Here we resume our tale of a long weekend of drinks, midges etc and yet more food. I will continue with my alphabet theme, because if I abandoned it half way through I’d have to consider myself an utter philistine and delete myself from my own Facebook friends, which would be a bit tricky and possibly involve dividing by zero. If you missed the first post, you can find it here.
First for today is the Harajuku Kitchen. The ladies at the Harajuku Kitchen provided my very first meal of the festival, in the form of these pork dumplings:
They came with soy, chili oil and coriander, and I asked if I could add some spring onions, too. They were a great snack, exactly what I wanted at the time and really beautifully made. Lovely to look at, enticing to sniff, the meat was moist and the dumpling wrapper just the right texture. Obviously these ladies are experts.
We also ate a couple of portions of soba noodles over the weekend. These, by all accounts, were just as good as the dumplings. What I particularly liked about them was the evidence of fresh vegetables, the importance of which cannot be overestimated when it comes to a weekend of day drinking.
Everything was thoroughly enjoyed, and I only wish we’d been around longer to try their sushi, veggie dumplings and miso soup. There was only so much eating (and spending) a person could do, really. Harajuku Kitchen are based in Edinburgh and you can also find them on Facebook.
My next food-based discovery was Twirly Tatties. I am sad to say that I can’t find any more info online about Twirly Tatties and will simply have to attend every UK festival from now on, seeking their crispy delights. I took a few photos of the process, and the two vendors were so friendly and happy to oblige me that I felt even better about eating approximately my own body weight in potatoes over the weekend.
First you use a special potato peeling device, powered by an electric drill, to reduce a formerly solid member of the potato community to a long strip of ruflles. Then you drop these into a huge trough of hot oil, drop into a tray and season with sea salt, then pack into a paper cone.
Mr J ate one of these and said ‘danger’. This is exactly right. Three of the four of us are self confessed crisp addicts and we appreciated these twirly tatties more than your average human might. They are crispy and salty, just as you’d imagine a great, freshly cooked crisp, but then in some places they are just a little soft and chewy, and that, my friends, is the hook. There’s another festival coming up in August that we’re going to, if Twirly Tatties aren’t there I’ll be sad. Look at their friendly faces! And that friendly tattie!
Second to last is the first place I handed a business card to, and was so reassured by Rob’s reaction that I proceeded on a one-woman spree of photo-taking and business-card-handing. You all have him to hold responsible for it. Well, and me… This place is called Wild Rover Food, and by heavens, there are a lot of cool things about it. Firstly, they rock up at festivals and markets in a 1961 Land Rover with a reconditioned army field kitchen, ready to set up and start cooking at a moment’s notice. They place great emphasis on local, fresh produce, and they were offering wonderful Scottish food for our delectation. Rob even let me take a couple of photos of him at work:
This was the breakfast special, created with great skill and love and displayed with a great lack of same. Scrambled eggs (and perfectly scrambled, might I add), smoked salmon, parsley in a buttered whole wheat roll. I hoovered this up in no time at all. Simple food, done exactly right.
This was the Game-On Wrap, displayed again with no aesthetic ability on my part. I was so ready to get tucked in, I’d had my eye on this since we arrived at the festival. It’s pigeon sauteed with bacon and onions, laid on a wrap with beetroot puree and salad leaves. That beetroot and pigeon mix – oh man. I couldn’t stop talking about it, it was even better than I imagined.
Wild Rover are regulars at Stockbridge market and at festivals around the country, plus they do catering for functions and such. You can keep track of their movements here - I’m delighted to see that they’ll be at Doune in August, can’t wait to see what they’re dishing up then.
The last of the food tales from Kelburne is Woodburns Espresso Pizza – and let me tell you, these people sure know how to whip up a pizza in no time. They came prepared with their wood burning stove and a great big tent; I got a couple of snaps:
The G man is a particular fan of pizza, and really enjoyed Woodburns’. It looked and smelled like the real thing, similar to home made pizzas I tried in Italy with a crisp crust and few toppings, all of great quality. The staff were friendly and knew what they were about, and there were certainly a lot of people milling around with pizzas and happy faces.
Woodburns can also be found at festivals around the country, and I intend to try them properly for myself the next time.
Alongside all the snacks, we had drinks. Many drinks. The bars were stocked with local ale, beer and cider. Being more of a cider drinker myself, I opted to stick with the Thistly Cross cider, which hails from East Lothian. I tried the original, ginger and strawberry varieties, because I am very thorough in my research methods, and the strawberry suited my sweet tooth down to the ground. Or the root, I suppose. Here is just one of the lovely bar staff who was providing these lovely ciders, and a surprise giraffe:
There were also some excellent cocktails which cost less at the festival than they would in the pub, and therefore we drank a few of them because it would have been costing us money not to. Something along those lines, anyway.
Here is a Gallery of Booze:
As you can definitely tell, I’ve never really taken Rock Salt on the road before. I had a great time at the festival, and part of that was identifying myself as a blogger and interacting with people who usually I would just have exchanged please and thank yous (and money and food) with. It was a great experience, and even if my photography isn’t the finest, I think it gives a flavour (ahahaha) of the Kelburn Garden Party, and the great, local food vendors who are working their socks off in difficult conditions and when faced with crowds of drunk (though good natured) people. I take my pirate hat off to each of the companies I’ve mentioned in these posts, and to all the rest who I didn’t get the time to speak to and buy from.
Thank you all, so very much.