Street food is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to eat out in Glasgow, and the introduction of Dockyard Social to the scene is a welcome one!
Situated in a warehouse just off Argyle Street, Dockyard Social will be offering bi-monthly events where you (and your furry friends) can go to experience live music, cold drinks and hot food from a range of street food vendors, which rotate regularly, so no two events are ever the same.
To avoid over-crowding and long lines, the organisers have decided to make it a ticketed event, with tickets costing £5 and including a free drink on arrival. You can also purchase food tokens beforehand, each again costing £5, so there’s no stress about having the right money, as all dishes at the event cost £5, aside from the odd side dish which costs £2.50. It’s a smart way to manage the crowds as well as simplifying things for their vendors, who don’t need to worry about having the right change or worrying about their competitors pricing.
I went along with the husband on Hogmanay, and when we arrived it was quiet but there was still a slight buzz about the place. It’s lit in purple and blue hues, with some stunning artwork on the warehouse walls, and the staff were all incredibly friendly and welcoming, and we quickly went to the bar to get our free drinks (mostly to warm ourselves up, you know how cold it was in Glasgow at New Year!).
More importantly though, what’s the food like?
As mentioned, the vendors change regularly, so I can’t guarantee that what I ate will be available at their next event, but, if this is the standard of street food available, you won’t be disappointed.
The day we visited, there were around nine vendors, each offering approximately three or four main dishes and a side. We purchased five food tokens in advance, which saved us having to queue for more, and it was just the right amount of food between the two of us.
I was immediately drawn to Bumpin’ Dumplin Co., who were serving up a range of dumplings, from chicken pot stickers to pork and kimchi. I went for the steamed pork and kimchi, topped with spring onions, sesame seeds and hot sauce.
The dumplings themselves were very fragile, the filling almost immediately spilling out of most of the cases, but I didn’t care all that much as the pork filling was delicious and meaty, and the dumpling dough was silky smooth. The hot sauce added just the right amount of spice, the spring onions adding crunch and tang. I would have happily gone back for more!
Sam’s first purchase was a pizza from Pizza Hawker, which he claims is one of the best pizzas he has ever had, topped with mushrooms and spicy salami. To be fair, it was a very good pizza – crispy base, rich and flavourful tomato sauce, gooey cheese. Need I say more? The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven so have that lovely charred flavour, Sam even went as far as to say they were better than Paesano!
In fact, he liked them so much that instead of trying something else, he instead went and got a SECOND pizza from them, this time topped with salami and ‘hot honey’, which was a spiced honey that added sweetness as well as heat to the pizza.
I, on the other hand, tried to be different, and headed over to Fatboys Street Kitchen to order their crispy pork belly taco, topped with watermelon, salsa and homemade BBQ sauce. Some might say ordering two pork dishes right after the other is overkill, but they would be wrong! The taco was lovely, with super crisp chunks of pork belly and tangy, fruity salsa.
We used our last food token to grab something sweet, and I couldn’t resist the lure of the churros selection from Cartel Cantina. The churros had five different topping options, from smores to candy canes and pretzels, but I was drawn to the caramel, white chocolate and hazelnut, and oh my, did I choose right.
The churros, despite being doused in hot caramel sauce, were beautifully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, topped with chopped hazelnuts and white chocolate drops that slowly melted and mixed into the caramel sauce. Sam and I were supposed to share this, but honestly, I was reluctant to give him half as they were just so sticky and sweet and YUM.
All in all, the day cost us £35, which included five dishes between us and a drink each, and I was honestly really impressed with the food we had, the service we received, and the general atmosphere of the place. Definitely keen to see this one become a permanent feature!
The next Dockyard Social event will be the 27/28th January – keep an eye on their Facebook page for more info!