Yesterday I was invited along by the lovely PR and marketing manager from Lola Jeans, Lorna, to her blogging event which she ran over at the HWKR street food market. Although this quirky recycled shipping container-turned food and drink hangout has been around for a few years now, I had yet to check this place out, so I was super excited.
If you aren’t familiar with the location, it is on the Gateshead side of the river as part of By the River Brew co. and typically opens up to locals around Easter time and lasts throughout the summer. The independent container community hosts some regular traders with the likes of Lola Jeans and Grumpy Panda whereas other stalls are rotated so there is usually something new to try now and again.
I arrived yesterday just on the opening hour of 12pm to get a good look around the place which stalks the look of Shorditch’s very own Box Park but on a smaller scale. The bold and vibrant colour bring an instant atmosphere whilst music and quayside air adds that Toon feeling. HWKR is open on Friday’s from 18.00-23.00, Saturday’s 12.00-23.00 and Sunday’s 12.00-18.00.
Lorna had our table reserved for us which was perfect because later on in the day it got rather busy and people were hunting for seats. We each got given a little pouch filled with drink tokens for us to use at the bar as well as lucky-dip style of descriptions for our food. Inside the pouches we each had a different vender from inside HWKR. The likes of Lola Jeans, Dabbawal, Grumpy Panda, Cheese Sir, Shanty Town, Fire and Dough, Acropolis, Chuchos Tacos and Parmorama were what we had the chance of picking up.
My lucky-dip revealed Dabbawal street food traders. These Mumbai specialists not only have multiple restaurants around the city, but their vender welcomes us Geordie foodies to the best aromas of ground spices, sizzling pans and open fires. With the help of the friendly guys behind the counter and an apparent self-confessed food blogger, I went for the “Smoke Plate”. This large portion (I must say…score) was a combo of gorgeous chicken tikka along with a giant lamb sausage, a big square of paneer a rolled flat bread, side salad and a big pot of tikka sauce. Let’s not forget a wedge of watermelon to cleanse the palate once I was done.
I’ve been to the restaurant that Dabbawal has in Jesmond before and their flavours are incredible. Their spot down at HWKR is no exception with the excellent options both meat, vegetarian and even a vegan option on their menu there is something for everyone. I loved my dish and my favourite was the taste and tenderness of the chicken combined with the flatbread and sauce. There was so so much on the plate to which I couldn’t believe, certainly something I would share in the future and leave some more room for pudding next time.
HWKR market is an overall relaxed and social environment where I can imagine myself going with a a group of friends on an evening for an early dinner hanging out having a few drinks or even with the family (dog too because they are dog friendly- bonus) and enjoying the tasty street food, drinking one of their specialty craft beers and sitting by the Tyne in the sun. The afternoon was really lovely with the rest of the bloggers and Lorna from Lola Jeans did (as always) such a great job of hosting and making us all feel welcome. She event lined up a lucky-dip for dessert with the choice being between Grumpy Panda and their deep-fried vegan Oreo doughnuts or a pick from Cake Contour’s delicious sweet treats. I picked out the Cake Contour token and was super excited because I had seen so many instagram posts about their amazing treats and couldn’t wait to devour one. Although I must say, I was a little jealous when the Oreos came out because they looked delicious but its an excuse to return and try them!
With so much choice on the day, between cookie dough brownie, Biscoff cupcakes, M&M blondies and even Nutella and Kinda rocky roads I was in sweet chocolate heaven. Us bloggers gathered around the container little little school kids in the sweet shops trying to decide. Eventually I went for the milk choc cookie dough slice which was a layer of milk chocolate on top of quite literally a slap of chocolate chip cookie dough. It was really soft and so gooey! super super amazing and would totally recommend trying if you like that kind of thing.
Overall, I had such a lovely day with some fellow Geordie bloggers trying out some fantastic food over the water at HWKR market street food containers. Dabbawal as always brought the flavours, spice and all things Indian nice whilst Cake Contour melted my heart with the most amazing cookie dough slice! Definitely worth a trip if you are around the quayside, perfect for families, dog, friends or even a great date place!