As someone who loves Taste Buchanan and the whole idea surrounding it, it was obvious that The £10 Tasting Menu event was going to be right up my street. £10 bought a ticket which entitled you to one dish from each of the five current vendors – what’s not to like? On arrival, we were given a card with the menu for the night which would be stamped as we visited each vendor. And so, the only thing left to do was decide who we were going to visit first.
We decided to start the evening at Sunshine Kitchen, who were serving up Veggie Wontons with Taro Crackers and Sweet Chilli Dip. Each portion contained two freshly fried wontons, two taro crackers and a little pool of sweet chilli sauce. The wontons were nice and crispy on the outside, with a soft vegetable filling. The taro crackers, in my opinion were a bit of a waste of time. Tasteless little crackers which may have provided a needed crunch in another dish, but were unnecessary given the texture of the wontons. The sweet chilli sauce was nice, but very spicy, meaning it overpowered the flavour from the wontons at times. Overall though, this was a pretty good dish to start off the evening with.
We decided to hit up ShrimpWreck for our Tempura Prawn Sliders next. The soft little brioche buns were filled with a tempura prawn, bacon, pickled samphire and mayonnaise and were definitely the stars of the evening. The tempura batter was perfectly crispy, while the bacon made for an unusual but delicious accompaniment for the prawn. The pickled samphire didn’t have a strong vinegar taste as I had expected, but it did inject another texture to the dish. The soft bun perfectly complimented the crispy batter, with the creamy mayonnaise providing the finishing touch. Yum!
Looking at the queue for the Loaded Chip Bar, which was getting longer and longer, we decided to head to Taco Mazama next. The Mexican fast food stalwarts were serving up Soft Shell Tacos with a choice of pork or veggie filling. Rosie, Kathryn and I all went for pork, which was then piled up with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and jalapenos. Not the tidiest thing to eat in public, we had to set pride aside and just tuck in. Everything in the taco was good – tender pulled pork, and hint of spice from the jalapenos, a cooling creaminess from the sour cream. I wouldn’t go overboard and say it’s the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, but it definitely wasn’t the worst.
Loaded Chip Bar
The queue at the Loaded Chip Bar was growing by the minute – staff shortages meaning the guys behind the counter were struggling to serve as quickly as they might usually do. We decided it would be best to join the queue, as it didn’t seem to be getting any shorter, and did so around 20 past 7. Not too long after, we were told we might not get our food before 8 o’clock (when Buchanan Galleries was closing) and given a voucher each to apologise. This was a nice way to handle the issue, however we were a little disappointed as we had seen the good sized portions they were churning out and were looking forward to the largest dish of the evening. While Rosie waited in the queue (in the hope that we might still get our chips) I headed over to pick up our brownies from Daizy Delicious.
At around 10 to 8, we finally reached the front of the queue and got our chips! Disappointingly, they had run out of the promised onion rings by this time and so we were served a portion of Chips with Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cheese and Crispy Onions. The chips were in dire need of seasoning – if I hadn’t visited before I would have put this down to the busyness but I know that this is obviously the way they cook their chips. However, the buttermilk chicken was great – tender chunks of chicken coated in a lovely, crispy batter which was definitely the redeeming quality of the dish. I’m glad we waited for our portions, not least because it was the most filling dish of the night, however it did confirm for me that I probably wouldn’t revisit the Loaded Chip Bar.
Over at Daizy Delicious, there were three types of brownie on offer – Belgian Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter. I chose one of each and grabbed a knife so we could each have a taste of all of them. All three brownie types were super soft and gooey – perhaps suggesting they needed a little longer in the oven. The flavour of each one was good though, and they didn’t give off an under-cooked taste despite their texture.
The only big disappointment of the evening relates to the bar. Run by Drygate Brewery, the only drinks on offer were beers. Given that I don’t like beer (and I’m not the only one) it left me drinking water all night. A small thing which could be easily improved if the event runs again. Overall though, I think I can safely say that the event was a great success and I would return to at least one of the traders based on what I tried.