There is a mind-bending amount of pointless drivel on the internet, so when you encounter a rare gem of useful intelligence you feel you have done very well. A tip to visit the North Cross Road food market in Dulwich was a particularly coruscating gem – street food in London has rarely been so pleasurable.
As residents of horrible, horrible Woolwich, it was a distinctly positive experience to travel to Dulwich. The journey was speedy and the whole area seemed far less of an unspeakable hole than our locality. There seemed to be a lot of Turkish and Lebanese restaurants I would like to go back and sample. For a Saturday lunch experience you will not go wrong visiting either The Dogfather or Viet Van – their comestibles are of the very highest quality.
As you come into the North Cross Road food market there are a couple of enthusiastic chaps selling hog roast, but our targets were slightly further along.
Viet Van was a minimalist operation, the owner had only a restricted space in which to construct his sandwiches. What sandwiches they were! He had a barbecue on which the caramelised chicken and Vietnamese-style pulled-pork fillings were slowly cooking; he also made a marinated tofu sandwich but I’m buggered if I am going to eat such things when meat is on offer. We chose the pulled-pork and laughed like drains as we ate it.
The pork seemed more in lumps than pulled in the Southern USA style, it was powerfully flavoured with the sauce it had been cooked in. All the picked vegetables were of the desired consistency, the mayonnaise was delicious and balanced with a satisfying amount of chilli and the Viet-style pate with which the meat quotient was enhanced was freaking brilliant. Perhaps the bread is better at Banh Mi Bay but one of these pulled-pork banh mi will leave you immensely pleasured and gagging for more.
Further down the road we found the jewel we had initially been seeking – The Dogfather. The owner’s charisma was only surpassed by the quality of the sausage he had on offer. They are 100% pure beef and he delivered his meat with a variety of different garnishes. We were modest with regard to these: I chose grilled onions and Daniel had two cheeses with the onions. The Dogfather suggested an addition of some chillies to these, just enough to add some piquancy, and we thought this sounded a good idea. He was correct, they were brilliant. Indeed, we both feel confident in saying we have never had better hotdogs than these.
I would feel a touch of difficulty choosing between the banh mi and hot sausage action, but those seekers of the very best in fast food will not go wrong visiting either of these two establishments.