We caught up with Jessica Tucker, founder of Urban Food Fest, to find out about their upcoming “Japanese Harajuku Girls & Korean Gangnam Boys” themed night market on Saturday 3 May – and to discover the inspiration behind Jessica’s popular Shoreditch street food festival. Expect fun food trucks, delicious flavours from around the world and innovative and exciting themes.

What inspired the theme of: “Japanese Harajuku Girls & Korean Gangnam Boys”? 

I am a huge fan of both Japanese and Korean street food, and of course these are two of the hottest food trends at the moment. Visiting Harajuku in Tokyo was one of the best trips I have ever done. I loved the trendy, innovative outfits and couture street fashions. The colours and styles were incredibly inspiring and very eye-opening, especially the cosplay and manga costumes. The Gangnam district in Seoul was of course made famous by the Psy song “Gangnam Style”. I thought it would be brilliant fun to do a street food night market featuring these two fabulous districts.

So what kind of street food can visitors expect at the Korean and Japanese themed Urban Street Fest?

The Urban Food Fest street food night market on the 3 May will as always be free entry and will feature exclusively created themed street food dishes including Korean butter fried beef kimchi hot dogs, Korean pork belly bun with mooli slaw, Korean noodle ramen beef burgers and Japanese chicken katsu curry with rice, to name a few! For an extended list to get you drooling, check the bottom of the page.

Spicy Chicken Bun

And the sweet stuff?

Our street food desserts will include: Korean double chocolate fudge brownies, large cream filled doughnuts, chocolate salami (yes that’s a real dessert!), Japanese mochi chocolate ice-cream, Japanese green tea cake, Korean sweet fruit crepes and much more.

And what’s a Harajuku Girl’s and Gangnam Boy’s choice of drink?

The Urban Food Fest bar will feature a vast selection. Alongside the world famous Korean Hite beer and Korean Jinro premium vodka (soju), a Gangnam themed shot bar and Harajuku themed cocktail bar is serving exclusive green tea with acai berry cocktails and green tea with pomegranate cocktails as well as large sharing cocktail jugs.

A little birdy told me there’s a way to win free drinks?

As with all our themed events there will be fantastic drinks prizes for those who come in themed costumes, such as free Orchard Pig premium Somerset ciders!

I hear there will be entertainment to rival Psy’s “Gangnam Style”?

Yes! There will be the brilliant Gangnam “Urban Food Fest” dance performed by none other than our Korean ramen burger chefs, a live Korean band, a giant inflatable sumo man, Japanese costumes, themed flags, Japanese face painters and guests wearing Cosplay and Manga cartoon outfits and Ninja headbands.

Korean beef burger. Wakame salad

Korean beef burger. Wakame salad

What inspired you to start Urban Food Fest?

I have always been a fan of gourmet haute cuisine, and have a big passion for art and design, so a street food night market seemed like the perfect way to combine the two. I absolutely love the creativity that goes into each event, and creating a different vision each weekend.

How does Urban Food Fest stand out from the rest?

Every week there is a new line up of street food trucks and stalls, brand new menus, exclusive new drinks at the Urban Food Fest bar and different entertainment including live bands, on-site massage chairs and street shows. The themed street food night markets especially enable me to provide a fun, quirky and totally unique experience to the British public, where guests are welcome to be part of the theme too if they would like. Every single street food dish is tested by the team and are exclusive to the Urban Food Fest. This of course means that seasoned foodies come to the market every Saturday night, which we love and the team makes them feel very at home!

What’s been the reaction from the critics? 

The press has been phenomenal to us. We were in Elle last week, a full page article in Time Out Magazine, in Shortlist, Evening Standard, Square Mile and many more. The reviews have also been brilliant, with all the major newspapers and magazines stating that patrons should visit the market many times as each time they will experience something new. It was my vision that each event should be totally unique and special.

What drew Urban Food Fest to Shoreditch?

Shoreditch is the hottest place in London, let alone Europe. The only equivalent I can think of is the Lower East Side in NYC. Shoreditch is London’s mecca for hipsters and fashionistas, so it was the only place to be. We are located on the Euro Car Parks flat surface car park on Shoreditch High Street every Saturday night. Euro Car Parks is renowned as the UK’s premier car parking company, with first class car parking services. To be located on one of their sites is an honour for us.

Urban Food Fest revellers, Craft Beer and Premium Drinks Bar

Urban Food Fest revellers, Craft Beer and Premium Drinks Bar

How has Urban Food Fest changed since it first began and do you have any exciting plans for development?

The Urban Food Fest has expanded so incredibly fast, that we can’t believe it ourselves! We launched nine months ago, and our Shoreditch street food night markets have had outstanding press and we already have a very loyal following. The other side of the Urban Food Fest is our corporate and private events, where we provide street food and drinks for events across the UK. We have done some beautiful events, weddings and parties, and now have many high profile clients including Apple, Tate & Lyle, Hollywood actors, international law firms, A-list celebrities and many more. Wherever I go people know the Urban Food Fest brand, which is incredible, and I feel truly grateful.

What do people have to look forward to over the next few weeks of Urban Food Fest?

There is a lot to look forward to every weekend, as each week we have new street food and drinks on offer. Some of my highlights for this season include: Hogsback new English craft beer, venison burgers, Orchard Pig dry cider, vegan latkes, Italian pork burgers with aubergine, Peruvian crispy corn with spicy dressing, salted caramel with honeycomb brownies, Mangajo acai berry & green tea specialist cocktails, wild boar buns, giant s’mores fudge chocolate macaroons, amaretto with white chocolate crepes and beetroot-infused goats cheese pizzas. I am hungry just thinking about it! We also have many more cool themes lined up for the season, with exciting dishes, drinks and entertainment planned!

Watch this space…

Urban Food Fest_truck

Here’s a taster of more hot street food on offer on 3 May at Urban Street Fest:

Thinly sliced Korean pork in spicy gochujang sauce, vegi Korean burgers, Korean vegi spicy mooli pickle with cheesy sauce, Japanese salmon nigiri, Japanese crab and avocado uramaki, Japanese vegan cucumber and tamago sushi, Japanese miso pork soft toasted brioche bun, Japanese pork and spicy sauce toasted bun, Japanese Kobocha pumpkin croquette, Japanese glazed crispy sweet potato fries with sesame seeds, themed pizzas with a choice of toppings plus several non-themed street food trucks and many more dishes.

Hungry yet?

The event is in association with Korea Foods, the largest supplier of Korean food and drinks with 8 stores across the UK and the superstore in New Malden. www.koreafoods.co.uk


Location:  Euro Car Parks, 162-175 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6HU 

Time: 5pm to Midnight.

Date: Urban Food Fest is every Saturday night 12 April-21 June 2014. The themed event will be: 3 May 2014 

Free entry for everyone

Stations very close by: Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton, Liverpool Street, Old Street & bus

Follow Urban Food Fest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Website: www.urbanfoodfest.com

Pinterest: Urban Food Fest

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