Usually, I avoid new places to eat that have had a bit of a buzz created around them. I’d love to say this is because my expectations of food are unusually high, but mostly it’s because they are all in London, and I never really have a reason to go to London. All that changed though, when I took a job in Camden a couple of months ago. Imagine how thrilled I was to be surrounded by culinary street food delights. Every SINGLE hyped up place mentioned in Time Out was now at my fingertips, at furthest a mere use of my travel card away.
The Cheese Bar opened to much fanfare, again with the aid of a Time Out article, and we watched from the office as people queued around the street on the first few days it was open. Try as we might, when we ventured in ourselves they were simply too busy to accommodate us taking a quick couple of pictures and featuring them on our work Facebook page, so I can imagine business is booming. Cheese, evidently, sells better than sex.
Due to the immense popularity of the world’s favourite dairy product, being in the capital city means you are never far away from somewhere to get your cheese fix. The Cheese Wheel is a quiet and unassuming stall on the corner where all of the street food is in Camden market. Next to the canal, and opposite that pub no one knows what is called or ever dares to venture into.
The hook? They roll your handmade pasta around in a giant wheel of cheese before serving. It all sounds very novelty doesn’t it? My main issue with novelty food is, when the novelty wears off, the quality doesn’t actually live up to the high expectations you’ve now set. This isn’t the case with the cheese wheel. The guys start off, by hand rolling your pasta. Made with few ingredients, pasta itself seems incredibly easy to make, but there are so many varying factors that can make it all go horribly wrong in a split second. The Cheese Wheel are pro’s. The way they command their pasta when they are making it is almost domineering. It doesn’t stand a chance. You can see it resisting. The fearless fettucine is then thrown into a wheel of cheese, cut out like a bowl, and rolled around in white wine and cream sauce.
There are a number of different toppings you can add, if you fancy spicing up your life, and I decided on sausage, because again, can you really rely on just the novelty factor to ensure a quality lunch is had? I needn’t have worried. The scientist in me still can’t work out how rolling handmade pasta around in a wheel of cheese manages to infuse the flavour so much, but it really does. It somehow feels like the flavour goes ‘all the way into’ the pasta itself. The topping is just a delicate little touch that is or isn’t needed depending on how hungry you are, which in my case is a lot, all of the time, and no, there is no medical condition to blame for this, I’m just literally a greedy bitch.
The only fair warning I would give, is that this is proper, premium Parmesan. If you are used to plonking mild cheddar all over cooked pasta (and guys, there’s NOTHING wrong with that), this may be a touch TOO cheesy for you.
All of the meals at The Cheese Wheel are under £10.