When we were little, growing up in Hong Kong, my friends and I would physically buzz for our favorite Thai dish: Pad See Ew (who knew that a dish with the word 'ew' in it could be so good!) We never actually called the dish by its official name, preferring instead to baptize our favorite comfort food as "fat noodles".

Since then, I have never tasted a version of Pad Thai that can compete with my childhood, gooey "fat noodles". But that doesn't mean I have given up looking. This past weekend we took a roommate outing and walked across the river to the 5 Foot Way Street Food Fair - one of the many events forming part of London's month-long South East Asian Arts Festival.

Tucked away in an alley off of South London's Union Street, a crammed bunch of stalls offered authentic South East Asian fare. The unmistakable fried smells lured us in, and soon enough we were gulfing down a generous portion of Bangkok Kitchen's traditional Pad Thai. Our carb-fest concluded with some Suman at Latik, a Filipino dish of sweet, sticky coconut rice wrapped in banana leaves. I made a mental note to scour out some banana leaves in London, and try this recipe at home.

 One of the best parts about street food markets is the frenetic energy that comes with the environment. People yelled words in Thai over roaring woks and there was an unconscious competition going on for the limited seating available. Aside from eating, it is always fun to wander past the different stalls, eyeing the options that make your stomach grumble the most; a more exotic and outdoor version of your continental buffet.

The street food market only lasted a day (sorry), but the food was provided by some of the best resident South East Asian vendors and chefs in London. There was the popular Bangkok Kitchen, the Philipine's restaurant Pepe's Kitchen, and award-winning Pitstop Cafe from Berwick Street Market (so at least you can visit each one individually for your own South East Asian fill). The SEA Arts Fest is a month long festival ending the 10th of November, with plenty of exhibits, film screenings, and seminars going on across town. Check out their events calendar to experience this culturally rich and diverse area of the world.
South East Asian Arts Fest
(various locations across London)

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