Where to find the best Asian Street food in London
12th December, 2022 |
Thinking of giving your mobile catering an Asian twist? We’ve rounded up the best foodie locations to visit for inspiration, plus some of the amazing Asian food options that’ll help refresh your menu in minutes.
Whether it’s fragrant Pad Thai, fresh sushi, soul-warming ramen, spicy Sichuan-style duck or mouth-watering okonomiyaki, everyone loves Asian food. But if you’re looking for some taste inspiration to add a spicy twist to your winter menu, where's a great place to start?
Read on for a whistle-stop tour of some of our favourite street food locations in the capital serving up some of the tastiest Asian food in the business.
Despite strong competition from the likes of Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, London still remains the culinary capital of the UK. As one of the best UK cities for food trucks, this makes it the perfect place to rustle up delicious ideas for any young street food business.
With plenty of money in the wallets of city dwellers and tourists alike, there will always be a ready queue of customers looking for something new and interesting to chow down on here. Make sure your business is covered with so you can trade with confidence.
Borough Market, London Bridge, Southwark
A veritable who’s who of London foodie outlets have made their home here offering a remarkable range of cuisines and dishes to discerning customers. Famous the world over, if someone says ‘London food market’, then this is probably the first place that springs to mind.
There’s a huge Asian street food offering here: everything from the excellent Japanese-fusion bao buns at Bao Borough to the amazing spicy treats from the middle east served up at the Arabica Bar and Kitchen restaurant. If you’re looking for vegetarian food inspired by the scents and flavours of the streets of Gujarat then Gujarati Rasoi can’t be beaten.
Borough Market remains the gold standard for food markets in London. So, if you want to try making some of these delicious dishes yourself then the market has long offered fresh ingredients you can use in your own mobile kitchen.
Be sure to visit Raya for Southeast Asian produce from the husband-and-wife team behind the wonderful Khanom Krok.
Pop Brixton, Brixton
A microcosm of London’s culinary diversity, Brixton is rightly famous for an eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines. The Pop Brixton project is a colourful cluster of shipping containers offering a gastronomic wonderland for visitors and locals alike. And as a community initiative it also supports local jobs, training and enterprise.
Asian street food highlights include freshly served Pakistani and Punjabi food from Seekh Stop, Baba G’s Indian-inspired Bhangra Burger, and authentic Japanese home-style foods from Kamome. And while you’re in the neighbourhood, we recommend visiting Mamalan, a cosy café offering truly delicious and excellent northern Chinese street food.
Camden Market, Camden Town
Arguably the best reason to visit Camden, the sheer variety of what’s on offer at this truly epic street food hang-out may leave you feeling a bit bewildered. Packed with market stalls, traders and thousands of potential customers you could spend many happy hours here and never get bored.
With over 100 food and drink stalls dotted throughout this outdoor market there really is something for everyone. If Asian-inspired street food is your thing (which it most definitely is!) then the following are well worth hunting down: rainbow-coloured jiaozi dumplings at Baoziinn, boba-tastic teas at Golden Tea, Cantonese roasted meats at Three Uncles, and cheesy naan melts at Khaao Karachi.
And even if you can’t try tasty morsels from all of these places then at least grab some pictures of all the Insta-worthy moments you’ll see around the place. Liquid nitrogen ice cream anyone?
Bang Bang Oriental, Colindale
Lauded by Time Out magazine as one of the very best street food markets in London, this epic pan-Asian food court is the largest of its kind in Europe. And with 27 different stalls to choose from it does a great job of putting the cuisine of east Asia firmly in the spotlight.
From Mumbai to Tokyo and everywhere in between you’ll find a bewildering array of familiar and not-so-familiar dishes on offer here. Enjoy delicious bite-sized gyoza treats from Xi Home, signature Black Gold custard lava buns from Royal China One68 Dim Sum and finish off with a quirky dessert from Yaki Ya!
If you’re looking for a spot to set up your mobile catering business then your local street food market could be an excellent place to start. By joining up with other catering business owners at a single location on a regular day and at a regular time could well bring in far more business than operating alone.
Be sure to speak to the organiser of the food market about the insurance that’s needed to set up. Catering public liability insurance is a business essential that’s usually required before you can trade.
The Kitchens, Old Spitalfields Market
The old heart of the East End, the area around the Old Spitalfields Market has been the home of countless numbers of immigrants over the centuries and is a great place to explore. If you’re heading towards Brick Lane for a curry then make sure to stop by The Kitchens in Old Spitalfields Market.
This red-brick and green-gabled market hall has stood here since 1893 and today is a hub for some of the best street food in the area. A handpicked selection of outstanding east London chefs keep city workers, locals and visitors well fed throughout the week.
What do we recommend eating? Authentic sweet and savoury tofu puddings and rice rolls can be found at Ricebrother, delicious signature sheng jian bao soup dumplings at Dumpling Shack, and hand-pulled noodles at Fen Noodles.
That should be enough, but if you’re still hungry then don’t miss the Jianbing hand-rolled Chinese pancakes from Pleasant Lady or try the perfect fluffy steamed buns from Yum Bun.
Hackney Bridge Kitchens, Hackney Bridge
Situated close to Hackney Wick, this canal-side spot is a fashionable venue for family, friends and workmates to hang out and grab something delicious to eat and drink. Japanese soul food experts Rainbo produce katsu curry boxes, gyozas and bao buns, Hanoi Chay specialises in plant-based Vietnamese dishes, while Filigrillz serves up Filipino barbeque with a modern twist.
Apart from the seriously good food and drink, this is a great place to explore. Check out the artist studios, independent shops, local events and community gardens.
Boxpark Shoreditch, Shoreditch
A staple part of the East London scene, Boxpark is a shipping container complex with an exciting and eclectic mix of food stalls and pop-up shops. Fashion, art, food and drink all meet at this award-winning site in the heart of Shoreditch.
Gorge yourself on food from a rolling list of small, independent traders. We love Coqfighter for Korean bao, Peninsula for Malaysian street food, Wok House for noodles and Sugoi Jpn for Japanese-Latin fusion.
There’s bound to be something to inspire your next menu refresh. If not, then you’d better keep eating!
Dating back to the 1951 Festival of Britain, the South Bank Centre is a hub for artistic institutions such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery and the National Film Theatre. But it’s also home to one of the capital’s most varied and popular food markets.
Whether you’re searching for menu inspiration or just feeling a little peckish, the Southbank Centre Food Market boasts a dizzying range of cuisines that provide more than a little bang for your buck. Discover authentic Korean BBQ at Korrito, the finest pad Thai outside of Thailand at Pad + Sen, or Punjab-inspired biryanis at The Indians Next Door.
Market Halls, Victoria and various locations
You can visit a Market Halls location in either Victoria, Canary Wharf or Oxford Street. Enjoy dim sum at Baoziin, Malaysian street food at Gopal’s Corner, or knockout sushi at Inamo Sukoshi.
The West End
Kingly Court, Soho
If you head to this part of London’s West End then you really must seek out the powder-blue façade of the brilliant Kingly Court. This iconic food court is spread over a three-storey courtyard practically bursting at the seams with foodie inspiration from around the world.
With 21 separate drinking and dining options inside this Tardis-like space, this place was made for those who just can’t quite decide what to munch on. Do you fancy a bowl of noodly goodness at Shoryu? Or perhaps Sri Lankan polos pattis, squash curry and chatti roast at Kolamba?
Mercato Mayfair, Mayfair
At the gorgeously restored and deconsecrated church of St Mark’s on North Audley Street you’ll find two floors of authentic, sustainable food that are bound to inspire even the most jaded palate. With bountiful market stalls and street food traders filling the nave, you could well be in line for an almost religious experience when eating here.
Asian-inspired flavours include bao, dumplings and ramen from Steamy & Co, Malaysian food at Spice Lab and authentic Chai at the Pink Tea Café. For a next-level gastronomic experience, be sure to visit TAM Fusion, a collaboration between two-starred Michelin chef John Burton-Race and the Temple of Art and Music fusion restaurant.
KERB, Covent Garden and various locations
The gang at KERB run a wonderful array of outdoor food markets at a changing list of locations across London. These have included spots at Cowcross Yards in Farringdon, Seven Dials in Covent Garden, West India Quay, the Gherkin at 30 St Mary Axe in the City and the National Theatre on the Southbank.
There’s a huge list of street foods that you could try including Rola Wala’s twisted Indian naan rolls, Greedy Khao’s bold, fresh Thai food, and Mumbai Mix’s flavour-filled veggie Indian eats. Because locations and traders do change, it’s always worth checking ahead beforehand.
KERB is always looking to help develop the next generation of UK street food businesses and offers a range of training and support. When you’re getting started you don’t want any mishaps to derail your progress, so make sure you have the right catering public liability insurance for your business.
So that’s our quick roundup and amazing Asian-inspired eateries. Where will you go this weekend?
Looking to take your food truck to a great winter event this festive season? We’ve got lots of suggestions on where to go.
Asian street foods to add to any mobile caterer’s menu
Street food is rooted deep in the culture of so many Asian countries that it can be hard to choose between them all. Enhance any food truck menu with this selection of Asian street food treats.
These crispy-fried potato patties are a heady blend of vegetables, potatoes, herbs and spices that can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. We can’t get enough of the ones stuffed with paneer and served with spicy coriander chutney.
A French baguette with a spicy Thai twist, banh mi could be the original fusion food. And better yet, this lunchtime classic is so easy to prepare. Just like finding the right catering public liability insurance, keeping things simple is always a good idea while mobile catering.
Simply fill a fresh baguette with a selection of meats, egg, cucumbers, pickled carrots and chilli sauce, and mayonnaise dressing. There’s also plenty of scope for getting creative with this dish and adding other ingredients.
Juices and smoothies are big sellers for many mobile caterers, but a recent Asian innovation is making significant inroads into the nation’s heart. Originating in Taiwan in the 1980s, Bubble Tea can be made with either a milk or fruit base and includes delicious tapioca balls to give it that unusual, bubbly look.
China has produced some phenomenal street food, but one of the most popular choices for a UK audience has to be dim sum. Whether sweet or savoury, dim sum dishes can be steamed, fried or baked and prepared in a variety of different ways.
From delicate and delicious steamed dumplings, fluffy bao buns, sticky rice wraps and filled rice noodle rolls to barbequed pork puffs, custard tarts and puddings, you’ll never be bored with these on the menu.
Great as either a breakfast, lunch or dinner option, dosa are thin pancakes typically stuffed with a mild vegetable curry with small pots of chutney, pickles and sambar on the side.
These classic fluffy steamed buns from Taiwan are filled with tender caramelised pork, tangy pickles, coriander and ground peanuts. Often served with chilli sauce, they can be easily adapted to other meats and vegetarian options. Be warned, they are highly addictive!
Can be served hot or cold, make these chewy and super sweet Indian treats by frying batter into various crispy shapes and swirls. Dipped into a sweet sugar syrup made with cardamom and saffron, they’re something to be savoured by young and old alike.
Quick and easy to cook using rice noodles, tofu, egg, spices and some peanuts, bean sprouts and coriander leaves to sprinkle on top, this is a great street food option. Adding chicken, beef or prawns is optional and a great way to provide variety.
This could make a great option if you’ve been asked to cater for a large event. Wondering how to cater for 100 guests on a budget? We’ve got all the answers elsewhere on our site.
This street food consists of potato, onion, chickpeas and coriander stuffed into a crispy Indian bread and then drenched in a spicy mint-flavoured sauce. Popped in the mouth in one go it’ll create a taste sensation.
This fresh, fragrant and oh-so-healthy soup-based dish from Vietnam contains rice noodles, herbs and a range of different meats. It always goes down a treat with customers who’ll come flocking back for more.
Good for the soul as well as the stomach, this noodle dish from Japan has swept the world and is now available from supermarket shelves to high-class restaurants. Endlessly adaptable, you’ll have no problem adding a ramen option to your menu.
These crunchy deep-fried delights are well known on the UK street food scene. Offering a variety of tasty fillings, these are easy to tweak throughout the year. Just don’t forget the yoghurt and homemade chutneys!
Styles of sushi vary widely, but the one key ingredient is that wonderfully sticky sushi rice. A variety of seafood and vegetables are also used and the sushi is often served alongside pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.
Remember that working with raw ingredients, like fish, increases your health and safety risk. Make sure your catering public liability insurance is up to date.
Grilled meat on a stick is a classic street food the world over, but if you’re searching for an Asian twist then look no further than classic yakitori. Traditionally, yakitori is made up of chicken grilled over a charcoal fire, but you can use beef, pork, tofu or mushrooms if your customers prefer.
And instead of a charcoal fire you could use an electric alternative more suited for mobile catering. Managing risk is a big part of mobile catering, that’s why catering public liability insurance is so essential.
Find catering public liability insurance from Mobilers
For catering public liability insurance to cover for burger vans and mobile bars, the knowledgeable team at Mobilers can offer you a range of policies suitable for a variety of needs and budgets.
Benefits of arranging a policy through us include:
- Instant cover
- Catering public liability insurance policies can be increased to £10 million if required
- Mobilers has access to some exclusive products and schemes (not avaliable elsewhere)
With one quick call, you could have a quote for catering public liability insurance in minutes. Protect your street food business today!