Murray Blake

London food and coffee writer

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“Feast” was a pop-up food festival held at the start of December in the crumbling former North London Mail Centre in Islington.  The list of stall-holders was impressive, including restaurants like Mishkin’s and Ceviche, as well as street food specialists like Big Apple Hotdogs.  I went along on a Sunday afternoon with the aim of eating as much as I could….


Randall & Aubin on Urbanspoon
Randall & Aubin: 16 Brewer Street, W1F 0SQ
Nearest tube: Piccadily Circus
website; map


The first thing we opted for was oysters from Randall and Aubin, which is a seafood restaurant in Soho.  They were incredibly fresh and well prepared, without even a  hint of grit.  I gave them a good old chew (I think you lose a lot of the flavour if you swallow them whole) and they had a soft and silky texture.

Mishkin's on Urbanspoon
Mishkin’s: 25 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JS
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
website; map

We then moved on to the ever-hyped Mishkin’s: a New York style Jewish deli which has received rave reviews from bloggers and critics alike.  Their stall was serving the restaurant’s specialty – salt beef with pickle, onions and mustard.  This was truly fantastic: the meat melted in the mouth, it was extremely soft and had very little fat; the bun was light and sticky, and the tart pickle rounded all the flavours off.  Mishkin’s is now top of my “must visit” list for the new year.

Delhi Grill on Urbanspoon
Delhi Grill: 21 Chapel Market, Islington
Nearest tube: Angel
website; map


Our final savoury dish was a couple of magnificent pakoras from the Delhi Grill, which is an Indian restaurant just off Upper Street.  They were light and fresh with slithers of sweet red pepper running through them.  The menu at Delhi Grill seems very authentic and fantastic value – it is another place on my “must visit” list for next year.


After a couple of magnificent truffles from The Modern Pantry, for some unbeknown reason I was tempted by a waffle from street food pioneers Waffle On.  Unfortunately my waffle was terrible – it had the texture of cardboard and I think the mixture had too much egg, making it very heavy.  It would have been unpalatable without the extra pound I spent for a tablespoon of maple syrup and a burp of squirty cream. I was quite surprised that a stall specialising in a single product would produce something so poor.  However, this was the only disappointment in an otherwise very enjoyable afternoon.  I am looking forward to more “Feast” events in 2013.


For more reviews of the festival see: whatkatiedoes, Sam Cooks Food and whatjoannaate.