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Stortford Eat 17 expansion means store will shut for five days

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Eat 17s street food seating area
Eat 17s street food seating area

Asian bao savoury Chinese buns filled with meat and vegetables are coming to Bishops Stortford as part of a shake-up at Eat 17.

Its all change at Eat 17 - Joey Fairservice, who runs Buffalo Joes, is extending his section to offer a wider menu
Its all change at Eat 17 - Joey Fairservice, who runs Buffalo Joes, is extending his section to offer a wider menu

The street food market and Spar store will shut for five days from Sunday November 4 while contractors expand its seating and eating area.

When the Potter Street premises reopen at midday on Friday November 9, two new street vendors will be cooking up a storm for the town’s foodies.

Guerrilla Kitchen and a spin-off from existing vendor Buffalo Joe’s will be joining current outlets Katsu Charlie, Petrucci’s pizza and Lekker Poffertjes, which offers small Dutch pancakes with sweet or savoury options.

Guerrilla Kitchen is the brainchild of experienced restaurateurs Jay and Taffeta Scrimshaw. They ran The Pheasant in Keyston, Cambridgeshire, which in 2009 was named Best British Restaurant on Gordon Ramsey’s TV show The F Word.

Guerrilla Kitchens Chinese buns - bao
Guerrilla Kitchens Chinese buns - bao

After becoming weary of the stiff restaurant system, they broke out and created Guerrilla Kitchen. Jay and Taffeta have been steaming bao on the streets of Cambridge and beyond since 2014.

Their menu always features a meat and veggie bao option, as well as such side dishes as the much-loved ‘Dirty Mac’, which features gooey mac and cheese, spiced beef, mustard, sriracha and spring onion. Their classic pork belly bao is accompanied by cucumber, hoisin and mint.

Buffalo Joe’s, the brainchild of former Birchwood High School student Joey Fairservice, will remain in its current booth, serving its current menu, which includes award-winning buffalo wings and burgers.

However, it will be extending its section to feature an open grill, where it will be cooking up Caribbean delicacies over charcoal for an authentic smoky flavour.

The new menu includes marinated jerk pork and chicken, mango Scotch bonnet hot sauce, rice and peas and a jerk bun featuring coconut slaw and a special jerk barbecue sauce.

Fellow former Birchwood schoolboy James Brundle, the co-founder of Eat 17 with stepbrother Chris O’Connor, said: “Our street food market and café has become incredibly popular. We’re frequently full so are really excited about the expansion of our street food area, which will double the amount of seating available and make space for even more delicious street food.”

The siblings started the Eat 17 group in 2006 and the company now has four stores: Walthamstow (next door to the Eat 17 restaurant), Hackney, Hammersmith and Stortford, which opened on November 9 last year. A fifth store, in Leytonstone, is to open later this year.

The Potter Street store’s street food market was a first for the UK and a model which has been replicated in the new Hammersmith branch, which opened in August.

Each store brings its own offering to the Eat 17 range. Ready meals and pastries are created in Hackney and fresh bread in Stortford, all delivered fresh to the other stores every morning.

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