Tuesday, 9 November 2010

What the Dickens?

Lower Clapton Road has its dues but most often, validly misunderstood. It’s home to the following-

Britain's Murder Mile

More un-muzzled pit bull terriers (masquerading as Staffs instead to exploit the weak loophole that’s the Breed Specific Legislation) panting and menacing around the hood than a rogue Crufts show.

A disconcerting amount of chicken bones (courtesy of the innumerable chicken shops dishing out 4-5 hot wings for 99p) strewn on the pavements that makes Tracey Emin’s Bed appear clinically tidy.

It’s also the last stop of the bus with the greatest frequency that TfL blesses us with. The glorious 38, the bus route favoured by the promising uncompromising yoofs of Britain engaging in full-time barrages of hatred and insults (utilising a limited vocab of 33 words and most of them obscenities), and their bleeding sodcasts*!

And my GF; she lives yards from Lower Clapton Road.

But this post isn’t about Lower Clapton Road. Chatsworth Road is another major street in Hackney that’s east of and parallel to Lower Clapton Road. It’s more sedate than LCR because of its forsaken status. It’s a model high street that would both make the bourgeoisie abandon whatever discreet charms they might have and present a perfect case study for students of the built environment. But as with most buts, Chatsworth Road is changing. And it’s all down to this. Chatsworth Road is now home to a growing amount of independent shops and good honest eateries. Thankfully for the time being and albeit still in its virginal state, there are no McDonald's, Star*ucks, Boots, Tesco Metro, Nando’s or the odd Chinese medical centre to be found here. Well not yet anyway but they soon come dare I say, so visit Chats before Kirstie Allsopp starts to saunter here. In order to rev up Chats’ status, its Traders & Residents Association decided to re-launch the Chatsworth Road Market of which Alan Sugar was one of its most famous sons back in the 60s. The revival of the market with 20+ stalls last weekend was a resounding success.

But this post isn’t just about Chatsworth Road Market either. The inherence of this food blog inspired the post as a requisite. As it was indeed the devilled kidneys I had that deserved a championing of droolworthy praises.

Reportage time-

Lest I forget the street entertainment was memorable. The tunes played by the jazz duo were wholly apt and enjoyable.

And just as well no rendition of Neil Young’s Walk On was heard (I cringe every time!).

Thai stall, part and parcel.

This was the stall that caught my eyes.

What the Dickens?

And one of the most defining English dishes- Devilled Kidneys!

Run by three affable chaps resembling Sebastian Flytes without the teddy bears. They were appropriately coiffured and suitably well versed. I was informed by one of them, they live locally and this was their first venture. I say go and seek out a nice bank manger now!

Now I’m not one for enjoying street food in Britain, what with the lack of seats and the unpredictable nature of the weather. But repetitiveness withstanding, dishes like the kidneys placate in a different manner and outcome.

Here we go and for 4 quid 50 it’s served with a posh bread roll from an artisanal baker in Clapham to soak up the juices.

GF, who’s a Guardian reader and a veggie, gesticulated with a degree of horror that it could only taste of…

Yes I said, of passing water, as well as delectably sweet with underlying bitter notes, tender and beautifully piquant. The generous amount of cayenne pepper added was well judged, consummate warmth as required by the term- winter fodder. This was one of the best dishes I’ve had this year. As a consolation I told GF even if she wasn’t aware of it in the first place, devilled kidneys resemble mushrooms on toast and she could inadvertently munch and rejoice!

Her friend had the kedgeree and pronounced it nice, as non-foodies would.

GF didn’t go hungry as she had this ‘beans of all sorts’ wrap from a vegan stall.

Now back to Dickens for some hand cranked coffee. These boys have got it all sorted!

Filtered and all, and a quid a cup! The beans may not be a pedigree blend from Monmouth or Square Mile, it was more than passable.

What’s next guys? Mulligatawny or dumplings and stew? Keep it up and hope you thrive.

Chatsworth Road Market is still pretty much experimental, so if you’re reading this please give it a go. Their twitter feed here.

*"Sodcast [noun]: Music, on a crowded bus, coming from the speaker on a mobile phone. Sodcasters are terrified of not being noticed, so they spray their audio wee around the place like tomcats." As brilliantly coined by Pascal Wyse from the Guardian.

Chatsworth Road Market, E5


Krista said...

What a lovely little discovery!

Adam said...

Afternoon! I'm one of the besuited chaps from What The Dickens? and I just wanted to offer our hearty gratitude for your very kind words and pictures...

Hope to see you there again on the 5th December.

bellaphon said...

Krista- Thanks for gracing the blog with your presence. Hope all's well in the Windy City.

Adam- Don't mention it. It was my pleasure, and see you soon.

I heart cupcakes said...

This looks great I may have to pop along to December's market!
btw thank you so much for bringing the term "sodcast" into my life - sums it up perfectly and alas every bus in South London has at least one of the little turds playing "music" out loud

bellaphon said...

IHC- sodcasts, my heart sinks every time!

thejewboy said...

Dear Bellaphon,

We would like to cordially invite you to the new and uncommon breakfast service that we, What The Dickens? are launching this Saturday 14th April at The Reliance pub on Old Street.

Your company would be most appreciated and, in return, we'd like to offer you one of our breakfasts on the house, as it were.

Should you be unable to dine with us this weekend, be assured that we will be serving up traditional treats each and every Saturday from our pop-up establishment.

Yours in earnest,

Adam Bernstein
What The Dickens?

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