Our evening service Norse made a bold appearance at Leeds Feast last weekend, May 22nd – 23rd at The Tetley.
Pictures courtesy of Tom Joy for Leeds Feast.
Last weekend Leeds hosted an event brimming with beards and top quality grub in celebration of Leeds’ independent scene. Over 30 indie street food traders congregated in the usually derelict grounds of The Tetley, just outside the City Centre. The event opened to the public on Friday evening, attracting crowds eager to taste the best of Leeds on a paper plate. The choice on offer was astounding, with dishes from all parts of the world, hungry palates could be easily satisfied from the windows of humble horse trailers, campervans, ice cream vans, sheds and shacks. And then there was us. Street food vendor we were not, ‘Alfresco Restaurant At The Mercy Of The Weather’ probably struck closer to home. Fortunately we had the weather on our side and our amateur operation birthed the best food we have made in our entire pop up history. Granted it is not a long history, but we have set the bar pretty high for the next occasion.
Our menu consisted of four contrasting dishes:
- Yorkshire asparagus with confit egg yolk, rye crisps, rye and brown butter mayo and baked potato espuma
- Torched mackerel with grilled cucumber, akvavit pickled cucumber, fennel and horseradish granita
- Birch-glazed pork shoulder with duck fat carrot, pickled sitka spruce tips and sweet cicely sauce
and our dessert option,
- Pine kernel cake with Jerusalem artichoke ice cream, malt cream, cinnamon and parsnip crisps.
None of which would have been possible without our newest addition to the team: Big Green Egg, a constant source of warmth in dark times.
We offered a paired drink with each dish, as we do in the restaurant, including two white wines – a Pinot Gris from New Zealand and a Grüner Veltliner from Austria. The red wine was a Mourvèdre from South Africa and we also brought our ever popular Hyldeblomst cocktail (pronounced incorrectly throughout the weekend), which is a combination of Jensen’s gin, cucumber, sorrel and elderflower. We also arrived in tow with our renowned home-infused Snaps. People couldn’t get enough of our Sorrel and Fennel Snaps once the clock struck 12pm. We also had toasted rye, pine, and burnt malt to pair with each of our dishes.
I don’t really want to gloss over our struggle of packing the van, setting up our not so pop-up pop-up and taking down all our hard work, but I will sacrifice those emotional details in favour of representing the other amazing participants of the event.
As hard as we tried, we didn’t get to sample everything at the event. There were just too many! However the dishes we did sample are definitely good enough for us to recommend. First stop, The Crabbie Shack. The dish: soft shell crab burger with harissa, avocado, fennel and almonds. The verdict: it just tastes so good! With a contrast of crispy batter and buttery crab this dish is a welcome change to the usual beef patty and its greasy consequences, (no offence Patty Smith’s, we still love you). Chef Douglas has sourced the crab used in his burgers from his hometown of Folkestone and combined it with interesting and modern flavours making it a very tasty burger indeed.
Next up Dorshi, a super stylish and super enjoyable addition to The Feast. Originally from Dorset, the duo combines local ingredients with Asian flavours to create sustainable, colourful and satisfying food. We tried their delicate dumplings, rainbow pearl barley salads, chunky udon noodles and various dressings. The verdict: how can something so delicious be so nutritious?
Was there anything more we managed to squeeze in? We couldn’t leave without pudding obviously. We tried cool kids on the block, Northern Bloc and their funky flavoured ice cream. Northern Bloc offers a variety of unique flavoured ice cream including raspberry and sorrel, earl grey and lemon, and white chocolate and popcorn. We tried the Yorkshire Parkin flavour, which has real Yorkshire Parkin cake mixed in and thoroughly enjoyed the unusual texture – it’s like two puddings in one.
After two whirlwind days we packed up and headed home with big grins and enlightened minds – if not a little weary. What an explosion of talent in one city, we can’t wait for next year!
If you paid us a visit, get in touch and let us know what you thought!