As a nation, we have an open mind when it comes to embracing foreign concepts and food, but a little averse as to when they come to our doorstep. This is not a grandstanding comment on attitudes towards immigration and integration but more about how conservative we become when we’re back home. We seek out local food markets and will happily try out local delicacies in far flung countries but as soon as we are back in Blighty, we retreat to the safety of the usual order from the local Chinese or Indian.
One particular instance of this is the phenomenon of street food, very much a staple of Asian countries. The food truck has also become exceedingly popular in America but we seem to have been put off the idea of getting our food from the street following one too many bad reactions from a kebab van in a market square on the way home.
One establishment that is seeking to improve our appreciation of street food is the Marquis of Wellington, based in Bermondsey’s Beer Mile. Not only is it a venue in its own right but it is host to a number of street vendors, changing each week. Ranging from BBQ from Smokin’ Lotus and BearBQ, tripled cooked chips from The Chip Club and BBQ on a bike from Harley Dogs.
On offer inside the venue are stone-baked pizzas and garlic breads. My companion and I started off with a respective choice of Fior di latte mozzarella & sweet onion and Fior di latte mozzarella, basil pesto & sun blushed tomatoes. Both were very accomplished with a great deal of flavour but without an overbearing presence of garlic.
For main course, we went for two of the stone-baked pizzas. I plumped for the Sirloin Steak, which featured tender beef with red onions & gorgonzola, whilst my companion went for the Porchetta and Apple, which had Fior di latte mozzarella, chunks of crackling porchetta & apple sauce. I was very effusive about the Sirloin Steak, particularly for the generosity and abundance of steak. My companion was equally impressed with her choice although she did remark that the dryness of the apple affected the overall quality.
We finished with a shared vanilla cheesecake with vanilla ice cream, which was a perfect way to round off a sumptuous meal. The Marquis of Wellington is not just an excellent venue in its own right, with a very friendly atmosphere but is a base to start enjoying some of the best street food around.