This weekend saw the arrival of a brand new festival hitting St Andrews. Luckily for us, it came with a whole set of new food options that don't appear at any other balls. So naturally, we had to go to Elaga and try all the food that was on offer.

Bonnie Burrito

Joshua Foo

Bonnie Burrito began as a Mexican street food van, creatively combining Mexican food with the delights of Scotland. The chicken and pulled-pork burrito certainly gave me and my friends the comfort food vibes, with each bite helping to line my stomach for what was to be ingested later in the afternoon.

Whilst the chicken was grilled directly in front of customers, the burrito fell slightly short in delivering a fresh, clean flavour one would expect in a Mexican-style burrito. Perhaps the sour cream and fiery scotch bonnet sauce could have been balanced out with herbs or a salsa verde, together with a fresh squeeze of lime to round it off.

Fish and Frites

Joshua Foo

Jordan and Sarah, a passionate young couple, decked out a beautiful food truck and painted it in a very recognisable Fish & Frites Pantone colour. They recently began their journey to share this iconic dish outside the origins of Anstruther. Their fish and chips, made out of haddock, was extremely fresh.

However, it could have done with a crispier batter which many chip shops fail to achieve too. Their saving grace was the tartare sauce which more than made up for it. This was hands down the best combination of gherkins/capers I’ve tried in recent years. I suspect their secret recipe also involves mustard, tarragon and shallots too. Clearly plenty of effort was put into creating this masterpiece tartare sauce.

Aloha Shaved Ice

Joshua Foo

Another food stall at Elaga was Aloha Shaved Ice. This reminded me very fondly of a popular dish from home - Ice Kachang (translated to “shaved ice with beans”). That being said, people in Singapore often enjoy this cooling dessert after a long day in the sun with temperatures reaching 35ºC.

Aloha Shaved Ice served a less complicated version, where a choice of syrups (mango, coconut, etc) were offered. Perhaps a choice of more toppings like nuts and fruits would have been helpful in enticing party-goers to pick one up in the freezing cold.

Pizza Geeks

A favourite for the ages, evident in the long queues at Pizza Geek’s food truck. This food truck had received many good reviews from their tours of music festivals and outdoor events in the past. Although they set up shop later in the day, they had no problems attracting customers to wait out in the rain.

Being a purist, I ordered “The Mario”, a classic margherita. The simple balance between the light tomato base with mozzarella and basil was simply delectable, although there were more flavours such as the haggis and black pudding “Braveheart” pizza. I was pleasantly surprised they were able to create a tender and fragrant Neapolitan pizza with the quantity of orders they had to send out. It was also a perfect portion for one person, so no one had to share. Who said pizzas had to be shared anyways?

Grill Truck

Joshua Foo

The Grill Truck resembled a family-style food truck, with most of the employees being part of the family. The family-run operation complemented each other in different sections of the assembly line, from flipping burger patties to stirring sauces. I was offered an Irish sausage to taste, but the main challenge was the sheer size of this.

Thinking I could overcome this, I added my favourite toppings – mustard and onions. I was proven wrong about overcoming this after 2 bites. Although the sausage had an enjoyable crust, each bite had too many breadcrumbs in the meat mixture for my liking. The Grill Truck also served Chinese noodles, amongst the usual suspects of burgers and sandwiches, which looked very confusing to myself and my Asian friends.

Donuts, Coffee, and Waffle Truck

Joshua Foo

The winner of the Elaga food village for me was this unassuming coffee and donut truck. I personally do not have a sweet tooth but was caught off guard by the chocolate-laced donuts they served. These donuts were patiently fried individually on the spot, with each one carefully flipped time and again to ensure consistent browning of the exterior.

The donut delivered a perfect balance of fluffiness, light egginess, and a slight chew. Topped with fine sugar crystals and salted chocolate, it’s a mystery why snaking lines were not formed here. Perhaps this was one of those secrets that people tried to keep from their friends.

Complimentary Sushi by CombiniCo

Early arrivals in VIP marquee received complimentary salmon chirashi don (steamed rice bowls with a variety of toppings) and a selection of gimbap (Korean rice balls wrapped in seaweed). Unfortunately for me, by the time I managed to squeeze my way through the crowded table, there were only smoked salmon onigiris left. The house-smoked salmon was delicately shredded and placed in the middle of seasoned sushi rice.

An intelligent plastic wrapper mechanism meant that the seaweed was not touching the rice until people decided to eat it, keeping it crispy. I thought this was an extremely convenient party food — easy to eat and transport. On a sidenote, CombiniCo. offers wholesale products and services which include private labelling for events. I'm looking forward to seeing them at more often at our balls and fashion shows!