Keep it real at the Real Food market on South Bank…

Having just flown back from a week in the south of France where the weather was blissful to temperatures below zero in the UK two weeks ago, I was badly in need of some cheering up.  I had to pass through central London to get home so I figured I should stuff my face with some of London’s finest street nosh along the way.  I headed to south bank to check out the Real Food market situated next to the Royal Festival Hall near Waterloo station, it takes place every weekend from Friday to Sunday 10am – 8pm.

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On arrival I discovered there was a chocolate festival taking place, I was slightly disappointed at first as I was really after a hot meal of sorts but then I spotted a couple of lone savoury stalls cooking up some business, I went for a Moroccan inspired minced lamb flatbread wrap from a stall called Community Kitchen.  It’s worth mentioning at this point that the more hungry I am the worse my photography becomes so I apologise for the lack of focus in some of my photos as I was absolutely ‘ank marvin!!

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Community Kitchen make and cook their own flatbreads to order (like a tortilla wrap), then add garlic/mint sauce and spicy sauce, red cabbage salad, pile on a mountain of spiced lamb straight off the hot plate and Bob is your proverbial uncle, you can also have said ingredients in a box if you prefer.

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Sometimes these kind of wraps lose the meat amongst the salad and everything else but this one was packed to the brim with tangy tasting lamb right up until the last mouthful.  For £6 this was worth every penny, I would happily go back tomorrow and the next day, they also offer a vegetarian chickpea tagine wrap for £5 which doesn’t look too shabby either.  Normally this would have satisfied my hunger needs but with there being a chocolate festival taking place it seemed rude not to indulge in some pudding as well.

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After a couple of circuits around the chocolatey stalls of every variety you could imagine, including chocolate pizzas and freshly made churros amongst other things, I spotted the Roast + Conch stall and knew straight away they were cooking up something a bit special.

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Generally speaking I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but there are a few things that get me going – pancakes, salted caramel, and whipped cream are definitely three of them.  On offer was a crepe made with hotel chocolat cocoa, laced with caramel dotted with rock salt, folded up and served with a huge amount of chocolatey whipped cream.  This cost me £4.50 which was a total bargain considering it practically made me have an orgasm in public,  it was the closest I’ve come to an out of body experience since ‘tripping Monday’ when I was 16 (don’t ask).

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There is good and bad news at the end of all this, the good news is that Community Kitchen serve their Lebanese wraps at the Real Food market on South Bank every weekend, the bad news is that the chocolate festival only takes place but once a year and you’ve missed it.  However, there is more good news, Roast + Conch have a shop based in Covent Garden where they serve a whole range of cocoa induced cuisine including these amazing crepes, I can’t sing their praises highly enough.  Check out their website for more info and menus etc:

http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/roast-and-conch/our-story

or follow them on twitter @roastandconch or @hotelchocolat

Check out Community Kitchen’s website: http://www.communitykitchenproject.co.uk or follow them on twitter @communitykitch1 to find out what they’re up to.

The Real Food market also has it’s own website listing who will be trading each weekend:

http://www.realfoodfestival.co.uk/markets/real-food-market-at-southbank-centre

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