I have to admit, I like all things potato – boiled, fried, mashed, chips, crisps, croquettes, baked, roasted, in salads, in soups. Maybe it is the German with East Prussian and Silesian roots in me, but give me a dish containing potatoes, and I am happy. Those of you on a strictly no carb diet might want to skip this, but everybody else should know that we have come across some of the best fries/chips in London, and would go as far as saying, the best we had in years.
To our surprise, the founders behind Poptata are Italians, Marco and Luca, who opened their first food stall in Portobello Market in 2015. These two veterans of the luxury hospitality industry decided to give the humble chips a bit more oomph and came up with the concept of Poptata, which you can now also find in Boxpark Shoreditch and Boxpark Croydon and Tooting Market. Chips, but not as you know them. Street Fries!
Starting point of the dishes are the best British potatoes money can buy, not too waxy, not too floury. The variety of potato might change depending on the season, but the quality doesn’t. The potatoes are then peeled and cut by hand and fried twice at different temperatures, to ensure the exterior is crunchy while the inside is fluffy. The fries are then finished with a bespoke herbal seasoning.
You can order ‘Classic’ fries with one of the signature dips and sauces or choose one of the ‘Cheesy’ variations which include ‘Cowboy’ with cheddar and barbecue sauce, ‘Lucifer’ with red Leicester and hot shot sauce and ‘Parmesan’ with fresh parmesan and pink garlic mayo. These come in small, medium or large portions and the large portion at £6.00 really is large. Or pick one of the ‘Loaded’ for £7.95, for example Guaca Fries with smashed avocados, goats cheese and roast peppers or Chorifries with chorizo, goats cheese and paprika. Also on the menu are Halloumi fries, served with one of the dips.
We went to Boxpark Shoreditch last Saturday and had the ‘Cowboy’ fries with extra halloumi and, new on the menu, the ‘Tex Pulled Pork’ with cheddar bbq sauce, sour cream and spring onion. The pulled pork was lovely, seasoned like a Chili con Carne, perfectly cooked to melt-in-your-mouth, and the portion generous. The cheesy ‘Cowboy’ fries could have done with a little more cheese for my taste, but I am known to overdo it with the cheese on occasion. I not only love all things potato, but also all things cheese! Talking of potatoes, the fries were perfectly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and full of flavour.
Whether classic, cheesy or loaded, these street fries do hit the spot if you are looking for a filling meal on the go, a meal that is delicious, yet comforting, familiar, yet different. Give the chips with salt and vinegar a rest and try something different. We can thoroughly recommend it.
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