Next up is Italian Alley – a new concept that will showcase “Italian food, craft beer and culinary craftsmanship at its best”, say the owners.
Occupying five restored railway arches in a formerly derelict stretch, it comprises five new food offerings, each curated to showcase flavour and produce.
Food will range from charcoal barbecued dishes such as sardines con pane cunzato (stuffed with bread soaked in olive oil, tomatoes and anchovies) to an arch where the menu will be entirely dedicated to ‘polpetta’ (meatballs).
Thirsty? Yep, thought so. Lucky Italian craft brewer Baladin – who are behind the project, in cahoots with Turin-based food collective VNK – has curated the beer offering, pairing each arch with an IPA or pale ale to complement the scran.
Although a handful of indoor seating will be available within each arch, diners will be encouraged to mix and match dishes from the arches, or order to go and enjoy sharing style, in the new outdoor, piazza-style seating area, located in front of the arches.
Ciao, bella etc.
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The five stalls in more detail
ARCH 1 | BRACE Prepared using a Josper charcoal oven, Brace will deliver an Italian twist on the BBQ. Expect marinated pork skewers and baked aubergine with garlic and parsley – all roasted to create the distinct charred, smoky finish and flavour.
ARCH 2 | FOCACCERIA NAZIONALE In Ancient Rome ‘panis focacius’ was flatbread baked in a wood-burning oven. Working closely with some of the best focaccia bakers from across the world, they’ve re-created the same traditional textures and techniques, including mixing by hand and fermenting for three days. The focaccias will be served by the slice and feature a seasonal menu such as fior di latte mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, salami and ricotta, whilst vegan options will also be available.
ARCH 3 | CIAMBOTTA – BANQUET IN A BUN A cross between pizza and bread, Ciambotta’s ‘banquets in a bun’ are Italian bread bowls filled with simple, earthy and comforting ingredients. The dough recipe has been developed by the team to create a unique crunchy, light and fresh finish, filled with colourful caponatas and heart-warming stews from aubergines, sun dried tomatoes & onions to hearty pork & cabbage stew and sausage ragu.
ARCH 4 | POLPETTA Reinventing the humble meatball, Polpetta keeps its shape but mixes up the ingredients. The menu is set to include chicken chasseur, fried Baccala and potatoes (Italian Alley’s twist on fish and chips) plus classic beef meatballs, slow cooked in tomatoes.
ARCH 5 | SEMOLA Semola (durum wheat) is the star of this concept, prepared by combining traditional grains with new recipes and modern equipment and technique, all served authentically ‘al dente’. Example dishes include taglioni, butter and asparagus, plin filled with beer marinated lamb shank and gnocchi with sausage ragu and lemon zest.
Italian Alley opens on 15th April, Camden Market NW1, follow @italian_alley on Insta or @camdenmarket
Main image: FOCACCERIA NAZIONALE