There have been a fair few food vans that have come and gone from the bottom end of the market over the last few years. Some simply just vanished, others, like Chips with Dips, went on to achieve almost legendary status. Regardless of how long they stayed for, and regardless of what they did next, all of these food sellers have one thing in common, passion. Passion for their food, and passion for the idea that led them to selling that food on the market. Marrakesh Express is no different. This small yellow trailer not only serves great food, its owner has passion by the bucket load.
‘Yes boys what can I do for you, do you want some Moroccan mint tea whist you make your minds up?’. That’s what the owner of Marrakesh Express shouted to us as we stood looking at the menu on Saturday. Before we knew it, he had handed us two cups of sweet mint tea, and started running through the menu with us. He described the Falafel & Humous wraps, went in to detail about the Halloumi & Veg wraps, and then explained how he marinates the chicken he sells. I was pretty much reduced to a dribbling wreck. When he asked what I wanted, I really wanted to say ‘everything’ but limited my self to the Marrakesh Express Special.
As the owner got to work making our meat and vegetable wraps, he started telling us about his business, and it really has been a labour of love. He built the van himself (with the help of his son). They got each part separately and over the course of several months built the mobile kitchen. He was generally chatty about everything. He told us he he makes the mint tea, explained that he hadn’t been able to taste this batch as he was fasting, and asked us how it was. ‘Don’t just tell me it’s nice’ he said, ‘if it’s too sweet tell me and I can change it for next time’
Sometimes when you go and buy food or go in to a shop, you kind of get the feeling that the person behind the counter is talking to you because that’s what they’ve been told to do. That isn’t the case with this chap, it felt like he genuinely wanted to chat, like we’d popped over to his place for a barbecue. he was really welcoming, and really attentive, always checking we were happy with the type of veg he was putting in our wraps.
I think this is probably one of the friendliest food stalls I’ve been to on the market. The food is incredibly tasty, and really good value, our wraps were 4 quid and that’s the most expensive item on the menu. You’ll can find Marrakesh Express just down the market from the former Cock Tavern. if you haven’t tried them yet, I would really recommend them. The guy told me he was firing up an additional grill next Saturday that will allow him to cook a wider range of food, so I’ll be back at the weekend to give them another try.