One year and 8,919 packets of life-saving food later, Feed Hot Dog Co. — a local favourite at the Love Southsea Markets — has switched from a portable cart to a brick-and-mortar kitchen: the newly-named Need Street Food.
Since 2016, Feed Hot Dog Co. founder Peter Hunt and his friends have been funding shipments of thousands of nutrient-rich packets of food to malnourished children in Syria and Yemen by selling gourmet hot dogs at street markets and festivals.
Dropping the hot dog-focused name and moving to a permanent kitchen makes exploring a wider menu of street food a possibility, and takes the fundraising aspect of Feed Hot Dog Co. — now Need Street Food — to a whole new level.
Need Street Food is borne of a six-month kitchen residency with The Merchant House, a new craft ale bar sited on Highland Road in Southsea, where the Ice Bar was once located.
Diners have been enjoying unique takes on classic street food, from double-stacked waffle cut-stuffed burgers and hot sauce-smothered chicken to rosemary salted fries and, of course, hot dogs from the Feed days. Need’s menu caters for vegetarians and vegans, too. Peter calls their new vegan chicken burger “the best guilt-free comfort food going.”
Need has also introduced the Sunday Roast Club, giving visitors the chance to order the signature British weekend dish in advance and offering a break from the hectic Sunday preparations back at home.
Every order funds packets of life-saving ‘Plumpy’Nut’ food for children in need, delivered by Need’s charity partner Plump’d, with whom Feed Hot Dog Co. previously shipped 8,919 packets.
Peter said: “We’re incredibly excited to be laying down roots in The Merchant House. Our menu is expanding, our brand is evolving, and we’re continuing to support the cause we care so deeply about. Loyal customers from the days of Feed Hot Dog Co. have been getting as excited us! The support and anticipation is already flooding in, and we couldn’t be happier.
“I started Feed Hot Dog Co. in 2016 by combining the idea to use street food inspired from my travels with my desire to help children suffering with severe acute malnutrition. To see that idea expanding to a full-blown restaurant and kitchen space in just two years is pure brilliance. I’m honoured.
“To all my friends who helped me sell hot dogs in every kind of weather, thank you. And endless gratitude to everyone who bought a hot dog or supported us on social media. Hope to see you at Need!”
Need Street Food is open from 5:00pm to 9:00pm on Mondays to Thursdays, 3:00pm to 9:00pm on Fridays,12:00pm noon to 9:00pm on Saturdays, and noon ‘til all the Sunday roasts are sold out on Sundays.