Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, London

Ever since the words ‘Chilli Chilli Bang Bang’ popped up on my Twitter feed, I’d been looking forward  to smashing a truck-full of chilli. Originally, Boy and I were going to get a bunch of people to go with us, but the Early Bird tickets were selling out rapidly and I didn’t want to take any chances, so it was every man for himself and I sealed the deal. The tickets not only gave us entry, but 2 free beers, a cocktail and Wahaca sauce. My kind of ticket.
Our ticket was for Saturday evening, which started at 6, but Boy was running late so we didn’t make it there until 8. We made our way through the terrible drizzling weather to Dalston Yard, the home of our chilli-filled dinner. Or dinners, by the amount I was planning to eat.  

So 8 was a big mistake. I should have gone at 6, bagged some food and met him later. I know, that sounds very selfish (although I would have potentially got him something too), it’s just that it was filled with people since it was such a popular event. And when I say people, I mean crowds.

Crowds are good. But not when I’m hungry, since it means lines. I definitely should have got there earlier! Rookie mistake, Bianca.

We thought we’d start ourselves off with our free drinks, so made our way through the crowds to the bar.

I literally thought I was parting the Red Sea here.

Luckily, I’m a sneaky little one, and managed to get to the bar. I asked for my two beers to be poured into one massive glass. There was a very slim chance of me making that journey again (aka not a chance in hell).

And I’m not even that big of a fan of beer, but I waved goodbye to any hope of a cocktail after seeing that queue.

We decided to tag team and split for food to battle out the lines. We’ve got this down.

Smokestak is my absolute favourite. Their ribs are literally second to none in London, and I don’t toss around those phrases without thinking. The first time I had them was at Hawker House, and they are INSANE.

However, they aren’t the best kept secret, and everyone knows how good they are. This meant that they bloody queue was all the way around the back of the place. Boy got in line whilst I roamed around to add to our dinner list.

It was getting later and later and my top picks were all running out of food. Slider Bar, how could you do this to me?

WHY DID I GET THERE SO LATE? Stupid, stupid, stupid. In my defence it went on until midnight, so I assumed 8 would be a safe time. I thought wrong. Everything was closing. I had become a hunter prowling for an open vendor.

I was weeping inside. Weeping. I was being prevented from eating, and this was something I was not used to. It takes an army to stop me, or, in this case, no more food.

The bars were open. I could potentially get another drink?

No. I hadn’t even finished the beer in my hand. And leaving Chilli Chilli Bang Bang without any food would be the most depressing failure I could imagine. My pride would be destroyed.

Thankfully, Pizza Pilgrims was still going. They only had their Margherita pizza left, but I was in no situation to start being selective.

I waited for a good 15 minutes before I realised I was in the pick-up queue, not the ordering queue, which was around the corner.

Oh. My. God. Have you ever just wanted to hit yourself in the face? I am an actual idiot. This night was not going my way AT ALL. The pizza had better not run out after me wondering why the line wasn’t moving very swiftly! Thankfully, the guy taking my order pitied my stupidity and boosted my order in the queue. What an absolute sweetheart. He clearly could see that I was on the verge of tears.

10 minutes later, my name was called out, I said yes to slathering it in Pizza Pilgrims & The Rib Man Chilli Oil (omg omg omg) and held it over my head in victory to find Boy.

Boy had no luck at Smokestak. He was still pretty far back in the queue, there were only their pulled pork buns left (which he wasn’t in the mood for, crazy boy) and he had a feeling they would run out soon. Phffft. I sat him down with our pizza and continued my hunt for more. It was clearly down to me to provide for us. Naturally.

My Far East bred nose lured me over to Baozi Inn, who were serving Chengdu Wontons served in a spicy garlic sauce. I asked for two pots and skipped back basking in my self-declared glory.

They were pots of gold, in my eyes.

We inhaled the pizza and the wontons so quickly that I actually forgot to photograph them. The wonton sauce was SO good that I poured it all over my pizza and Boy drank his straight from the bowl when he thought I wasn’t looking.

I came to feast and feasting is what I will do. Black Vanilla were serving gelato, and a sweet treat was exactly what I needed to end my night.

Ice-cream makes everything better. I went for Salted Mango & Chilli Sorbet and Pistachio Gelato. Suddenly my hunger and annoyance for pushing people faded. I began to love the world again.

Boy isn’t overly keen for sweet things, so we ventured on to find more food. My hawk-eyes landed on Tommi’s Diner, which is a pop-up by Tommi Miers, the goddess behind my true love, Wahaca.

The last food encounter was therefore Lamb Barbacoa with Jersey Royals, fresh shredded slaw and chile de arbol salsa.

We huddled around one of the many fires for a while before retreating back home, happy that we manage to savage as much as we could.

I knew I’d be coming back very soon for Street Feast at Dalston Yard, which has now started for the Summer every Friday and Saturday night.

HOORAY! Smokestak, I’m coming for you!

1 Comment

  1. May 29, 2014 / 7:28 am

    Great stuff Bianca. Scully looks like shit but you are as radiant as always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *