Street Food Festival Zurich No. 2

Let me introduce Nam, one of my best friends, she was so kind to write a post about the Street Food Festival on my blog. I’m sure you will enjoy:

Zurich – Last weekend the winter edition of the Street Food Festival Zurich took place at the Giessereihalle. An indoor so called industrial market space at Puls 5. It felt like half Zurich and some more were there on their feet and ready to get fed. Dozens of vendors housing in creative food trucks or market booths were prepared to please the crowd with culinary delicacies from all over the world.

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Sybille wasn’t there for a change and let me have all the excitement of discovering the festival for her blog. A very much crowded and queuing surival task indeed. In example testing how much gin punch I can handle before placing my order at the booth with the longest queue (yes, the fact that I was willing to stand in line as long as I did shocked me most). So let me get things to you from the scratch.
Street food, I must add, got me early. And I’m not talking Hot Dog and Bretzel booths in New York and all the Kebab places in Lucerne and Zurich. No, it was Saigon (Vietnam) which taught me that some of the best food can be found on the streets and this hasn’t changed to date. And this one booth in Paris selling filled Vietnamese sandwiches called “Bánh mì đặc biệt”, which must be the best way to enjoy a baguette.
When street food vendors in New York raised their cuisine to gourmet level few years back it was clear: this hype will go global. New York said so. International cuisine superbly cooked and served handy simply meets people’s need for fast, good even healthy mobile eateries and suits today’s busy schedule.
The hype swapped over and the organizers of the Street Food Festival just hit the nail on the head with the 1st edition taking place last August. The festival a must-do on the event calendar. At the 2nd edition of the festival all eager to kick it off.
A good start had to be some dazzling sounding “Hendricks Punch” from the bar. This time served with orange slices not cucumber. The cup looked cooler than its ability to serve hot content. The copper material took its time before allowing me to enjoy the beverage. The punch was all perfect, leaving one’s breath forming gin clouds.
Among the incredible variety of offers of food one has never heard of, not to mention from getting on a regular base around town, it was the familiar menu which drawn me first to the Vietnamese “banhmi kitchen” booth. They served their interpretation of the Southeast Asian sandwich classic. My first thought was: why a new version when most of the festival visitors aren’t familiar with the original? Fading out this fact and quickly taking notes that it can’t get close to the mouth-watering original due to missing out some of essential ingredients, the sandwich was good after all.
My roots with the only Vietnamese dish at the festival covered I switched to the half part nationality of my husband, trying out what the ladies from “The Cevicheria” from Peru had to offer. I went for the classic ceviche served with sweet potato, crispy corn and some hot sauce. The side dishes were really yummy. The fish itself was not the best I had but to be fair also not the worst. Plus giving the circumstances that there are thousands of visitors to please may make it ok and understandable that not all offers can be at their best quality? Can’t it. I think it should be possible but on the other hand I have always been very picky and demanding when it gets down to culinary experiences given my moderate catering background and foible for good food.
On the way back to our standing table I picked up some truffled popcorn from “Gerold Chuchi – Drei Stuben”. Loving everything about truffle, the combination of popcorn with the delicacy didn’t come queery to me.
Friends of mine visited the festival hours before me and highly recommended the fresh buns from “Wesley’s Kitchen”. It was by far the booth with the most attention by the time I decided to give it a try. Having seen the two chefs making the buns freshly from the scratch, it is most definite the impression the booth left with the audience: this must be good. The queue was almost as long as the hall itself. 40 minutes, 2 Hendricks Punchs and a gin clouded head after, I went for 8 beef buns and the other dish they offered (egg and tofu slowly cooked in tea). After quite a wait one is just willing to take all what’s on the menu, I guess. The egg and tofu didn’t get me. Eatable but not something one would see me jumping up and down for. The buns otherwise were really fine. The duff was airy and the beef filling tender and well seasoned.
“Wesley’s Kitchen” get a bonus from me for their really moderate prices (CHF 4 for 2 buns / CHF 3.50 for egg/tofu dish). Giving the fact that all vendors were selling small portions, the other prices wouldn’t suggest so.
My conclusion? It was definitely a fun and tasty experience and I surely will be back trying out others like seen on the menu boards like Pulled Pork Burger, Dumplings, Tacos not to mention the sweet department I couldn’t get myself to last weekend. And who knows, you might even see me there with my own little mobile eatery trying to meet up your expectations.

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