After months and months of wanting to visit, I was beyond excited to finally go to the Digbeth Dining Club last Friday night with fellow foodie blogger Polly Scoffs.
Digbeth Dining Club is a weekly street food event that takes place every Friday night at Spot*light. Each week 4 or 5 of the best local street food vendors come together to bring everything from burgers to pancakes to burritos to Thai curries. There’s something for everyone, and you’ll probably spend a good chunk of the evening eyeing up all the delicious food and struggling to choose between everything that’s on offer! Every week hosts a different selection from their regulars, with the month’s line up being posted on their Facebook or Twitter page so you can pick which one you want to visit (it’ll probably be every week!). Digbeth Dining Club was also voted the Best Street Food Event in 2013 at the British Street Food Awards, and after my experience on Friday I can see why! As well as the food, there’s also a bar and a DJ too which only adds to this fantastic event!
We arrived at the venue at half 6 (it starts at 5:30), and it turned out to be the perfect time as we didn’t have to queue long for our first dish and nothing had sold out yet. It was already getting busy when we turned up and it was buzzing with life and conversation (mostly about how good the food was!).There was a mixed crowd at the event, but we all had one thing in common – a love of great food!
We made our way outside and were instantly hit by the most amazing smells from all the yummy food being cooked. We did a quick sweep of the stalls to see what was on offer, and then came to the tough bit – trying to decide what to have! This wasn’t easy as everything looked tempted.
Having finally made a decision, we started off with tacos from Habaneros. I’m notoriously indecisive and struggled to pick between the pork, beef or fish option. However once it got to my turn to be served I was extremely happy when they said that you get 3 small tacos in a portion and that I could have one of each if I wanted. I snapped up this offer as it solved my problem of deciding between the three!
We moved inside and to be honest, I couldn’t actually see which one was which as the lighting was quite dim, so I just dived in. The first one was the Pork Belly Taco served with pickled red cabbage and BBQ sauce. The pork belly was soo tender and juicy, it had a nice spicy kick, and I couldn’t believe how much flavour they’d managed to pack into it! It was amazing and I quickly devoured it, eager to try the next one. The second was the Ultimate Fish Taco served with mango salsa and pink mayo, which was just as tasty as the first. The fish had a wonderfully light, crispy coating and added a great contrasting texture to the sweet mango salsa and shredded salad. Finally I turned to the Beef Brisket Taco served with cheese and caramelised onion. It’s evident that Habaneros know how to cook their meat well, as the beef was just as tender and succulent as the pork had been. Matched with sweet caramelised onion, lots of gooey melted cheese and again bursting with flavour, it made for another amazing taco.
If I had to choose a favourite out of the three (which is no easy task as they were all so damn tasty), it was probably the pork belly. At only £6, it was worth every single penny as it was just SO good and I had to stop myself going back for seconds. Habaneros can be found during the week serving up burritos and tacos for lunchtime on Temple Row, and I’m definitely going to make a trip next time I’m in town!
After a short break, I was ready for round 2. I was starting to get full and unfortunately knew that I wouldn’t be able to fit in a burger from Original Patty Men. However they had a really long queue all night (shows how good they must have been!), and I wish I hadn’t been so full already as they looked and smelled amazing, so I will be sure to try one next time!
Instead I headed for Jabberwocky who had caught my eye prior to the event with their interesting sounding fillings for their gourmet toasties. Again, I spent a good amount of time deliberating between the fillings, but in the end I went for the Braised Lamb, Creamy Feta and Spring Onion Toastie at only £4.50.
Who knew that toasties could be THIS good?! Succulent chunks of lamb which literally melted in your mouth, paired with fresh spring onion and super creamy, melted feta. It was a match made in heaven and the BEST toastie I’ve ever eaten, and I wish I could have one every day for lunch.
Also on the menu was The Old MacDonald – Roast Beef, Braised Lamb, Confit Duck, Pulled Pork, Roast Chicken and Triple Cheese. It was only half 7 and the customer after me managed to nab the last of these bad boys. They also had some creative dessert options with the Banoffee and Rocky Road toasties too.
Seeing as it’s Pancake Day next Tuesday and I am the World’s Worst Pancake Maker (fact!), it seemed only right to end the night with a pancake from Platinum Pancakes. It was really cool watching the pancakes being made and there’s definitely a skill to it, producing consistent, high-quality ones every time.
An absolute steal at only £3, I went for a classic, and my favourite pancake topping, Lemon and Sugar. Even before I’d got to the lemon and sugar filling, I was already amazed by how much flavour the pancake itself had. This was no ordinary pancake and it walked all over any I’d had before from similar crepe stands. It made for a delicious end to an evening of amazing food.
Every street food vendor we met was extremely friendly and it was clear that they are all passionate and love what they do, and this came across in the food too. Word of advice – go with an empty stomach and a big appetite (like I did) as you’re going to want to try as many of the delicious dishes as possible!
I don’t understand why I waited so long to go to the Digbeth Dining Club?! I had a fantastic evening and ate some of the best food I’ve had in a long time, and I’m already planning my next visit back!
This month’s line up has just been released too, so there’s no excuse for you not to go now to this great street food event!
Read about my second trip back to Digbeth Dining Club here.