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Backpackers turn street food experiences into a thriving food business with the help of The Olive Grows

Inspiration and a passion for authentic food turned into a successful business


The_Street_Food_CompanyPRESS RELEASE Sept 2010

Two backpackers bring street food from around the world to UK foodservice: regionally authentic to the very streets they were first discovered in ...

Just 'an Indian' doesn't come close ... The Street Food Company's Murgh Makhani is authentic to Lawrence Road in Amritsar, North India; their Ikan Bakar is from the seaside eateries of Teluk Tempoyak fishing village in Penang Island, West Malaysia and their Nua Pad Khing comes from the bustling food stalls of Jatujak Market in Bangkok, Central Thailand.

Adventurous spirit turns into a new business

The Street Food Company was borne out of the backpacking adventures of graduates James Harris and Kevin Lee. Their travels took them from the sleepy fishing villages of West Malaysia to the glittering bustle of Bangkok; and, on a pitiful budget, it was to the street food vendors that they turned for sustenance, experiencing a wealth of wonderfully authentic flavours in doing so.

foodservice on-site promotionThey brought back with them a mouth-watering collection of scribbled street food dishes from Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, which would become the backbone of The Street Food Company.

With a choice of 40 dishes - ranging from Indonesian sweet soy chicken from Jakarta's wheeled food carts, to Kari Ayam a Malaysian coconut chicken curry from the bustling "mamak" food stalls of Kuala Lumpur - The Street Food Company are now busy helping foodservice operators, including contract caterers, hotels, restaurants, pubs and university eateries to recreate and promote their own culinary globe-trot, introducing their customers to the fragrant, eclectic buzz of international Street Food.

University students experience a taste of home

An authentic taste of home for an increasingly international university student body, an exciting weekly Street Food concept for contract caterers to attract new customers and increase sales with; or a simple, yet restaurant standard solution for hotels, restaurants and pubs to capitalize on the growing excitement surrounding true Street Food ...

A brilliantly innovative, yet simple idea, the company supplies authentic sauces and pastes, made by their homeland chefs, alongside specialist ingredients and finger foods - be that banana leaf or handmade Pea Pattis (a North Indian street snack filled with spiced pea and ginger). The Street Food Company also helpfully provides recipes for each dish. The caterer simply provides the basic vegetable or protein elements as listed in each Street Food recipe and, following simple directions, is able to recreate authentic Street Food dishes on site. This means the food is freshly prepared for better taste and quality whilst also keeping costs down, increasing margins and boosting sales.

With an accompanying elaborate and colourful marketing pack included to drum up business - from banners, posters and leaflets to traditional serving dishes - caterers have an array of effective marketing tools to bring the Street Food experience to life; and an ordinarily perfunctory mealtime becomes an exciting culinary adventure, offering dishes of unparalleled regional authenticity and specificity.

foodservice authentic presentation"We recently received a compliment from an international student. She wrote to say [that] the Thai curry served at our Queens Tower Restaurant was like tasting one of her mom's recipes ... This is what Street Food has helped us achieve - truly authentic, ethnic cuisine that has helped us satisfy the diversity of student tastes at Imperial College." Mrs Jane Neary, Director of Commercial Services, Imperial College London

"Street Food places great emphasis on delicious and healthy oriental dishes. Most ingredients are imported from around the globe in order to provide the most authentic taste ... They also support my student population with modern cutting edge marketing and point of sale material, which draws attention to this global dining experience." Michael Glynn, Food Production Manager, Brunel University

editors' notes:

* James Harris (30 years) and Kevin Lee (26 years) set up The Street Food Company in 2007 and now supply a rapidly growing client base of over 20 universities, including Brunel, Sheffield, Bath and Imperial College, London, supplying from 50 to 400 covers per dish. Corporate clients range from BMW Group to McGraw Hill in Canary Wharf.
* The Street Food Company was recently awarded a prestigious contract with SNUPI Ltd, a large university purchasing consortium, offering access to over 160 universities, colleges and local education authorities nationwide for their innovative Street Food Concept. Watch this space!
* Come and find The Street Food Company at lunch! 2010, Old Billingsgate, London: the only dedicated trade event for the food-on-the-go market. Aptly, they will be exhibiting in the Innovation Zone at Stand iZ-F from 30th September - 1st October 2010 (www.lunchshow.co.uk)


Ikan Bakar: Malaysian BBQ Fish in Banana Leaf

"One of my all-time favourites, Ikan Bakar, is a street food dish I found in Penang Island whilst travelling around West Malaysia. Traditionally the fish would be caught fresh from the sea, smothered in a spiced chilli rempah paste then baked over hot coals in banana leaves. Caterers can now easily recreate Ikan Bakar using our specialist ingredient kit, comprising an authentic roasted chilli Panggang Sauce, banana leaves and a simple, easy-to-follow recipe showing our customers how to painlessly bring these fabulous Malaysian coastal flavours to life."
Kevin Lee, co-director of The Street Food Company

Servings: 50 portions


* Street Food Company Bakar Pack (contains 2 litres pangang Sauce and 2 packets of banana leaves)

Caterer to provide:

* 50 fish fillets (125g each) eg: tilapia, sea bass, salmon, pangasius
* 9 fresh limes (cut into 50 wedges) to garnish
* 1 bunch coriander (roughly chopped) to garnish

Cooking Instructions:

* Wash the banana leaves thoroughly in hot tap water and dry.
* Line a baking tray with banana leaves ( the leaves may need to be trimmed to size).
* Coat each fish fillet with 2½ tablespoons (40ml) of Panggang Sauce and place the fillets on the tray in a single layer.
* Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C and bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked.
* Leave the banana leaf at the bottom for display.
* Garnish and keep warm at the serving area.