James and Jamie chucked in the day jobs to follow their passion for Japanese dumplings by taking over the Rainbo street food truck. They tell us why
What’s your food background?
Until recently my experience in food could only be described as that of a passionate foodie with a dumpling addiction. I used to work a desk job until I decided earlier this year I wanted to trade-in the office for the kitchen and do what I love.
Jamie and I used to host supper clubs for our friends and cook them our favourite Asian dishes, with dumplings and gyoza always being our main event and then one day we just thought it was time to enter the gyoza game for real.
How come you took over running the Rainbo food truck?
I was previously a Chartered Financial Adviser and had been in the financial services industry for over five years but I was never passionate about what I was doing and one day whilst sat at my desk procrastinating I read that Rainbo were looking for new owners. As soon as Jamie and I both read that there was no going back. I love dumplings not pensions and the more I thought about it the more I knew I had to ditch the old job and pursue a new career in what I love most – dumplings!
Why do you love dumplings so much?
They’re just little parcels of joy! Dumplings seem to genuinely make people smile in that special way not many foods are able to. There are so many different flavours and so many varieties and I love the lot of them!
Why do you love doing street food?
Meeting new people and serving up the food I’m so passionate about is the best feeling. There’s so much great street food out there and so many great people in street food. It’s a really exciting and great industry to be in right now.
What’s the bestseller?
For a full meal, our Combo Box of six gyoza dumplings, short grain brown rice, homemade pickles, beetroot humous, Asian slaw, edamame beans, nori sprinkle and mixed seeds is always very popular. Our most popular gyoza flavours are probably either chicken, green chilli and miso, or pork and Chinese chive, or shiitake mushroom and tofu (vegan) gyozas.
Having said that we’ve recently introduced chicken yakitori skewers and Rainbo scotch eggs to the menu at some markets and have yet to not sell out so they must both be up there as well!
What are your first food-loving memories?
Ever since I can remember and before I could use chopsticks I used to always go to this Chinese restaurant near where I grew up whenever there was a special occasion or family birthday. They were some of my favourite childhood memories and were the start of my obsession in Asian cuisine.
What’s the dream?
For dumplings to be officially recognised as one of our five a day.
What would you have for a death row meal?
Cold beer, a proper Japanese smorgasbord to start, rare seared tuna steak for main. If it’s my last meal it’s got to be cheese over a sweet for me, the smellier the better.
What’s your favourite London restaurant?
Kricket at Brixton Pop. The dishes those guys are serving up are some of the very best in London. Their cocktails aren’t too shabby either. I recommend it on a regular basis to anyone and everyone who’s listening.