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 team behind this venue hope to bring ‘the best of Barcelona and Brooklyn to Crouch End’. They and their bright staff certainly do well at creating a cosy, laid-back, enjoy-yourself buzz. An old test-your-strength machine is only the best of the eclectic and slightly cranky accoutrements that combine with vaguely distressed decor at this imaginative tapas bar. As chef they’ve recruited Pablo Rodríguez López, formerly of Barrafina and Morito. Lately, some London tapas bars have been showing culinary inventiveness; so far, Bar Esteban isn’t so much creative as focused on pure, contrasting, pick-me-up flavours based on top-quality fresh ingredients. We were won over straight away by the superbly authentic, punchy and fresh alioli (garlic mayonnaise) that came with our bread. The pleasure continued with subtly seasoned grilled mussels, crisp and creamy serrano ham croquettes, vibrantly delicious coca de escalivada (flat bread topped with roast peppers, onion and aubergines), and rabo de toro (slow-braised oxtail) with a richly textured flavour that really showed the worth of painstaking, skilful preparation. The wine list has some fairly unusual, non-standard Spanish labels from a wide variety of regions, and for drinkers, there’s no obligation to have a fixed number of tapas dishes. Bar Esteban is a great asset to Crouch End.
Venue says: “Our chefs visited the best arrocerias of Valencia to uncover the secrets of great paella. Available for lunch at the weekend. Muy buena!”