The Hall – Intu Lakeside

Burgers, chicken and wontons. The Hall. Lakeside. Essex food blogger

Last Wednesday saw the soft launch of a new street food market at Intu Lakeside, The Hall. I was very Kindly gifted two tickets to the launch which included a free drink and main meal from any of the food vendors there. I was very intrigued about the event as I didn’t know what to expect and I love a bit of street food! There’s just something exciting about it as you get to dabble in different cuisines and try things you may not normally go for in a restaurant. 

Wednesday was one of the hottest days of the year, so Tom and I were super grateful for the air conditioning in Lakeside! Veronica, who invited me, was there to welcome us and show us what we needed to do. Tom and I both chose to have a glass of prosecco for our free drink and we sat down to look at the menus. There is SO much to choose from there! I challenge anyone to go there and not like anything. We took quite a while to choose our meal as we couldn’t decide. The food stalls available are:

One of the things I liked the most about The Hall was the ordering system. When you have decided what you want to eat, you just order it from the vendor, then you will get a buzzer with a number on, you can return to your table and collect your food when your buzzer goes off. It’s such a good way of doing it as it prevents queues and people getting impatient. It also means that if you’re in a group, or just as a couple, if you want different food, you can still order at once and sit together as it’s a communal style hall. 

All the buzzers! Not that we got much food……

Tom and I decided to get a couple of different meals with our token and then get a couple of extra bits so we could experience a few of the stalls. When in Rome and all that. We went for the ‘Double hot mess’ with a side of fries and hot sauce from Burger and Beyond, 4 fried chicken strips that come with fries and hot sauce from Mother Clucker and finally, Cantonese style Wontons from Baoziinn. We were given our buzzers and sat at our table. Tom tried The Hall’s own lager and I got another prosecco. When you’re waiting for your food, you don’t get bored as there’s music playing and you can watch the big screen if you want. For a soft launch, the food stalls did brilliantly well to keep up with the demand. It was hard to tell how many people were there but I would take a guess at around 250 and we all descended upon them at roughly the same time! 

When we got our food, we couldn’t believe how much we had for such a small price! I know two of the meals were gifted, however, even if we had paid for them, they would have been around a tenner each. There’s not many places you can go these days and get a meal for £10. We wouldn’t normally order a burger if we’re out for dinner, but when we arrived we saw a couple of burger trays going out and they looked too good to not try. After joining Slimming World, I wanted to try the fried chicken as it looked so crunchy and the smells from Baoziinn were so alluring that we just wanted a side dish to try. 

None of our choices disappointed. 

The burger was cooked medium, and had a delicious chipotle mayo, jalepenos and pepper jack cheese and it was amazing. I think it’s the best burger either of us has ever had and we would go back without a doubt to try another one. The chicken had a great crunch and the fries were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. My only criticism is that there wasn’t enough sauce, but next time, I would just ask for a bit more. The food itself was faultless in my opinion. It’s just a personal preference with the sauce. And finally, the wontons. Well, they tasted as they smelled. Bloody delicious! They were seriously good, they had such a depth of flavour and they were like little taste explosions in your mouth. We both really enjoyed them and would like to try more of Baoziinn’s products. 

Our overall opinion was high. We both said we would happily return either as a couple or with friends. I think it’s great that there is a sports screen there as I love most sports and I think the concept is a brilliant one. It’s such a relaxed space and there’s something for everyone. I’m definitely grateful we got the opportunity to have a sneak preview and experience the delicious food. 

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