It seems food festival season is in full swing and, having recovered from their fabulous Forest Feastival at the end of April in Merthyr Mawr, the popular Street Food Circus is returning to Roath Yard in Cardiff for its fifth year at the end of this week for a four-weekend street food court phenomenon.
Taking over an old milk float depot with 19 delicious vendors on rotation, Welsh foodies can discover a whole new world of flavour throughout May. Complete with drinks from craft beer bar Freedom Brewery and BoBo cocktail bus to quench your thirst and “100% good vibes” provided by “busking bands and all our DJ mates playing good time tunes”.
Founder of the Street Food Circus, Matt The Hat, says: “We’ve been running events here at Roath Yard since 2017. It’s a great space just minutes from the city centre that gives us a perfect backdrop to create our unique Street Food Circus atmosphere – part festival, part international food court, part night market. We’re also thrilled to be hosting the Welsh Street Food Awards again, supporting and showcasing the creative cooking talent we have here in Wales.”
Read more:I ate at Forest Feastival as it returns to Merthyr Mawr and it’s a different experience to last year
Held on the second weekend, the awards will be judged by Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn of Hangfire BBQ fame, who started their own street food journey at early Street Food Circus events.
While entry into the event is free, guests will need to register their interest and book tickets to make sure they don’t miss out on this magical – and mouth watering – market.
Here we take a deep dive into the tasty street food stalls on rotation over the course of the month that you’ll not want to miss.
Based in Cardiff, Kapow Ribs made its name delivering “the finest ribs in Wales to your doorstep”. Starting just before the world locked down in March 2020, they offer slow-cooked “melting” baby backs doused in freshly ground spices and “finger-licking glazes”. With pop-ups at Rocket and Rye and Sticky Fingers, Kapow will be back with the SFC, cooking over fire and smoke at their shack slinging ribs for all to enjoy.
Fire & Flank
This pop-up was recently voted ‘Best Main Dish’ at the British Street Food Awards for its Sous Vide flank steak. At this month’s street food festival, expect flame-grilled flank steaks complemented with sides to make you salivate, such as slow-roasted, deep-fried hasselback potatoes topped with garlic butter, parmesan and parsley, mac and cheese, creamed spinach and deep-fried Dauphinois.
If you’re a fan of sub sarnies or go coo-coo for chicken wings, then this is the stall for you. Currently serving up their feasts – including fried chicken, cheeseburger and even fish fingers hoagies – at Neighbourhood Cardiff, they will be gracing Roath Yard on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 with a menu that is just as delectable.
Transport yourself to the beauty of Venezuela with Queen Pepiada’s glorious Arepas. Made from corn bread, these beauties are 100% gluten-free and can be made vegan or vegetarian with an array of tasty fillings. So fear not if you have a food intolerance, allergy or preference, because at this food stall, you can be guaranteed a tasty truck treat.
If you’re a pasta fiend, then this pop-up is going to be right up your street. These vendors offer deep-fried gnocchi, homemade pasta, arancini and a giant cheese wheel. The Italian street foodies have said: “We are VERY excited to announce that we have been nominated to take part in the @welshstreetfoodaward this month! Dirty Gnocchi has kept growing & growing over the past year & we couldn’t be prouder! (The one good thing to come out of the pandemic).”
With a new HQ coming this May, dumpling lovers will be glad to hear that pan-Asian street food vendor Nomad Kitchen will be showcasing their tasty menu. The street food vendor, which regularly pops up around Cardiff, serves spice-packed dumplings and bowls of noodle soup. If it’s on offer, be sure to try their pad Thai fries, complete with peanuts and fresh coriander.
Cooking burritos that pack a punch and dirty and loaded nachos finished with delicious rainbow toppings, this husband and wife duo based in the Brecon Beacons are proving that plant-based is anything but boring. Serving magnificent Mexican food out of their stunning 1950s vintage caravan, you’ll be able to catch their dishes throughout May and over the jubilee bank holiday.
Winners of the Welsh Street Food Awards last year for best sandwich, Kerala Karavan brings a taste of Southern India to Cardiff. You may even get to try their winning dish – the Bombay Tikka Taco which was born from memories of the past. Their Instagram says of the dish: ”Inspired by our cruise ship grafting days where we could easily source only Tortillas or Tacos to dunk in our curries .Those memories and flavours after 15 years has made this beautiful dish”
Previously The Pork Society, the rebranded Fork Society specialises in plush pork dishes – such as chargrilled pork collar steak with bearnaise sauce – and aims to bring restaurant-inspired dishes with a street food twist.
Run by a Cardiffian and a Californian, Sian and Jake, the Bearded Taco offers unique and innovative takes on the original Mexican taco. Made fresh – including the gluten free handmade corn tortillas – the pair say: “We have attempted to create a taco menu using influences from the many countries we have been lucky enough to visit.” And those options will always include at least one tasty veggie choice.
Vegan beef, juicy pork belly and more all tucked neatly into a fluffy and light bao bun – and generously loaded with deliciously colourful toppings – is just a snippet of what circus-goers can look forward too from Bao Selecta.The pop-up shop, which has become a staple at SFC’s events, was established in 2016 and is a tasty celebration of Taiwanese food.
Based in Cardiff Market and Founders and Co in Swansea, this street food venture brings a fresh new twist to original Japanese cooking. Wanting to bring the “side streets of Tokyo to Wales”, they say: “We’re not pretending to be sushi masters, rather we want to embody the spirit of the place, celebrating its beautiful chaos with a bold and creative menu.”
Brought to you by the family who run Bare Bones Pizza, Poutine Punks was created following a trip to Vancouver. The typical Canadian dish consists of french fries and cheese curds topped with a dollop of gravy. However, Poutine Punks bring their own twist to the dish, with delicious additions like bacon and chicken – they even have vegan options!
Finish off your feast with a sweet treat from Pwdin. With previous menus including drool-worthy desserts like biscoff cheesecake ‘bad boy brownies’ and PB & J (peanut butter and jelly) bread and butter pudding, leaving room for pudding will be a necessity.
If “burgers, fries, shakes and sides” are your forte, then you’ll need to make a pitstop at burger buff truck Smokin Griddle. Previously featuring at SFC’s Food Feastival with their special ‘Dunkin Cheese’, it’s a cheat day that’s well worth the calories.
Rockys Back Seat Diner
Established at the end of 2021 by Joseph and Will Burge, Rockys Back Seat Diner showcases the pair’s love for American food and the US diner experience. Think maple-syrup drenched and loaded breakfast waffles to coca-cola chicken wings and bubblegum milkshakes. Their mission? “To use our love for American diners to celebrate what makes them unique, while also creating something new for the people of Wales and street food events across the UK.”
Ringo’s Dirty Diner
Run by sibling duo Tash and Steve, Ringo’s Dirty Diner, whose mascot is adorable dachshund Ringo, boasts organic comfort food, such as nachos, hot dogs, burgers, fries and donuts. Their aim is to fill your tummy and fill your soul. A heartwarming venture of this new food stop is that they work with charities, donating a percentage of their profits to helping the homeless reintegrate back into society.
Hogi Hogi Hogi
Cheese drenched fries, roasted pork rolls and caerPHILLY cheesesteaks are just some of the locally produced dishes these hog-roast specialists are cooking up. Catch them on the second and fourth weekend at Roath Yard.
The Mighty Soft Shell Crab
You simply can’t be crabby when you’ve got a one of The Might Soft Shell Crab’s super crisp, deep-fried soft crab and prawn tempura wraps – complete with home made sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of creme Fraiche – in your hand.
Street Food Circus is at Roath Yard, St Peters Street, Cardiff (just off City Road) from 11:30am – 10:00pm on May 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, June 2, 3, 4 & 5. Book your tickets at: ww.tickettailor.com/events/streetfoodcircus
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