I love street food… I love the variety you get, the offering is different from the norm and the general atmosphere and bustle is just so fun!
Living in central London we are spoilt for food markets, in each area there is at least one. Some focused solely on ingredients, others on food to go and these days it’s mainly a mix.
Living in Kings Cross we are lucky to have KERB and numerous trendy food markets set up ‘shop’ near us. While browsing these (I should really say scrapping the barrel) to try and find a halal vendor, I stumbled across an Indian burger concept called Baba G’s. Now it just had to be halal! It was, but much to my dismay they were not actually going to be there on the weekend. That was about a year ago now, and since I have been messaging (or maybe it was more pestering) them on and off to see where I can buy one of their burgers…
One day a couple of weeks ago I decided to chase them up again and lone behold they replied to say they were taking up residency in a new location (yay!) with a more permanent fixture in a semi-permanent structure… These hipster foodies don’t like to keep it simple!
I was so excited! I went home and told the husband we were going to Pop Brixton on Sunday, he obviously looked at me blankly as I’m sure you’re currently thinking a similar thing. What the hell is Pop Brixton?
Location-wise, stating the obvious, it is in Brixton and a short walk from the station down the main road and a couple of roads along to the right. Walking up to the structure, you walk down a road which is still very much Brixton… old Jamaican men and other Brixtonites sitting around outside cafes drinking coffee… Definitely reminds you of Brixton’s history. *Warning: I would advise against walking down this road alone at night!*
Pop Brixton itself is artistically impressive… immaculately decorated shipping containers provide the outer structure and inside an array of street art… The aim of the venture is to support start-ups and local independent businesses.
The outlets themselves are small, just enough space for kit and a couple of people, however what more do you need to serve food! There are numerous food, drink and coffee vendors, with a scattering of shops selling anything from tea to clothes. Many compare it to Boxpark in Shoreditch, although don’t say it to their faces they don’t take it well!
So now the burger place… Baba G’s. I tried both the lamb burger and chicken burger. No beef burger is served, given the Indian roots I am guessing the founders don’t eat beef and/or they don’t want to offend.
I’m sorry to say both burgers were bland. I was so disappointed! I have to admit, given I had been chasing them for a while my expectations had escalated. However, even then you need some flavour.
So the chicken burger was made up of pieces of chicken tikka, however I could not taste the marinade coming through. Also the chicken was overcooked so very dry, they had put a bit of raita with it but not enough. A little veg was added in the form of cabbage, but it did not really work. Don’t know about you… but I don’t think red cabbage and Indian food are a natural or complementary fit. Given this was street food, it should be easy to eat while walking, however the chicken burger was made up of three small pieces so it all just kept falling out.
The lamb burger… Bland! I could see that inside the patty they had mixed in coriander and other spices, but nowhere near enough as you could not taste it. Red cabbage and raita as well with this did not help. If the burger is going to be bland at least compensate with lots of nicely spiced sauce, right?
The slight saving grace was the chips… I say slight because the chips themselves were crispy and really nicely spiced! I was impressed… But I only discovered this after eating half the pot as the chips were coated in raita and mango chutney. Yes you heard right, and yes you thought right… It does not make for a nice combination. What made it worse was the chips were cold. Not ideal…
By now you’re probably thinking… ‘She wrote 5 paragraphs worth of scene setting, then she told me the food was crap, does she think I have all the time in the world??’ Well there is a silver lining to all of this and you should definitely still head down to Pop Brixton because…
Just next to Baba G’s was Mama’s Jerk, which served jerk chicken. So I thought I’d try my luck (as I always do!) and see if it was halal… and they said yes!
So after devouring the burgers (I was hungry), I headed back down to get some chicken wings. The wings were already cooked and then put on a grill to heat up, when asked ‘Do you want extra spice?’ I always feel like I am letting the brown-side down if I say no. Also I like extra spice, however Jamaican spice is something different! Naturally… I said yes!
The wings were delicious, very spicy (don’t ask for extra spice if you like things ‘medium’), the chicken was cooked to perfection – succulent, but cooked throughout – and the wings were of a very good size. Largest wings I’ve ever seen!
The wings are served with jerk sauce on the side, which is a must. A little bit of sweet complements the spice well. As with all wings, this is messy eating (you can see from my attempt at a neat picture) so if you are with someone you are looking to impress, stay away! The rest of you… Go for it! Relatively reasonably priced at £5 for 6 wings. You are paying a bit of a premium, however for the venue and good quality large wings… I was not complaining.
Make sure you head down… the vibe is great. There is seating upstairs, although not abundant it is spacious and like with any outdoor venture, sharing tables is all part of the fun!