If you can find the alleyway underneath the bridge at Vauxhall Station you will be transported to an alley underneath a bridge called Vauxhall Street Food Garden. Little can be done to escape the fact that a tiny gap between buildings does not constitute a garden but at least there is an attempt to make what seems like a minescule former car park into a pleasant outdoor area. There are bars and wooden tables with a selection of tasty treats but by the time we arrived the sun had gone along with some of the stalls. Each day there are different types of street food to enjoy and it is open all day until around 7.30 to cater for worker bee’s on lunch and after work drinkers.
Pick of the foodie bunch was Naughty Roti. A simple enough premise, Indian Roti’s full of varying curried fillings, worked a treat and tasted great. The girls in charge were good fun too and seemed to be doing something right as their stocks were depleting as I stood there chewing. The other stand-out was the Churro guy who had a veritable kitchen attached to his bike, which he rides around various food markets in South London selling his sugary deep fried wares. As well as little cakes and other delectables, the Churro’s filled with salted caramel were ridiculously delicious.
The Moroccan Menu food stall was extremely tasty too with lamb patties served on a flatbread with a gorgeous olive and onion chutney on the side. There was also Chicken marinated in a gingery sauce which was very flavoursome indeed. As well as these bastions of street food there was a Jerk Chicken stand that smelled amazing and rumours of steak which, on my visit anyway, were seemingly unfounded. Perhaps my next visit will unearth an Argentinian stall alongside wood fired Pizza from the back of a van and maybe some Korean BBQ.
There are two bar areas in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens which just shows how the British can fit a couple of pubs in the even the tiniest of spaces. Craft beers were very popular as ever but a Jug of Pimms was the order of the day and with two for £20 it seemed churlish not to indulge. There was plenty of seating and places to relax and table service is available for the leisurely amongst us. The music however, was a tinny mix of EDM and terrible chart music which did ruin the ambiance somewhat. If the music was slightly better the drinks and snacks would have gone down a whole lot easier.
Billed as a ‘gourmet oasis in the heart of central London’ this urban sliver of foodie heaven nearly lives up to it’s premise and if I lived or worked in Vauxhall I would probably visit this place a couple of times a week, if only for the wonderful food alone. As a visitor the venue needs a little work as it feels very temporary and although this is what you expect of a pop up these days, this is more of a market with added booze. Maybe it doesn’t know what it does best just yet but there are definitely some exciting seeds sprouting in the Vauxhall Street Food Garden.
What: Vauxhall Street Food Garden
When: Daily Mondays – Fridays
Where: 6A South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP London
Times: 11.30am – 9.30pm – Happy hour 5pm – 7pm
Price: Free entry