A good bun cannot rescue a lousy burger but a lousy bun can wreck a good burger. The same is true of sliders, the small and suddenly trendy sandwiches that take after mini-burgers. That’s why I’d like to see Danny O’Sullivan, the Street Foodie, find new and preferably heated accommodation for the Korean sliders the Belfast native introduced this weekend amid a cluster of food carts opposite the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in East London.
London is the beneficiary of O’Sullivan’s good timing. After living and eating in Korea for two years he and partner Sarah Hogg, who’s from Scottish Borders, have rolled out their street cart just as sliders and Korean everything have emerged as want foods. They’re serving two different Korean-styled sliders (£2.50 each, £4 for a pair): lively but non-lethal kimchi with bacon and Korean-marinated pulled pork with crunchy sesame ginger cole slaw. O’Sullivan heats the prepared kimchi and pulled pork on his flat-top griddle. I tried both sliders and liked them enough to request a third – a mix-and-match pairing of kimchi and pulled pork.
Would I sulk if O’Sullivan eventually replaced the bacon with tender pork belly and crisp crackling? Think not. Would I lose sleep if his pulled pork got drippier over time? Duh! But for now, the only component that demands an emergency rethink is the drab, bready Sainsbury’s bun. It would help to toast or steam it on the griddle so that the slider felt warm and inviting as you transferred it from hand to mouth. But what’s really required is improved packaging with the character to complement the kimchi and coleslaw.
O’Sullivan and Hogg may be seeking a new home for their street cart following their royal wedding weekend gig at the Real Street Food Festival (Southbank Centre). You can track their movements on the Street Foodie website. But first their Korean sliders merit a new housing.