Way back in October 2014 me and a few pals enjoyed a round of crazy golf at the awkwardly named ‘Swingers London’ pop-up. We came, we saw, we swung. And while limbering up before tee-off (with copious amounts of Gin & Tonic) I crossed paths with, wait for it, THE BEST Mac & Cheese I’ve ever eaten.
Now I appreciate that’s a big statement. Like a huge, woah, hang on minute – are you for reals!!!! statement but I stand by it, it honestly was *the best* Mac & Cheese I’ve eaten and it came courtesy of the food truck, When Mac Met Cheese.
It was such good Mac & Cheese that it’s all I’d been able to think about and had been pinning for a time when I might eat it again. So when a lunch date with my Ibiza bitches (we’re going in August for my sister’s 30th and obviously haven’t started the bikini body diet yet) presented itself a few weeks back there was only one place I wanted to go and that was wherever When Mac Met Cheese were serving.
And therein lay the problem, y’see; When Mac Met Cheese are currently residing as a pop-up at The Shop NW10 in Kensel Rise and me and my girldem view north west London as pretty much another planet rather than just a distant postcode (we’re all either North East, East or dirrrty, dirty South).
So I went in hard. I threw in all my powers of persuasion and tried to convince them a 1 hour journey to Kensel Rise was the only thing they wanted to be doing on a Saturday.
“It’s an ADVENTURE! A road trip! We’re exploring London! I mean it’s THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD – we should make the most of it. What’s the point of living here if we only explore the areas where we live. Did I mention it’s the BEST Mac & Cheese you’ll ever taste. It’s a cheese lovers dream. You won’t regret it. It’ll change your life. I mean, Kensel Rise isn’t even that far – I’ve heard it’s a really up&coming area, it’s the new Shoreditch, no DALSTON. It’s where the cool kids go…”
Told you, I really went for it. But turns out I didn’t really need too – I had my ladies at When Mac & Cheese.
So Saturday morning off we all trotted to NW10. It was a beautiful spring day and although still rather chilly we managed to nab a table in the window/subsequent sun trap of The Shop.
(borrowed from When Mac Met Cheese Instagram)
I could tell as soon as we walked in the door that The Shop NW10 was my kinda place – relaxed and welcoming. It’s hipster cool without the pretension and at one point there was a man dancing around with a dog in his arms to Reggae tunes. Just imagine that for a second and tell me that’s not a happy place to spend your Saturday.
So it’s worth the slog under & over ground to the north wessss-side of the big schmoke.
And not least because it’s now where you can find THE BEST MAC & CHEESE IN THE WORLD.
After a quick look over the menu, that was accompanied by lots of ‘arghmagahhd I want it all’ comments we decided to start with a Macancini each, of the Truffle and Wild Mushroom variety…basically big mac & cheese / arancini baaawwwlls. YUM.
Of course we also ordered some cocktails. Two Bretts – Gin, Lime & pomegranate Juice, black cherry jam rhubarb & rose-hip syrup – and two Chaperones – Aperol lime juice & passionfruit syrup Prosecco – which made for some VERY blogger friendly, symmetrical picture taking.
They were TO. DIE. FOR.
…both the cocktails & the macancini balls…but oh the baaawwwwlls.
For one they were massive and the insides where gooey cheesy magnificentness (<<<< not even a word is it?). If you’re thinking about ‘saving room for the main event’ and giving these a miss, think again. They are a must eat.
^^^^Truffle FFS – TRUFFLE!!!!
Then it was onto the main event…The Mac & Cheese.
We ordered four Mum’s Classics which seems a bit boring but hey, we’d had enough adventure for one day! That said, we did all go for the extra bacon lardons, I mean why the hell wouldn’t you? Don’t Lardons just sound wonderfully bad for you.
It wasn’t long before our boxes of mac & cheese arrived and we all did that classic thing of losing the ability to speak as we dived in to the marvellous melted mound in front of us.
I think it’s safe to say the girls were all in agreement that this portion truly was the best Mac & Cheese they’d ever had…
…The only minor issue being that it was perhaps too big a portion for all of us to conquer. The sauce is so thick and creamy and 10 mouthfuls in we’d all barely made a dent. It was pretty filling and we did flag a little towards the end but we powered through determined not to miss a mouthful. We’d only have regretted it later if we’d left any.
Sadly I believe the When Mac Met Cheese pop-up in nearer the end of it’s reign at The Shop NW10 – in fact I think they may only be there until the middle of April, eeeek! This means you need to move fast if you want to sample the best Mac & Cheese ever.
If you don’t manage to get to Kensel Rise before When Mac Met Cheese disappear then you’ll just have to wait and see where they might be popping up next – I’d give them a follow on twitter to ensure you’re first in the know!
In the meantime though you should still make time to pop into The Shop for a cocktail or two as they’re just as good as the Mac & Cheese. And hello – cocktails in Jam jars, hipster yes. Over them? Never.
Plus who know’s what new pop-up or foodie dream might be taking up shop in The Shop next! From a scoot over on their Instagram it seems they’ve had some good brunch spreads (eggs benny) and cerviche nibbles in the past. I’m excited to see what new munch they’ll have in-house next.
After the BEST MAC & CHEESE EVER (have I mentioned that yet?) we waddled over to Queens Park which is a gorgeous green spot to wile away some hours. Sadly it was too cold for us to stick around and sit (hurry up summer, for christ sake!) so we walked on, popping into The Alice House to warm up and have one last cocktail.
(^^^Borrowed from The Alice House Website)
It was another pleasantly lovely spot and between The Alice House & The Shop NW10 my opinion of North West London has totally changed! I can’t wait to go back… so here’s to more adventuring in London.
Have you been on any good adventures lately?
Thanks for reading!