From brains to bugs via burgers, burritos and Brazil. Here’s our pick of ten of the best foodie pop-ups and residencies to try this March.
A collaboration between festival regulars Guerilla Science and foodie experimentalists Blanch & Shock, this unique three day event will explore the workings of the human brain through the medium of dinner. Held in a former WWII bunker in Hackney (which will be made to resemble a brain), the evenings will feature discussions led by brain experts alongside installations such as the ‘memory clinic’ where guests can challenge and scrutinise their brainpower. A five-course menu will include calf brains, ham broth, herring emulsion and vernal grass cheesecake; ingredients are carefully chosen for reasons that will become clear when the scientists on-hand explain the different effects the dishes will have on your brain.
The banquets run from 13-15 March from 6.30pm, tickets cost £45 each. A welcome drink is included and you’re welcome to bring your own for after that.
Brazil Pop-Up Diner at Bedford and Strand
In the lead-up to the World Cup, this four-month pop-up on the Strand will showcase the different cuisines of all 12 cities which will play host to a game. Working with a load of top Brazilian chefs (and well-watered thanks to being sponsored by a Cachaça brand), the Sunday events each offer a three-course meal, cocktails and a goody bag focused on one of the cities. It kicks off on Sunday 9 March with Recife in the spotlight, followed by Manaus on Sunday 23rd.
Tickets cost £32.40, including the meal, a drink and a goody bag. Check the website for timings, dates and menus.
Events site Twenty Something London are hosting this feast of epic proportions, gathering five of London’s best bun fillers in one place for one day only. Taking over Hackney Downs Studios on Saturday 15 March, burgers represented include Burger Craft, Honest Burger, Mother Flipper, Street Kitchen and Wild Game Co. Cupcakes will also be available for the sweet-toothed, while a well-stocked bar and live DJ sets complete the package.
Burger Fest runs from 3.30pm to 11.30pm on Saturday 15 March. Tickets are £35 including five half burgers, a dessert and a beer.
Darjeeling Express at The Sun and 13 Cantons
Asma Khan’s Indian supperclub Darjeeling Express is the latest in a line of residencies at Soho pub The Sun and 13 Cantons. Having tried her supperclub in the past, we can vouch for the vibrancy and intricacy of flavours that she packs into her Mughlai-leaning dishes. On the menu at the pub will be bar snacks such as spiced chicken drumsticks, samosas and masala fries (that’s chips with a kick), as well as a selection of curries such as the coconut-rich prawn malaikar.
Bar snacks are served Monday to Friday until 8.30pm, with curries available weekday lunchtimes and until 7pm from Monday to Wednesday.
Death by Burrito at The Candlemaker
We thoroughly enjoyed (and survived) Death by Burrito’s punchy Mexican fare at Catch bar on Kingsland Road, so can heavily recommend a try of their new residency at this comfy but quirky Battersea boozer. Burrito varieties include beef brisket with pickled peppers, pork belly with kimchi, spiced squash and mushroom, and a battered fish number. Other highlights of the menu include a burger topped with cheese, candied bacon and jalapenos; a Big Apple hot dog with salsa and chipotle ketchup; and chicken wings glazed with agave and chilli.
The Death by Burrito menu is currently available from 6pm Monday to Saturday, and all day on Sunday when there are roast-like specials. Plans are underway to start serving lunches soon.
Grub at Monikers
Grub is a new food company hoping to find success in selling edible insects. Far from being just the domain of I’m A Celebrity…, they are a popular foodstuff in many parts of the world and a particularly sustainable, healthy, affordable way to get your protein fix. No, we’re not convinced either. Still, this four-day pop-up event at Monikers in Hoxton Square is a good chance to see for yourself if grubs can be gourmet, with a seven-course menu of Thai-inspired dishes including tempura grasshoppers and soy-roasted crickets.
Grub runs from 5-8 March, from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £36.50 and include a beer or a glass of wine. The price is steep, but we guess it is a pretty unique experience.
No Rules at The Star of Kings
Previously a chef at Simon Rogan’s Marylebone pop-up Roganic, and then short-lived top man at Islington’s John Salt, Ben Spalding is a big name on the foodie scene. His No Rules series of events at King’s Cross pub The Star of Kings will see him collaborate with other chefs and also do his take on Ready Steady Cook: he’s asking guests to each bring their favourite and least favourite ingredient with them, all the ingredients brought will be incorporated into the menu at some point. You can usually expect upwards of five or six courses, though this isn’t confirmed.
Tickets are in-demand and cost £85 including all food; drink is extra. Dates are available on 5, 13, 15, 27 March and 3 April.
Platterform: The Archipelago
Having entertained with lumberjack-themed pop-up Skylodge last year, Platterform are back at Hackney’s Hot House for an ‘around the world in 81 days sea voyage’. The latest run starts on 6 March and sees the envisaged ship arrive at the Indonesian Archipelago. Tuck into a 13-course sharing platter of dishes including prawns steamed in banana leaves, rendang, barbecued squid, and a pork belly satay as you immerse yourself in some light-hearted theatrics and sea-inspired party games.
Seatings are at 7pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm or 9pm; the event runs from 6-8 March, 13-15 March and 20-22 March. Tickets cost £24 including all food.
Say Cheese by The Art of Dining
Photojournalist Martin Parr’s works are among the best-known of our time, usually using his lense to present a carefully critical look at society. So, how does that translate into food? We’re not quite sure ourselves, but regular supperclub hosts The Art of Dining must have something in mind for their latest venture, based in Haggerston. They’re billing Say Cheese as a ‘photo-culinary’ experience and will be replicating examples of Parr’s photography in dishes and drinks throughout a five-course dinner. Live entertainment will also feature.
Say Cheese runs from Wednesday 19-Saturday 22 March and from Wednesday 26-Saturday 29 March. Tickets cost £65 for dinner and a welcome drink, or £10 for a drink and entry minus the meal.
Tongue ‘N Cheek at The Joker
Angel has just got a little bit tastier with the launch of a long-running residency at The Joker for Italian-American-inspired street food stall Tongue ‘N Cheek. On the menu are classics you may have tried at markets around town as well as some new creations. Daily burgers, subs and baps include the Philly Cheesesteak, featuring steak, red onions, peppers, chimichurri and cheese, and the Belly Connection burger including gorgonzola, pimentos and pickled onions. There’s also a special Sunday roast menu that gives our British classics an Italian twist: beef brisket shredded and cooked with cherry tomatoes, onions and parsley, served on creamy polenta, for example.
The Tongue ‘N Cheek menu is available from midday to 10pm Monday to Saturday, and from midday until mid-afternoon on Sunday for the roasts.
This is just a selection of all foodie events happening this month. If you have been to or heard of others that you think our readers should know about, do leave details in the comments below. If you’re organising any for future months, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider it for inclusion.