the traders before things starting to get very hot and busy, always lovely to find people with a mutual appreciation for South East Asia!
THE ENGLISH INDIAN
Classic Fish and Chips revamped with a secret Indian pakora batter and deep fried! If you don’t fancy the fish, substitute with halloumi! All served up with sides of hand cut chat masala chips, mint and chilli garden peas, madras chip shop curry sauce, sweet chilli jam and a tip top garnish of coriander and lime. Bonus here is that flavour doesn’t have to be compromised to be Gluten Free! Being a complete halloumi fiend, the English Indian was my favourite hands down, still dream about it now!
These guys are the masters of chicken wings! Varieties range from super hot, sweet and sticky and their popularity was reflected in the queues forming at the stall. If you’re a wing consumer, then dare to take on their Wing Sting Challenge!
THE ITALIAN STALLION
If there was a competition for quirkiest trailer, these guys would win in my opinion! If authentic Neapolitan wood fired pizzas are your vice, then these guys are quality! Quite literally the best quality tomatoes are used as their pizza coverings and the most delicious milky creamy imported mozzarella, Fior di Latte. My only qualm with these guys, by 17:30 they were out of Gluten Free Pizza bases! Clearly very popular, so get down to this old converted horse trailer ASAP!
No street main is complete without a sweet treat and this Birmingham based company have revolutionised the basic pancake recipe using locally sourced ingredients. My recommendation, go for the cinnamon sugar filling-it will not disappoint!
These guys are residents of the LCB depot and always on hand to supply you with that much needed beverage and light bite! Dishes on the night were totally veggie and newbies to their usual food menu.
THE ALE WAGON
Based just around the corner form the LCB depot, these guys were set up to serve some of their real ales for you lovers of the stronger stuff.
BOUTIQUE COCKTAIL BAR
Summer themed cocktail adorers here’s your hangout! Stephen Pennack, one of the UK’s premier bartenders was doing his Tom Cruise thing (but a lot more cooler!) providing some Mr Slushie cocktails but my favourite was the Tia Maria Espresso!
Through the main entrance of the LCB on your left, treat yourself to a Rum based spicy cocktail to kick start your evening before you start your street food fest!
Just indoors beside the Gray’s set up was a DJ providing all the background vibes to accompany the indoor diners and outside Leicester based Sax player, Rob Charles was swinging out some Jazz vibes. Always recognise Rob’s sax senses anywhere, but then I’m a bit biased – he played at our wedding!
I popped along to the Canteen event on Friday 30th June and I’m hooked. All scheduled appointments here forth will be cancelled from my diary on the last Friday of the month. If you need me, you know where to find me! Oh and did I forget to mention, there were 2 comedy acts too!
Canteen has now moved to a different location as below:
Leicester Riders Foudation
31 Charter Street
Every last Friday of the month from 16:00 to 22:00.
Free entry, pay for what you eat and drink.