Whilst walking down the canal to the Coffin Works my wife and I were chased by a dark ominous cloud, determined to rain on us. Was this a portent to a unsatisfying evening?
Happily not! As the first few drops fell, we arrived at The Coffin Works and Fleet Street FeastIVAL awaited. Run by the same team as Taste & Liquor (previously reviewed here), a glorious bounty awaited us.
The event was set up in the enclosed courtyard space of The Coffin Works, the restored former Newman Brothers factory. It gave a bijou feel with multiple stalls providing varied fayre, a bar and a DJ providing chilled out tunes.
The few drips of rain did nothing to dampen the mood and I plunged in to sample the delights on offer. With Quesadillas from The Street Chef, Kati Rolls from The English Indian, Wings,Salsa Fries and Chocolates from NL Foods, Bailey’s Caribbean providing some tropical sunshine, Pan Plano providing the Mediterranean and last but not least, Love Waffles providing a sweet kick. At my count, that’s four continents covered off in one event.
The Street Chef is someone who I’ve seen at multiple prior events, including Sketts at Victoria Square (reviewed here), but never got around to trying. It was about time then as I fancied some Mexican food.
I decided to go for a Pulled Chicken and Chorizo Quesadilla accompanied by Chilli Coleslaw and Coriander Popcorn.
Service was fast and efficient, and it wasn’t long before I got a waft of the sweet aroma of pulled chicken cooking on the grill.
Within minutes, I received my quesadilla which overlapped the container considerably. They were anchored in place with a pipette full of a rich soy sauce.
The quesadilla didn’t last long even though the contents tried to escape on each bite! I was glad they included a fork.
I enjoyed the quesadilla immensely and the salty soy balanced out the sweetness of the chicken and chorizo. The chilli slaw was nice and crunchy, not overloaded and not sloppy. You could tell it was made fresh. The one slight disappointment was the coriander popcorn: there was not enough coriander coming through. Although nice,it was seemed off kilter with the rest of the dish. Perhaps a few nachos may have suited the dish better. Or maybe it works better with the other choice of quesadilla (a Red Thai curry meatball).
Whilst I was chowing down, my wife in search of a more Asian flavour and off to the English Indian she went.
Not fancying the slow cooked Lamb Kati Roll, she chose the chicken variety instead.
There was a little bit of a queue and by the time I finished my first dish, she had reached the front and was ready to order.
Service was quick and also with a smile and my wife and the server chatted whilst her food was made swiftly in front of her. The report on the roll was ‘tasty, juicy, not too spicy and the egg made the flour roll omelette-like and helped to bind the ingredients from falling out’. I couldn’t tell you more as it didn’t last long.
We gave a little time for the food to settle, helped along with a few drinks from the bar.
As my belly settled down, I decided there was enough room for another savoury course and NL foods’s wing combo sounded too good to pass up.
They were at the back so I left my wife near the bar and pushed through the throngs to get to them. After my order was taken, I got to watch my salsa fries being prepared. Freshly fried then tossed in paprika and fresh vegetables, they smelled heavenly.
They were put in a small mound on my plate, alongside a trio of wings, salad and some jerk sauce. Smoked Paprika Tandoori & Coriander and Zingy Italian were the flavours, you could have three of one type or a mix; I went for the mix.
The wings were well coated, hot and jam packed with flavour, none were spicy. The jerk sauce was sweet and delicately spiced and a great compliment to the rest of the dish.
However, the stand out item of the night were the Salsa Fries. Hot, crisp outside and fluffy inside, how good fries should be. Well seasoned and oh so tasty! We couldn’t stop picking at them and I seriously would have considered another plate if there had been room.
Unfortunately,we were that stuffed we couldn’t fit anything else in. Which was a real shame as I fancied a waffle too. Oh well, an excuse to return again soon!
Whilst we went back along the canal to walk off some of our food, the skies cleared and a warm evening sun broke between the clouds. A perfect summer’s evening to match my mood and my feeling of fullness in every sense of the word. All in all, a glorious way to start a weekend and wash off a week of work.
Where: The Coffin Works, Fleet Street, Birmingham