This past weekend saw Cape Town hosting the 2017 Visa Street Food Festival to great aplomb. Held at Woodstock’s Side Street Studios, the event centred on street dishes from across the globe and included fusion food, local favourites and exotic eats, as well as ice-cold beverages and live music.
The main attraction definitely had to be the bevy of food trucks that set up shop. Offering various on-the-go dishes from the obscure to the adored, a stand-out meal included the buttermilk fried chicken on a brioche bun with homemade pickles and chipotle aioli, as well as the lamb arancini with smoked arrabiata sauce and Grana Pandano, both from the Boulevard 82 truck. Crisp and juicy with a hint of spice, the fried chicken was exactly what you want from street food – portable, delicious and worth a picture or two.
Other highlights included the six-hour spit-braaied lamb with chimichurri from Argies, Southern-style smoked pork buns by The Southern Smoke, enormous pans of paella and servings of sangria by Mucho Gusto and gooey grilled cheese from Melt Cafe. Poke bowls, dim sum, Greek giros, Balinese nasi goreng and all manner of samosas were served under the cheerful bunting strung up around the graffitied warren of industry that make up Side Street Studios. But according to popular opinion, one of the festival’s tastiest treats came from winners of season five of The Ultimate Braai Master and recent food-truck owners Salty Flames – their smoked brisket and cheddar jaffle with apple and celery citrus salad took the concept of the humble campfire favourite to new and delicious heights.
An epicurean adventure in itself, the Convivium Block Party was a major highlight. Featuring chefs such as Chris Erasmus of Foliage, Wesley Randles of The Shortmarket Club, Arno Janse van Rensburg of The Kitchen at Maison and Andy Fenner of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, each dish on offer was inspired by South African heritage and was thus a celebration of local flavours. ‘The lineup was a bunch of crazy-talented people cooking things like tripe potjies and offal samosas, using really cheap and forgotten ingredients,’ said co-founder Andy Fenner. From Fenner himself came a generous helping of samp, beans and beef finished off with a shake of homemade Aromat – talk about nostalgia with a twist.
Organisers of the event also set up stalls of their own to get attendees involved; there were the Crate Talks – a series of short introductions from Cape Town’s new foodie set – a hot-sauce roulette wheel and a pineapple stand that served the fruit skewered and spiced with chilli powder. To cool off, local craft-gin brewery Hope on Hopkins was at hand with their small batch Cabernet Sauvignon-infused G&Ts, while Publik Wine‘s excellent Pino Gris complemented both the weather and sunny disposition of the festival-goers.
Joburgers need not wait long for their chance to experience the Visa Street Food Festival – it will be hosted this coming Sunday the 10th of September 2017 in the Maboneng Precinct. Tickets are available via Webtickets at a cost of R100.