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KERB Camden - London’s new permanent street-food market

13 August 2016 | Stephanie Brandhuber

Yesterday marked the launch of KERB Camden, the new, revamped street food market that is offering the best of Camden’s food stalls everyday of the week.

Every Londoner has a Camden story. Inevitably, some of these will involve a kebab and a curbside, but regardless of how appropriate your particular tale may or may not be, we can all agree that Camden is more than just a neighbourhood; it’s a collective memory and experience.
 
Another thing we can all agree on is that Camden has always been a bit of a beautiful mess. With its maze of intertwining alleys and side streets, it almost seems like a cruel joke we play on the flocks of tourists hunting for that “authentic” London punk experience. It’s there, but good luck finding it.
 
It’s no wonder then that there was a huge deal of excitement when the news was announced that Camden’s over-crowded West Yard food market was getting a major makeover. Camden Market Management has joined forces with street food giant KERB, which specialises in pop-up style markets in King’s Cross and the City, and the result is a revamped stall area providing more restaurant-quality street food every day of the week.
 
Compared to how the West Yard used to be, it’s almost unrecognisable. New, more uniform stalls that are generously spaced apart line the now-visible canal-side, and there are even proper, legitimate seating areas where you can sit and enjoy your tasty treats. It’s a far cry from the hazardous food shacks and wonky wooden “benches” that once made up the market. It’s clean, it’s polished, and it definitely looks like it’s up to health and safety code - how decidedly un-Camden.
 
Yet, for all the scepticism you might have for this new, clean space and the nostalgia you might have for the old, “genuine” market that once had you battling crowds and squeezing between shacks to get your falafel fix, the new shiny KERB market is actually really pleasant. And, most importantly, the food on offer is absolutely incredible. 35 traders now make up the refurbished space, offering street food delicacies as varied as they are tasty.


 
Fried chicken favourite Mother Clucker has secured a permanent position in KERB and is definitely a must-visit. These soul food specialists know exactly how to bread a bird and fry it to crispy perfection. Tea-brined, buttermilk-soaked, and twice battered, this juicy chicken will have you in food ecstasy. Looking for something to chomp with your chicken? Head over to Mac Factory for the best Mac n Cheese you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating. Combining drool-worthy flavour combinations like their “Posh Spice” which is spicy chorizo, harissa, and caramelised onion or their “Super Mario” which blends sautéed wild mushrooms, cep cream, truffle oil, and garlic, together with the richest, creamiest, cheesiest pasta you’ve ever had, Mac Factory will change your food life forever. 
 
And don’t worry if you’re a veggie, you’ll have plenty of options too. Nazari have wonderfully moreish falafel, and if you’re a feeling a little more adventurous, try out Club Mexicana’s vegan tacos stuffed with BBQ-pulled jackfruit. The Arepazo Bros are also worth a mention with their meat and veggie-option arepas – crispy Venezuelan cornbread pouches stuffed full of flavourful goodness.  
 
The true star of KERB Camden though is Oli Baba’s with their out-of-this-world halloumi fries. It’s unlikely that the words “deep fried cheese” need any more explaining but if you’re still bizarrely unconvinced, try this on for size: crunchy, gooey, oozy deep-fried halloumi topped with an elegant drizzle of Za’atar yogurt, confident lashings of pomegranate molasses, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and sumac, and delicately finished with mint.  If “food porn” had a picture in the dictionary, it would definitely be of this mind-blowing dish.
 
These are just a few of the incredible food stalls that KERB Camden features, and it really goes to show how vibrant and varied London’s food culture has become. Whether you’re popping out for your lunch break during the week, or you’re enjoying a crawl through Camden on the weekend, KERB is the place to treat your taste buds. Loose, stretchy clothes advised.
 
Kerb Camden Market is located in Camden Market, West Yard, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AF. Open 7 days a week, Mon-Thur 11-6, Fri-Sat 11-10, Sun 11 -7
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