I was really looking forward to their new set-up and trying some of their new vendors, so when I was selected to win some free food & drink tokens I was chuffed! Little do they know I would've gone anyway, haha - but I ended up buying some extra grub too - outside of my tokens. I'm a glutton, what more can I say?
So I brought along my Life +1, my intrepid food-eating husband. We were greeted and treated like a couple of fancy folk from uptown, which was very nice - they're a super friendly crew at R3D Market, and I felt really comfortable with everyone. A nice thing in London where sometimes people can be a bit 'cool', both in spirit and attitude - this was just a friendly environment that felt really welcoming from the managers at the location to all the vendors.
Since this was a Friday after work, the first place we hit with our tokens was the cocktail bar. There were a couple booze options around, a Pimm's Tent, a Sol beer area, and then a cocktail area. I like Pimm's just fine, but these cocktails were just my style, and the Smoked Paloma was so up my husband's alley that it was laughing and rolling dice with an Old Fashioned.
I love fruity drinks so the BB Punch was my pick - it tasted just like citrus & fruit punch, not too sweet and quite natural if I must say. The alcohol was nearly imperceptible but quite potent, which made for a dangerous evening, haha. I'm not sure how common it is for sauced behavior, but when I've been drinking I get much hungrier. The first place we grabbed grub was Dough Bro Pizza.
We're n'duja fans from way back, and get it every chance we have as a pizza topping. Unfortunately for us, Pizza Express is our usual hang-out for pizza - and while it isn't bad, places like Pizza Pilgrims and other big names in London blow it straight out of the water. I think it's fair to put Dough Bro up with those high-ranking pizza slingers, because I absolutely decimated my half as did my husband. We were scrapping over the last savory, oily and rich bits of sausage, and the fresh, naturally milky-sweet mozzarella. The cheese had that inimitable stretch factor, that makes for a much more satisfying pizza experience. Since they were milky dollops on the pizza, and not a full covering, I really got to taste the other elements - crust, sauce, and topping. The crust was lovely & thin, crispy on the outer rim and a bit more soft towards the middle, but held it's structure completely so a bite stayed on course for your mouth. Sometimes softer pizzas curve down, you lose toppings, you hit your chin with the pizza...or at least I do...
The sauce was great, a little sweet & herby - I'm not a stickler for sauce but this stuff seemed to be as good as it gets. The n'duja was super - it's hard to let me down with spiced meat, and I certainly wasn't here. Good portion size for two to share as an 'appetizer', perhaps - and would've been a big lunch for one, maybe even get two meals out of it if you're delicate, haha.
I'll be happy to come back to Dough Bro ASAP. I'd love to try the Nutella pizza, and I can't believe it's just £4. Excellent prices on these, as you could probably get 2 meals out of one if you're a light eater.
Next off we hit Butchie's, which was sold out of the Clancy Wiggum - not a big deal though, as our eyes were immediately drawn to the Dale Cooper! I'm quite sure that is a joke about chicken coops, but what is Clancy Wiggum? Maybe it's because he's kind of a chicken? Or is there a sort of chicken named Wiggum? This is the sort of thing I could Google, or the sort of thing I could write about in my blog and reap the benefits of others who Google it. See what I mean, guy who just Googled "Clancy Wiggum + Chicken"?
The Dale Cooper features fried chicken, Thai basil, lemon & garlic mayo, homemade pickles, lettuce and a buttery squishin' brioche bun. The fried chicken had a really nice flavor - reminded me a bit of Chic-Fil-A from the US with a bit of pickle & a real herbaceous groove about it. The sauce had a nice kick of basil and went really well with the rest of the sandwich. The were lots of hints of different spices like dill, thyme, basil, and the rare and highly esteemed 11 secret herbs and spices throughout the breading and sauce. It was a really nice and flavorful sandwich all around, I'd happily get another.
We also got - to take away - hush puppies & a pulled pork sandwich with the hottest sauce from Bare Bones Cue. The hush puppies were eaten mostly on the way home, and they were nice & piping hot with two sorts of dip - a creamy ranch type, and a barbecue perhaps cut with hot sauce.
Using beer, corn, spring onions and cheese inside the batter really amps them up, so I welcome the change. They tasted quite hoppy, lots of savory taste from whatever cheese is being used, and the lasting tang of the polenta & beer mixed and made for a really interesting taste sensation. Generally when something uses 'beer' in their batter, it's basically imperceptible, but that's not the case here.
We left a few overnight in our fridge, and reheated them for breakfast the next day - I'd say the taste was even more pronounced at breakfast, so if you feel stuffed at R3D Market I'd pick some of these up for the road anyway!
The sandwich also was had over breakfast the next day but was left unphotographed as we were very hungry & my camera was in the other room. The sandwich was still really tasty, but I do think it'd be unfair to give it a full review since it had been in the fridge and then so cruelly reheated in a microwave. I'll have to eat a fresh one and revisit. I was curious to try their 'Orange Pop' sauce, which is BBQ made with uh...orange pop.
I really enjoyed the entire variety of stalls - I didn't get to try them all, but I'll be back around. The only thing missing I'd say is ice cream or another sweet! Who knows, maybe one will come around later in the year.
Over all it was a super fun time with amazing food, great drinks, and a relaxing environment. I'll definitely be back this summer at R3D Market, Twitter contest win or not!