I was recently invited to attend, alongside other bloggers, an event organised by a new addition to the culturally diverse Portobello Road, Tuk Tuk Stick ‘n’ Grill. This dynamic new eatery brings a touch of Indonesian flavour to the famous West London market street. Here, satays are the speciality – chicken, beef, king prawn, tofu and vegetables, smothered in a marinade of your choice, are grilled on skewers. You may order three or six sticks and each portion comes with either rice or salad. This shiny new restaurant offers a healthy alternative to fast food, the cooking technique means fat drips from the grill onto the hot coals beneath and the owners are proud to proclaim that no fats are added. Their juices have magical properties, apparently benefitting the immune system, skin and muscular function – absolute sorcery. Tuk Tuk are also extremely eco conscious. Traditional plates are substituted with recycled palm leaves, serving plates and cutlery are recyclable and biodegradable and takeaway packaging is made from corn starch which is compostable.
Upon arrival, my guest and I were met with a glass of prosecco and many friendly faces. After receiving a grand tour from Antonio – the company C.E.O – and chatting to other members of the Tuk Tuk team, it was evident that they were passionate about their brand and the success of the restaurant.
Once seated, we ordered a selection of skewers and accompaniments. The beef satays were simple; medium rare and tender, their flavour enhanced by the ginger and coriander dipping sauce. The prawns were similarly well cooked and fresh, these were also delightful with the ginger sauce, I wasn’t a big fan of the sweet chilli but I never have been. My companion and I unanimously decided that the chicken skewers with the peanut and tamarind sauce were the best of a tasty bunch. Tuk Tuk also offer a selection of healthy puddings; grilled pineapple or banana served with either vanilla or coconut ice-cream, I preffered the pineapple and coconut combination.
Tuk Tuk Stick ‘n’ Grill is an interesting concept. I believe it will appeal to a market which is becoming increasingly health and environmentally conscious, perhaps an opening in East London, where the aforementioned hippies congregate, may have encouraged more business? Nevertheless, once they have ironed out the creases at their West London store and decided on a formula which really sells, they can expand to a wider audience. The driven, enthusiastic people behind the whole operation make me hopeful for its success. If you are ever on the Portobello Road on market day and want a genuinely tasty bite, do try it out.