Every car park, rooftop and towpath at the more trendy end of London is filling up fast with food trucks, fancy cocktails and, if you're lucky, the odd art installation. Red Market, one of London's first pop-up street food markets (est. 2011) has now reopened for another season of alfresco revelry. Food this year includes tandoor-cooked rotis from the head chef of Whitechapel Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs and pizzas from Voodoo Ray's in Dalston. There will also be cocktails, DJ sets and a fake beach. What more could you wish for in the capital? Good weather, perhaps?
Find out more about Red Market. Not in your area? Find more great London markets.
288-299 Old St, EC1V 9DP. Open Wed-Sat, 5pm-midnight.
The Black Penny
It was a marketing wheeze that really, really worked. This new café/takeaway in Covent Garden sold every dish for a penny on opening day, and when we went a few days later there were huge queues waiting for tables and (mostly) takeaway. It reminded us of the old drug dealer’s trick to get new clients: ‘the first one’s free’. Addiction to Black Penny may become a recognised medical condition, but it won’t be because of cost – low though that is. When you finally reach the counter, you see dishes that look like those at many another coffee place: soup, sandwiches, salad, quiche, a stew, lots of baked sweet things. But when you finally sit down in the small back dining room, you realise this isn’t the stuff of two-for-a-penny cafés. The quality is high in both sweet and savoury dishes. Salads are a particular strength, with confident seasoning in the dressings and excellent assemblies of sprightly ingredients to carry them. The kitchen has a masterful pasty-maker, as we saw in both a savoury tart and a Pennsylvania-Dutch-style apple pie. They also had a good ceviche on the menu when we were there. Portions are enormous and prices eminently reasonable - £7.50 for a salad box that some people would be happy to share between two, sandwiches just under a fiver. In the food, the only downer was inelegant presentation of salad selections. The separate components were piled together so that their flavours blended in some unappealing ways: ceviche on top of couscous is never a good