Festivities at street food market

An indoor market which brings the street food experience out of the cold is introducing new features over the Christmas period

‘Dirty spuds’, sautéed potatoes with onions, garlic, rosemary, cheese and sweet chilli sauce from Mr Croquewich

The indoor street food market Sticky Fingers is bringing brand new elements to the table this December.

A new weekend DJ is being introduced, just in time for Christmas bookings where customers can pay with ‘sticky’ money.

The DJ will start in three weeks’ time and will be a permanent fixture at the market. The operations manager Stephen Carwardine of Llanishen said it would add a new dimension to the street food experience.

“It’s being very true to what that street food scene is, you’re never going to see a knife and fork and a plate”

With Christmas parties on the horizon, Sticky Fingers has started allowing tables to be reserved for group visits. The whole venue can also be booked out for larger events.

The new sticky money is a feature intended to make event hiring easier, providing a simple way for companies to pay for large groups. Guests are given their sticky money, which has been paid for in advance, and they can then spend this on whatever they choose. Stephen compared it to going to a bank in a foreign country.

“Street food is not about the street, it’s about the food.”

Sticky Fingers has been open since 24 October 2018. It offers a long-term home for five independent street food stalls.

“Instead of popping in and popping out, they’ve got a permanent platform to showcase what they do,” Stephen said.

Indoor street food might seem a contradiction in terms, but Stephen said that Sticky Fingers was staying true to the street food ideology by hiring award-winning vendors.

“Street food is not about the street, it’s about the food,” he explained.

John White of the seafood stall Two Anchors agreed with the sentiment, pointing out that he sold exactly the same thing in Sticky Fingers as he would at a street food festival.

Sticky Fingers will be open for business right up until Christmas day

Sticky Fingers has only been fully operational for 12 working days, but is already attracting more customers than the management or vendors predicted. Stephen said he could tell when nearby businesses had their lunch breaks because of the sudden rush at the market.

Cardiff has become a lot more street food friendly in the last 18 months, with events such as the Summer Feastival drawing in crowds. Stephen said that he would welcome even more street food in Cardiff.

“I’d love another one of these to pop up in Cardiff city centre,” he said. “There is demand for it, and the wider the of knowledge street food becomes, the greater the potential market is.”

This is why he believes the Christmas market, which opened this month, will help rather than hinder his business. He said that the market would allow greater numbers to delve into the street food experience and leave them them wanting more once the stalls are gone.

Sticky Fingers is located in Brewery Quarter in Cardiff city centre. It is currently open Thursday to Sunday and plans to extend this once the Winter season is over.