Because street food served on the street would just be too predictable, how does a warehouse sound instead? The Canal Mills night food street market is held on the last Friday of every month, and is a great way to get the weekend started with street food, music and cocktails all on offer.
After having a quick browse around (and I do mean quick as there were only 4 stalls to check out), it was quite disappointing that half of the mentioned street food stalls were nowhere to be seen around the warehouse, despite being promised a grand variety on the Facebook event page. The choices were between gourmet pizza, juicy burgers, tasty dim sum or vegan Indian food. Having tried both the pizza and the vegan Indian, I was quite pleased with the student-appropriate prices and the quality and quantity of food that I got, even if I was limited to the slim range of food available.
The initial exciting appearance of the “Cocktail Shack” failed when it came to the drinks on offer, again restricted by a slight lack of choice. With a selection of only three drinks (a festive mulled cider, mojito or a sweet Bailey’s-like concoction) I retreated to the normal bar for a drink. This wasn’t too much of a let-down, as Canal Mills regularly serves an excellent selection of Independent Pale Ales and drinks that are hard to find elsewhere. A beam of hope shone through onto the stage, which would have been set up perfectly for some live music, but instead in its place was a DJ, playing similar music to an ordinary club night.
A regular fixture of the night market is a large street art canvas, completed by one of the artists, but was unfortunately in a the corner where it was barely noticeable unless you searched for it. Another three canvases were set up by the entrance with artists creating pieces live, yet due to the lack of influx of people I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the artists that were busy painting away in a neglected corner of the warehouse. Whether it was due to people feeling a pinch money-wise at the inevitable Christmas shopping creeping closer, or because of the blustering gale-force winds outside, it was a shame there was a lack of bodies at what had all the makings of a fantastic event.
Despite lacking atmosphere on the night, the Canal Mills Night Food Street Market was still a great location for a street food event. It is in no way a superior version to Belgrave Feast, held every month at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in town, but with a few improvements it could be a worthy alternative.