Last night I did something I haven’t done for ages. (Behave yourself!)
I took up an invitation on behalf of Leeds Living to visit Trinity Kitchen to sample food and drink from the latest crop of traders in the area constructed to replicate a street, and where they change outlets every six weeks or so.
I had forgotten just how much I missed these get togethers as they are totally different from the normal Press nights when you are either sitting in a group at formal tables eating high-end cuisine with proper knives and forks, or, in my case, sitting on my tod wondering how to start my article. No such ceremony or solitude here – we were all given credits for the street food vans and sat at a long table using whatever means we needed to get the grub from plate to gob. The conversation was a lot less stilted as well, with all of my dining companions being far younger than I. Who isn’t? They were mainly bloggers, which always gives me an insight into what the young people of today are thinking and makes a pleasant change from the chats I have with my friends about statins, hip operations and who has died.
I was also pleased to see that I have not come across any of the traders before at the many street food events I cover and there was one in particular which appealed, Ostrich Burger. You’ll never guess what they sell. As any regular readers will know, I am always up for trying new stuff: whale in Norway, reindeer in Finland, beaver in Lithuania and bull’s testicles in Latvia to name but a few, so ostrich is not going to faze me. I had to smile when I saw the legend emblazoned across the front of the stall listing the positive constituents of the meat, headlined ‘The healthiest meat in the world.’ Unless you happen to be an ostrich that is. There you are one minute, minding your own business with your head stuck in the sand, and the next you are keeping two halves of a burger bun apart. So let that be a lesson to you to stop walking about with your earbuds in and be aware of your surroundings! Public information service over.
I ordered my burger, which comes with a choice of toppings, accompanied by blue cheese. I didn’t add any extra ones as I wanted to be able to taste the meat. The first thing I noticed was the texture which was more crumbly than beef and also not so chewy. This didn’t prevent it from being succulent and I will certainly be experimenting with this particular meat in the near future when I cook my Saturday night treat. I am also pleased to report that there was no sand evident either. Handily, they sell beer, so I had a very pleasant IPA straight from the fridge. The service was so good here that I placed my beer at the edge of the counter whilst my burger was being cooked and stepped away to take some photographs of the process, but when I got back it had gone. I feared that some toe rag had nicked it but the woman behind the counter said that she had put it back in the fridge until my meal was cooked. Just brilliant, if a little panic-inducing at first.
I returned to our designated table where everyone was tucking into a mind boggling array of goodies, from a toasted triple cheese sandwich to Thai green curry. I must admit here that I am a reformed glutton and back in my younger days I would have worked my way through several dishes without flinching, but I have mellowed, and slimmed down somewhat nowadays and made do with taking photographs of everyone else’s treats. That said, when I had finished my burger I decided to try a hot dog from Dog Almighty. I opted for the Disco Dog, how Chic, which is ‘Smoked hot dog wrapped (shouldn’t that be rapped?) in melty Swiss cheese, topped with pastrami, house dill pickle and sweet & smokey Disco dressing’. I chose the pork dog rather than the beef. Once again, this was superbly done except that I wasn’t getting any dill taste, which wasn’t surprising given the intensity of the other flavours in the bun, including the dog which was very tasty and not one of those insipid jobs you get at the fair ground.
Because everything was so informal, some of the dishes were passed around and a couple from the SriNon Kitchen were sampled. The spring rolls and crispy chilli chicken passed my seat one piece fewer when they left than when they arrived.
Remember when I said that I was now on the straight and narrow after a lifetime of overeating? Well, there proved to be a bend in the road in the Trinity Kitchen region which caused me to veer off the tarmac by indulging in a handmade ice cream roll. I have seen this done before and the results were excellent, as was the case last night with Ripple and Roll. From the range of flavours I opted for Jazzy Jaffa made by covering two Jaffa Cakes, the authentic ones, in cream on an ice cold surface and chopping them up as the whole concoction froze in front of our eyes. When spread out it was cut into strips which were removed by scraping up each one, causing it to take the form of a mini Swiss roll. They were then placed into a cup and two segments of Terry’s Chocolate Orange added for garnish. Beautiful.
I would like to thank Trinity Kitchen for their hospitality last night and also my fellow diners who were subjected to the ramblings of an old man and handled it in a very polite matter. Now, where are my statins?
All photographs by Stan Graham.
Stan writes Let’s Do Lunch for Leeds Living. He also reviews special events for food and drink, which sometimes takes him beyond Leeds. He has also developed an interest in writing on culture, most frequently dramatic and musical theatre.