When looking for ideal bar snacks, point of difference is always going to get more punters through the door. Along with social media and the transience of Chefs, from restaurant to restaurant, let alone country to country, there are a lot more venues willing to try previously unexplored street cuisines to get patrons to indulge in a bite to eat along with their beverage.
A charcoal grill, or portable Japanese binchotan, can roll out smoky, flavoursome, marinated meat skewers in a minute or two. Tasty beef brisket can be blanched in boiling water, simmered for 90 minutes in masterstock and served, cubed, with a masterstock drizzle over the top. Meanwhile chicken drummettes in a marinade served with a sticky sauce will always go down well.
All of the above can be prepped and served with a minimum of fuss and little kitchen time, as can new takes on pastry parcels or croquettes with leftover slow-cooked cuts from yesterday’s service.
Roast lamb and potato croquetas with mint jelly will go well with a shiraz or pinot noir while crumbed corned beef hash with gooey cheese will easily please those with a preference for craft beer.
While pies are a centuries-old food package, try a combination of cultures and put smoked brisket in your empanada instead.
Then there is the South American seca salsa, a dry bar snack of seeds, nuts and chili and spices. Create your own version and use it on meat with handles, frenched pork or lamb chops. Another version of seca salsa features sesame, pumpkin and poppy seeds, garlic, chili, peanuts and spices. So serve as is, or have it ready to dip into roasted sweet potato chunks.
The Middle eastern spice mix zaatar can do a similar job as a dip to ramp up any skewers or shashlik. Talking of chilli, there is the delicious Chinese chongquing “50 chilli” chicken, which can double as a great bar snack, pecked at with a toothpick, and washed down with a beer, alongside a serving of peanuts and housemade Chinese pickles.
While Middle Eastern meatballs, or kofta, can be made with lamb, beef, pork or chicken, the varieties of sauces or dips to accompany them is endless, from spicy tomato to nutty hummus.
Wherever you travel in the world or when you are looking to create some conversation around your bar food, look to explore the world’s best street snacks, as they are usually the most inventive of eats, are quick to make, match any beverage and take a minimum of fuss to consume.