Dinerama came to London at the beginning of the summer, and luckily for me (and the rest of London) it hasn’t disappeared like some of the other outdoor street food venues now that the weather has turned cold.
Instead, it’s had a winter makeover: a roof has been built over it! And now it is more of a permanent structure.The two-story street food haven and bar exists in Shoreditch (where else?) just off the high street.
To enter (it’s free before 7pm), you walk through an outside ‘smokers’ area dotted with fires inside steel bins, through to the main event. It’s sort of like a market, with the street food vendors around the outside and two long tables in the middle of the hall. On the right there is a main bar, complete with a DJ beside it to play some banging tunes.Upstairs, there are two other bars: one is more of a comfy lounge area with a wine bar at one end, and the other is Alpine themed with a cosy wood fire. The two bars are joined together by another smoking area balcony, and a secret room in a bamboo hut. The secret room seemed to be like a private conference room, with a large table in the middle of it. When we opened the door to peep inside everyone in there turned to look at us, so we decided to leave them to it!
Unfortunately, the Alpine bar – which looked to be the best of the bars upstairs – was closed for a private event. So we headed back down into the midst of Dinerama and found some seats in the main food court for the evening.The main room turned out to be a really good place to sit, and we were right amongst the hustle and bustle of the place. I went on a Thursday evening with Matt, Ciara and Gemma.
We ordered a round of drinks at the big bar, eying the DJ suspiciously as we walked past, and then sat down where we could see all the different food stalls and watch what the people around us were eating to work out where it was from.
Eventually, I made my way to the ‘Duck n Roll’ stall that I’d been staring at all evening, and ordered a pulled duck burger with chips. Gemma ordered a giant rib from the BBQ and rotisserie stall, but I was getting too busy with my duck burger to take any photographic evidence. Ciara had a pizza from Fundi Pizza, and Matt was also tempted by a duck burger. We sat in the same spot for the whole evening, sipping beers and chatting, and it was perfect for an informal gathering. It worked better than just going out for dinner, because we didn’t have to agree on a restaurant and we could all order whatever we fancied. After eating, the bar-like atmosphere meant that we could stay there and chill out.
In the summer, I bet the place was rammed and the floor space was taken up by people queuing for food! But now the buzz around it has died down a bit, it has a nice laid back vibe to it, and it was very easy to spend a whole evening there!