Saturday, 12 April 2014


Last weekend saw the return of Amazing Graze for its second year. Amazing Graze is a two day festival featuring an array of authentic street food traders taking inspiration from around the world.

Devised by Manjit’s Kitchen in conjunction with Leftbank Leeds, the event offers a space for all to come to celebrate all things good about the street.

Featuring traders new and old from Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond, the street food line up held many great surprises in store.

As per usual, Sarah from Madeleine Express put on an impressive spread of cakes but also trialed her new dessert menu to the public. With three desserts on offer, including a vegan cheesecake option there was something for everyone.

I had a little taster of the lemon madeleines with blueberry compote whipped cream and lavender salt crunch and also the honey almond cake dessert – both were really lovely but my particular favourite was the lemon madeleines. The crunchy addition to the whipped cream added a really nice texture and the whole dish just made you go MMM.

Next up I went for the Flemish beef stew from The Grub & Grog Shop. I had been eyeing up trying this stew for the past few weeks as it had been made specially in conjunction with the Lowlands Beer Festival where they had been serving it at North Bar. With just one stew left, a friend and I shared it and it was proper feel good food. It reminded me of the beef stew that my Mum makes, but the addition of the Flemish beer gave it extra body and umph. I would very much like the recipe for this one!

On to Manjit’s Kitchen, Leeds favourite vegetarian heart breakers with their delightful menu of Indian street food classics. A few new variations which I had not seen them serve before at previous events were on offer at Amazing Graze, including one of my favourite dishes… Bhel Puri. I leapt at the chance to try their take on it and I was not disappointed at all. Full of amazingly fresh flavours of ginger and coriander with a great texture form the puffed rice, pomegranate and tomatoes. A real treat and definitely up there at the top of the bhel puri list!

I also got a taste of their aubergine fritters which were served in a stack on a bed of salad and drizzled with a spicy sauce. Such a simple dish but tasty none the less. They were surprisingly light and fresh to eat even though they were deep fried.

 Newbie to the Leeds street food scene, Banh Mi Booth was also serving food. A friend tried their Pork dumplings and gave a very satisfactory nod and I was given a taster of the ‘No Name Vegetable Fritters’. I struggled to find any taste in the batter for these and as the name suggested these were rather unidentifiable, however the dipping sauces were very tasty and the fritters were obviously not meant to be eaten without them.

I was also given a taster of the Tortillas de Camerones…. From Las Paelleras, Spanish street food traders. Prawns in batter disk which were deep fried and served with a garlic and chili aioli sauce. These were a bit greasy to deal with but they were of course deep fried! The sauces were thick and rich and had a strong flavour. The shrimps inside the batter were delightfully fresh and I really enjoyed these.

Last but not least… we have perhaps the highlight of the whole weekend. Leeds favourite breakfast/brunch-meisters The Greedy Pig brought a rather controversial Nose to Tail tapas menu to the table. With 6 tapas dishes made with lesser used cuts of pig they created an air of intrigue and awe which no food blogger could resist!

After several recommendations I opted for the tongue tacos. These were extremely interesting with a fleshy taste but strong flavour. It was genuinely like nothing I had ever tasted before and with every bite I was more and more satisfied.

Other traders were also present however I didn't get round to fitting them in!

Overall, a great time at Amazing Graze and a massive thank you to Manjit and Michael from Manjit’s Kichen for organising the event and for the work that they do with supporting the street food scene in Leeds.

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