I’m going to say it. Balls are often best. Ok, now let’s not confused, I mean food served as balls. Falafel, tender rich meat balls, peaches, popcorn chicken, digestive nibbles, cod crochettes, Maltesers and Forrero Rocher (bet you thought I’d forget that one). They’ve become so popular that there’s even a new restaurant in Soho just serving spherical food! I know, it’s on my list. Well, there’s one street food trader already thoroughly rocking the ball scene – Arancini Bros.
Arancini Bros is well known on the London and street food scene for its Arancini, or to the rest of us, handmade risotto balls. Lightly coated, these little balls of cheesy, creamy risotto, are fried until crisp and golden.
Kim and I decided to venture up to the Arancini Factory, one of the Arancini Bros permanent locations in Kentish Town, for lunch recently to check it out.
Arancini Factory is only a short walk from Camden Town, and even closer to Kentish Town tube. The simple facade sets the scene for the interior, which is pretty simple yet almost shabby chic, with long wooden tables and benches with steel legs, khaki cushioned seats, dark green wall tiles set on a white wall, and monochrome photography in frames. The copper low hanging light shades, and orange up by the counter add a splash of colour, and almost bring the place to feel up to date.
The open kitchen and serving point, home to a fridge full of drinks options from Diet Coke to artisan soft drinks, also had cakes and sweet treats laid out along the top. The menu, which was up by the till point too, had three main options, Arancini balls with stew, salad or in a burger, and the specials board, right next to the till point held the daily stew options. The whole experience is simple and unconfusing, and what’s more, it’s super cheap – each option was between about £5 and £8, to dine in, making it fall into the cheap eats category!
The classic salad, a mix of salad leaves, pepper, red cabbage, sweet corn, spring onions and pine nuts was fresh and crisp, served lightly dressed.
Four risotto balls are served alongside the salad, all crispy on the outside, delightfully soft on the inside, with a creamy, cheesy risotto. The accompanying sauces, a salsa and a sour cream, complimented the Arancini well – great for using on the salad too!
The daily stew, a butternut squash and lentil, was Kim’s choice. Served with three Arancini balls too, the stew looked thick, and Kim said it tasted delicious.
At just under £8 for lunch and a soft drink, it really is on the cheap end of the scale. Filling, super fresh and really tasty, I definitely recommend giving it a whirl if you’re out in North London.
Where’s your favourite place for cheap tasty eats?