Over the past month I’ve been sucked into London’s burger boom but to be honest I’m all burgered out – well for the next week least!. So when heard about a popup serving Mac and Cheese I was delighted, a dish that’s not the everyday grab and go street food was heading to The Shop NW10 for one night only.
When Mac Met Cheese is usually found on a busy Camden lock market stall run by owner and chipper chappie Sammy. His enthusiasm for feel good food is what made this popup special.
The Shop’s interior is intimate, arty and trendy boasting North West london swag.
The clientele are a mixture of local office workers, twitterati and neighbourhood regulars. The cocktails are The Shop’s own concoctions mixing hard liquor such as bourbon with fruity syrups to prosecco infused drinks all served in jam jars.
I picked the girliest drink on the menu The Hibiscus Fizz served in a test tube glass. A fermented flower fluttered at the bottom with a dash of elderflower and topped with prosecco was divine.
The Hurricane packed a punch, a mixture of spiced rum, vanilla passionfruit syrups and fruit juices.
Within minutes the place was rammed full of people lucky I got there early! Overheard that there was an hour wait for a table.
There were three types of mac n cheeses on the menu at £6 each;
Mums classic – Mature cheddar, Red Leicester, Parmesan and Nutmeg
Carlos The Cactus – Mature Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Jalapeños
Cheesy Green Afro – Vintage Stilton, Mozzarella and Broccoli
Gluten free pasta was available as well as adding bacon, chicken, broccoli and cherry tomatoes to your mac n cheese.
My choice of Carlos The Cactus did not disappoint the gooey, oozy melted cheeses against the al dente macaroni was sunshine in a polystyrene tray. The mature cheddar was not overpowering instead balanced the saltiness of the parmesan and boosted the sometimes bland mozzarella. I added broccoli which was cooked to perfection, still green and with a bite. The jalapeños packed a sour and slow releasing kick, cutting through the heaviness of the macaroni.
We ordered the sweet coleslaw, finely shredded carrot and cabbage blended with cider vinegar, mayo and sugar. Simply delicious, light not heavily caked in mayo and the sharpness of the cider mixed with the sugar brought out the natural sweetness in the veg. This made slaw more of a salad rather than a stodgy side dish.
Time for the dessert which I think I was more excited about than the mac n cheese; Deep fried oreos! To take something that’s already great and make it into something greater was truly an innovative creation. Immersed in a delicately sweetened doughnut batter and then deep fried these golden round nuggets were a sensation.
The Oreo slightly melts within the battered coating which is soft not crispy more of a bread like texture than a tempura finish. Magnific! Best format of an Oreo ever!.
When Mac Met Cheese is about to take off as the next street food craze. Recently Southern comfort food has become increasingly popular. Sammy has caught into this new trend to create hearty wholesome warm your belly food which ready has a strong fan base.
I’d keep an eye on this chap, something tells me you’ll be hearing a lot more about When Mac Met Cheese in the future.
Michelin is out and macaroni is in.
NEWS JUST IN… There will be a second When Mac Met Cheese Popup on Thursday 15th November at The Shop NW10.