Thousands of businesses across the country applied for the 2022 British Street Food Awards and last weekend, the 12 finalists took a trip down to Hackney Bridge for the final – where one trader was crowned Britain’s best.
Edinburgh-based ‘High-end comfort food’ brand Junk managed to triumph at the awards, crowned the champions and set to go on to represent the UK at the European Street Food Awards in Munich in early October. Well done to them.
In the top twelve though were two Northern businesses who did exceptionally well getting to the final, and should be given an almighty pat on the back for a job well done.
First up is sushi masters UNAGI, who bought a chrome food truck just two months before the world was thrown into lockdown, but managed to get their heads together and absolutely smash it delivering their intricate and expertly prepared sushi and Pan-Asian street food dishes to people across South Manchester.
With over 30 years of global experience, the small team behind UNAGI came out of lockdown and even managed to open up their very own neon-pink Tokyo sushi bar in Wilmslow, followed recently the a tiny self-made shipping container village in the Green Quarter.
At the awards, the team prepared their Mushu Special Uramaki Roll; “Named to represent the Chinese zodiac symbol of the dragon, this is our top selling roll of crispy katsu prawn, avocado, cucumber, seared salmon, black tobiko & teriyaki” while for veggies they offered their Veggie Crunch; “our top-selling sushi roll – to watch our chef’s roll is always a spectacle but with this one, the roll is ‘blowtorched’ to finish leaving a lovely smoky finish.”
The other Northern finalist hails from the mighty Fylde coast – Mr Murray’s Scotch Eggs. Owner James Murray lives in St Annes and specialises in various flavours of gourmet Scotch Eggs, including Bury Black Pudding, and a Chilli Cheese Welsh Rarebit that managed to delight judges at the Northern heats in Manchester back in August.
Adam Reid from The French was so impressed with James’ Scotch Eggs that he said he wanted to have them for his new concept at New Century Hall, while judges praised them for “the Northern quality…the Bury black pudding that wrapped around the eggs with the beautiful runny yolks.”
James offers “seven flavours of scotch eggs all served with pickled red cabbage slaw, watercress, spring onion, tomato concasse and a choice of homemade condiments (from English mustard to habenero chilli jam, aioli, apple and ale chutney). In the winter I offer parched peas (a very Lancashire dish) as an additional garnish too.”
The Scotch Eggs actually won ‘Best Snack‘ at the awards, while James was crowned ‘Future Food Legend‘ – well done mate!
Congratulations are in order for both James and the team at UNAGI for reaching the final, and even if they didn’t win – they’ve still perfectly represented the diverse and exciting Northern street food scene.