I keep meaning to visit the Canteen street food market at Archerfield walled garden but diary incompetence and the occasional Saturday morning hangover have thus far got in the way.
This most recently meant that I missed the first day of trading for a new seafood street food van called Hooked. Sometimes my laziness is rewarded as their second outing was at The Pitt which is entirely closer at hand.
Revenge was exacted in the form of a good soaking as it was a very rainy day meaning that I arrived slightly damp then had to scoot for cover between vigorous showers as I munched my lunch.
Sourcing their seafood from Clark Brothers in Musselburgh, Hooked was today offering four dishes: a miso butter scallop, Szechuan pepper squid, deep fried samphire and an oyster burger. I was immediately interested in trying the latter two.
It was lovely to renew acquaintances with stallholder Kris who was our 1,000th follower on Twitter and who subsequently wrote a couple of posts for us following lunch at Mark Greenaway.
Kris suggested that it might be a plan to have the samphire (£6) as a starter, then follow with the oyster burger (£7.50) if I was still hungry.
Cooked to order, the samphire was topped with tartare sauce. Once I was safely out of the rain I tucked in. The batter was light and crisp, and the samphire retained good crunch making this a really fresh and light bite. It was a good-sized portion of top quality stuff.
I headed back for the oyster burger after saying hi to another stallholder pal, Sarah, at The Cocktail Kitchen. She thought a nice Electric gin n tonic might be a good accompaniment for the oyster burger and she was entirely correct.
The toasted brioche bun was liberally layered with caper and lemon mayo, then a layer of lettuce, before three freshly deep-fried oysters – hand-shucked by one of the city’s most famous shitehoose painters, I believe – were added, then the bun closed.
These oysters featured crisp batter and retained much of their characteristic rockpool tang, which can be a tricky thing to do when cooking them. It all made for absolutely outstanding eating.
So overall, it was good to see Hooked starting their street food journey at such a high level. They are providing an excellent showcase for fresh local seafood, with imaginative dishes that are packed with flavour and charm. Be sure to track them down at an event, soon. This could be as soon as tomorrow, when they’ll be trading at Canteen at Archerfield Walled Garden.