Kerb have become one of London’s prime purveyors of gourmet street food, gathering together an assortment of stalls offering fusion foods and deep-fried delights across the capital. Their latest venture sees them take on a pretty tough market though: quite literally, in fact, as Kerb has opened just shop in Camden Market, already one of the city’s stalwart venues for buying greasy fast food in cardboard tubs.
What Kerb offers is a touch of class, and a sense of consistency. You won’t find the same budget sweet ‘n’ sour chicken, slick with oil, that you’d find just a few metres outside the Kerb boundary. Instead you’ll find a Korean-style beef bulgogi burrito, or perhaps Crabbieshack’s battered soft shell crab burger. The consistency comes in the form of some reassuringly permanent looking housing for each stall, and even more reassuringly dependable pricing: most main dishes hover around the rather friendly £7 mark, only breaking above for the likes of combo meals and super-sized portions.
There are 35 stalls in all (well, so say Kerb – this journalist was too busy eating to count them all) ranging from the predictable — burgers — to the less so — Indian-style ‘bhangra burgers’. There are also a few veggie options dotted around, most notably an entirely vegan Mexican stall peddling ‘pulled jackfruit’ burritos and ‘to-fish’ tacos. Once you’re bored of the savoury, your options get a bit more limited: a bakery offering an expansive array of brownies and cupcakes; and hand-made ice cream sandwiches which looked great, but were all gone by the time I was done stuffing my face with fried things and went to ask for one. Sorry about that.
For the alcoholics among us, there’s a bar offering a few local beers and ciders (Camden Hells, Four Pure, and Beavertown are represented), wine, and gin & tonics made with Half Hitch gin, a microdistillery that also boasts a small store nearby. Infused with pepper, bergamot, and black tea, it’s definitely worth a try — but ask for it straight (trust me) or try one of the better-than-they-have-any-right-to-be pre-made negronis.
For those au fait with London’s rapidly expanding street food scene, Kerb Camden doesn’t exactly offer anything you haven’t seen before. But it does what it does, and it does it well, and it’s a good step up from the grubby fare Camden Market has long been known for.
Words by Dominic Preston