The first of a chain of restaurants soon to open in London, Global Street Food Kitchen has opened its first outlet in the busy mall which houses ASDA in Hounslow East.
Not to be confused with the regular multi-cuisine restaurants which often manage to serve up sub-standard food with confusing menus and buffet style dining. Global Street Food Kitchen has a well researched A la Carte menu concept backed up by a philosophy of sourcing which an emphasis on provenance. For instance usage of only the very best herb fed, free range chicken from Pilmoor Farm, in Yorkshire, similarly only organic tomatoes to go with the pizza flour and cheese for the pizza which are imported from Italy.
No wonder then that the Butter chicken was delightful not just in taste but texture and managed to enhance the robust spices used in the marination. This dish is a firm favourite with me when it comes to North Indian food. It is a very popular Indian dish and most roadside ‘dhabas’ (little shanties that dot the national highways) serve this indulgent curry with buttery parathas – fuel for all those driving long distance on dusty roads in temperatures hitting 40 deg cel plus.
When I first walked into GSF with my friend the first thing we noticed was the cool college canteen style look which screams ‘shack’ or ‘tapri’ (meaning a small roadside stall in Marathi, usually built with scrap material lifted off construction sites like scaffoldings and wooden planks). The rustic feel is emphasised by the functional but dhaba style furniture and wooden effects.
The wood fired oven adds a comforting warm glow to the huge open plan kitchen.
The massive warehouse style space which can house a large number of guests has a very welcoming vibe.
With so many tempting dishes on offer I really was at a loss at where to start sampling. I picked my top 2 fav’s – Pani Puri is my absolute favourite when it comes to Mumbai street food and I also can’t resist seafood especially Prawn Koliwada – blame it on my roots – a true blue Bombayite aka Mumbaikar and a Maharashtrian with a staple diet of fish curries – I go weak in the knees at the very sight of prawns.
One bite of these crispy spicy prawns and there’s no going back folks!
Clearly, consultant Chef Shailesh Deshmukh and Head Chef Sudhir Jadhav who have worked together to conceptualise the menu have found just the right mix for the various spices and techniques to perfect global street food classics. With Oriental, Indian, Mexican, British, Italian and American cuisines on the menu there is something to satiate every type of street food craving. All ingredients are sourced from high-quality suppliers and farms and the proof lies in the fresh flavoursome food which does justice to its respective cuisine.
Consultant Chef Shailesh Deshmukh brings with him a rich background of experience gained at establishments like The Dorchester, Marriott, Hyatt, Four Seasons and Jumeirah, that coupled with boundless energy and passion has resulted in the creation of dishes like this Bakarwadi chaat – presented so tastefully, to tempt even the most discerning palate. Bakarwadi is a classic snack from Pune in the state of Maharashtra India – best described as a spicy crunchy fried spring roll like savoury snack, made famous by ‘Chitale Bandhu’ – Pune’s premier purveyors of traditional Maharashtrian sweets and snacks. No trip to India is complete for me unless I queue up outside Chitale Bandhu to buy freshly made bakarwadi by the kilo 😉
To keep us hydrated we had a fabulous mocktail called Tamarind Chilli – love the way they describe it on the menu too, very entertaining! I also like the cocktail called Mr.Gatsby – potent but refreshing all at once.
We also sampled the crispy aubergine which are so morish we could have easily eaten a few more portions but there was so a tempting variety of dishes to sample we had to do justice to all of them 😉
L-R: Mexican Quesadilla, side of sauteed spinach with shallots, onion rings, Wall Art – a world map with a difference at GSF, a juicy GSF classic beef burger served with hand-cut triple cooked chips.
I was very keen to try Misal Pav which hails from the state of Maharashtra in India, done well this dish is a absolute delight. A combination of a humble legume and sprouts curry spiced with sev and served with a soft ‘paav’ bread. At GSF they this spicy curry topped with fresh ‘farsan’ commonly known as the Bombay Mix, with a side of a delicious mystery sauce which is to be poured on the top.Finally the dish is topped off with finely chopped red onions and a generous squeeze of lime. No wonder this dish won the ‘Foodie Hub Award’ in London last June!
One of the reasons this dish is so delicious is the bread that is served with it is so fresh. Like all their other carefully selected ingredients and their emphasis on provenance, all the bread served at GSF are specially made for the restaurant by artisan baker Maison Blanc.
Though I would have loved to sample their dessert menu I simply couldn’t after devouring such a feast but then we had one last treat come our way – Masala Chai served with a fabulous Bun Maska. Now folks bun maska takes me back to my days in Pune where I frequented this place called – Cafe’ GoodLuck where my friends and I spent hours drinking one cup after another of hot sweet masala chai served as ‘cutting’ -half a cup with a soft bun doused in golden soft butter and sprinkle of sugar. Winter evenings in Pune after work were so good! The same delightful treat I also enjoyed as a college student at various Irani Cafes around Matunga, Dadar and South Bombay – perfect treat for an always broke college student perpetually in need of more ‘pocket money’.
For those with a sweet tooth do take note that GSF source all their ice cream and sorbet from the award winning ‘Snow Flake Luxury Gelato’ – yet another reason why their food is so good – the focus is clear – to create and serve authentic dishes.
I urge you not to miss out on this simple but fabulous treat at GSF, the buttery goodness encased in a fresh soft bun is almost like having a feathery light sponge with creme’ chantilly….
Global Street Food Kitchen offers a refreshing new take on serving street food – authentic flavours, emphasis on provenance and chefs trained at some of the best establishments in the world – all key ingredients to their delicious offerings. I for one cannot wait for their new branch in Central London, until then whenever the craving for street food hits I know where I will be going.
*With thanks to Humayun Hussain and Global Street Food Kitchen for the invite. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.