You probably won’t be particularly shocked to hear that I’ve been back to Taste Buchanan – well, I had to sample the food from some of the other vendors! Mum and I headed up early on Friday evening and I was disappointed to find that it was rather quiet, with most people choosing to eat at the Burger King rather than buying food from one of the six street food vendors. We headed straight for Chompsky – mum has heard me rave about them a LOT – ordering a Hoisin Peanut Pulled Pork Bao (for mum), a Korean Fried Chicken Bao (for me), and a portion of Chilli Salt Crispy Squid to share.
The squid was already a favourite of mine, but I think this might have been the best portion yet. The usual crispy batter coated the perfectly cooked squid, but at the bottom of the pot there was a pool of delicious, salty cooking liquid. The spices and flavourings on the squid had mingled in the liquid and the squid was delicious when dipped in it. I may or may not be salivating just thinking about that squid! The two bao buns were also brilliant – the pulled pork was tender and meaty, and the accompanying pickled apple slices were a big hit. The super thin slices of apple were light with a good balance between the sweet and sour flavours. My Korean Fried Chicken Bao definitely became my favourite of all the bao buns though – every element was delicious. Two chunky, tender pieces of chicken were coated in a fabulously crispy, crunchy coating and the accompanying Korean BBQ sauce was sweet, spicy and altogether moreish. The fluffy bao bun was the perfect compliment to that super crispy chicken – even if the bottom did fall out of it halfway though eating it! Mum also loved the Crunchy Asian ‘Slaw that accompanied both the buns – indeed, the liquid in which the slaw sat really elevated the standard crunchy veggies to something special.
Three fabulous, fresh and tasty portions of food – mum now understands why I love Chompsky so much and they’ve got a new fan in her.
Union Waffles are newcomers to the street food scene, using Taste Buchanan to try and propel themselves into the public eye. They sell both sweet and savoury waffles, and mum and I decided to share one of each. We started off with the Duck Waffle – Chinese spiced duck with hoisin sauce, spring onion and pickled cucumber. The waffle was cooked through with a crispy outside, although any flavour from the waffle itself was lost against the strong flavours from the toppings. The duck was very lightly spiced – meaning it still had a nice duck flavour – and, as expected, went well with the sticky, sweet hoisin sauce. The most surprising of the toppings was the pickled cucumber, which packed a strong sour punch which definitely overpowered any other flavours from the dish.
From the sweet side of the menu, mum and I chose the Coconut and Pineapple Waffle as it’s ingredients sounded intriguing. The waffle was billed as being topped with coconut ice cream and caramelised pineapple with pink peppercorns – the latter being the ingredient that swayed our choice. Sadly, when the waffle was served we saw no sign of said peppercorns and there definitely didn’t seem to be any heat or peppery taste lurking in the dish. Nonetheless, it was a nice waffle with sweet pineapple and some of the best coconut ice cream I’ve ever tasted – creamy and thick with little pieces of desiccated coconut throughout.
While both waffles were nice mum and I both agreed that they probably weren’t worth the money – at £6.50 for the savoury and £4.50 for the sweet they definitely weren’t the cheapest options at Taste. So, while I’m glad I tried them and wish them all the best, I probably wouldn’t buy from Union Waffles again (especially if the wonderful Chompsky are in the vicinity!).