#2014BloggerChallenge: Lewisham #ModelMarket

As regular readers of the blog will know, I am a massive foodie. I'm constantly looking out for new restaurants to try and have endless lists of things I want to cook and bake at home. So when the latest edition of the #2014BloggerChallenge dropped into my inbox with the theme of meals, I was struggling to decide what to go for. Then I found out about the new Model Market, and everything came together.

For those of you who might not have heard about the Model Market, it's essentially a former 1950s partially covered market at the top of Lewisham High Street that's been derelict for years, but has now been transformed into a street market selling all kinds of utterly amazing food. Tonight was the opening night, and Nick and I decided to pop down for some dinner as it's only a short walk from our flat.

Also I apologise for the awful pictures - the combination of terrible phone and not the best lighting meant they didn't come out so well. But hopefully it gives you a sense of just how much fun the market was. I'm also sorry there are so many pictures but I wanted to capture everything!

Not only are the decorations outside Breddo's Tacos amazingly colourful, I love that I managed to snap this waitress (and her awesome purple hair) in a pensive mood.

Dogtown was one of my favourite stalls - all graffiti-style text and customising pretty much everything they could get their hands on. Nick got a couple of their 'puppy dogs' but none of them really appealed to me, though I'm definitely getting their regular hot dog with beer cheese sauce (yes, that is a thing) and tater tots next time we come here.

 Life advice I think we can all get behind from South East Cakery there...

Bless Nick, he very kindly put up with me wanting to photograph everything - including his dinner! These are Cajun crayfish balls from Hank's and they are amazing; if you like seafood and don't mind a bit of spice I'd really recommend these.

My first pick, on the other hand, was the amazing Yum Bun. I have a slight addiction to Chinese barbecue pork buns and, whilst it was hoi sin rather than barbecue sauce, this definitely hit the spot - crispy yet succulent pork, crunchy vegetables and a roll just the right side of doughy. Love it.

I love these amazing painted walls in the market - the colours in the poppy one in particular are just incredibly vibrant.

The amazing Rola Wala. If you like Indian food but aren't too big on spice, then I really recommend their BBQ chicken tikka. I love the decor as well - the walls are papered with a 1975 edition of The Times newspaper!

Rum Shack is one of the five bars at the Model Market, and the cheapest for cocktails (though we opted for beer instead). In fact that's my one gripe with the market - the food is pretty reasonably priced but the drinks are quite expensive, which might knock my plans to make this a regular thing on the head...

Sambal Shiok is the Model Market's Malyasian food stall, and is top of my list to try next time I come down here. Three words: chicken satay slider. Mmmm.

On Nick's list, meanwhile, is Smokestack, which serves up barbecue and ribs. I have to admit that in terms of the smell, this was probably one of my favourite stalls too - I was practically dribbling over the grill every time we walked past it!

I really love that the stalls have kept so much of the original decor and signs from when the shops were unloved - as well as the slightly 'rough and ready' element that's still very much a part of Lewisham despite attempts at gentrification, it also creates a sense of continuity that the market is preserving the history of the area.

My favourite stall, however, was the quirky-kitschy-vintage awesomness that is South East Brownie Bar, an offshoot of South East Cakery. From the distressed striped signs on the wall to the beautifully painted garden furniture and the candles stuck into Sailor Jerry and Bombay Sapphire bottles, I was absolutely hooked.

Well I had to buy a bag to take home didn't I? I've only had one so far (trying to save them!) which was peanut butter and absolutely delicious - crunchy top and gooey in the middle - so really excited to try the others, especially the mojito cocknie!

Overall I really liked the Model Market. It's a great mix of stalls with something to suit every taste (though admittedly I'd like to have seen more desserts but they're apparently opening an ice cream parlour soon) and isn't too horrifically expensive - sliders are in the £3.50-£4.50 range and there are quite a few 'two for £7/three for £9' type deals, though obviously some things like the ribs are more expensive. My one tip though is get there early - we arrived at around 6.30 and got straight in, yet when Nick's mum turned up about 45 minutes later it was one in one out.

What's your favourite street food?

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