|DEPOT Cardiff, Dumballs Road|
The street food scene has literally exploded in Cardiff recently, with Street Food Cardiff running Street Food Circus at the Old Stable Yard on John Street, and Street Food Warehouse popping up underneath the pathway into the Millennium Stadium and the entrance to Cardiff Arms Park, both running on Fridays and Saturdays. As if that wasn’t enough, the Spring Street Food festival took place in Roath last month and June sees the heats of the British Street Food Awards come to Cardiff.
This weekend saw the finale (for now) of popular pop-up, DEPOT Cardiff, offering street food, hip hop, cocktails, craft beer and even ping pong, all under one roof in a warehouse on Dumballs Road, Cardiff city centre.
The event took place every Friday and Saturday throughout May from 5pm – 11.30pm, finishing this Saturday for a ‘mini break’ throughout June. Entry was free up until 7.30pm but costed £2 afterwards (which if you ask me was bit of a rip-off, considering the price of some of the food on sale).
So far, I’ve managed to tick the DEPOT and Street Food Circus (SFC) off my street food to-do list (my SFC blog post will be available soon).
Although there was a better variety of food producers at SFC, the Depot won me over for several reasons: it’s indoors (always a good idea in Wales!), with a reasonably sized beer garden; it’s bigger, with plenty of seating and the music is provided by live hip hop DJs.
The entrance to the DEPOT is made to resemble the foyer of a vintage American motel.
The quirky designs continue into the warehouse that houses all of the street food pop-ups.
From the big tree in the centre of the room and the hand-crafted butterflies scattered around on leafy stalks…
…to the colourful umbrellas hanging on the ceiling.
Street food producers at the DEPOT included Brother Thai, Got Beef, Philly Cheese Steak Co., SamosaCo., Science Cream (liquid nitrogen ice cream), Taste of Persia, Little Bao Peep, Pizza Pronto, Grillstock, Gopal’s Curry Shack, Dai’s Pies and The Spaniard Gourmet, amongst others.I went along to the DEPOT’s Beats and Burgers Bank Holiday event on Sunday 24th May, where guests were invited to tuck into a burger (or one of the many other kinds of street food!) to the soundtrack of old-skool hip hop and soul music.My friend Sarah and I were both drawn to Little Bao Peep, a pop-up selling Taiwanese dumplings and steamed buns.
We shared a portion of lamb and carrot dumplings (£3 for 4). Delicately spiced, the minced lamb and carrot filling tasted delicious. However, the dumplings themselves were a little too thick and doughy.
After we’d polished off the dumplings, I moved onto a Punjabi Chicken Thali (£7.50) from the SamosaCo; a traditional, spicy chicken curry on a bed of fluffy boiled rice, served with poppadom, onion bhaji and vegetable samosa. The curry was absolutely delicious. The level of spiciness was just right for me – not too mild yet not too fiery – and although the chicken was cut into fairly small chunks, there was plenty of it. In comparison to most of the other street food on sale at the DEPOT, I’d say SamosaCo’s thalis were pretty good value for
Sarah made a beeline for Got Beef, having wanted to try out their burgers for some time. She opted for the Soprano (£6); a golden brown brioche bun stuffed with a 6oz beef burger, chorizo, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeño mayonnaise.At first impressions, this was a decent burger with plenty of meaty bite. However, Sarah couldn’t actually taste any chorizo in it and when she checked, she couldn’t find any. She was just about to take the burger back to Got Beef, when I spotted a thin slice of chorizo peeking out from underneath the bacon – a single slice. We both thought this was a little tight considering that the burger cost £6 and, the last time we checked, a pack of sliced chorizo only cost about £2.I’ve never been to Got Beef before but I know they have a great reputation, so I was a little disappointed about this. However, I wouldn’t let it stop me from giving them a go in future as I’ve heard so much good stuff about them.
The DEPOT is now on a mini break throughout the whole of June, which will give me some time to check out what I’ve been missing at Street Food Warehouse – and attend the heats of the British Street Food Award in Cardiff next weekend (Friday 5 – Sunday 7 June) at Street Food Circus, John Street!Have you ‘popped up’ at any of Cardiff’s street food venues? I’d love to hear where you’ve been and what you thought of it! Leave me a comment below.
22 Dumballs Road
(029) 2034 4344