As the end of the year creeps up on us and we head to Costa Rica to go and cook among the trees and the birds and the yogis in just five days, we can’t help but look back at the last twelve months and all that has happened with Rainbo, and how it all began: with a banged up old truck and a hankering for crunch, colour and freedom.
Sometimes we look at the van and can’t believe where it has taken us – both geographically and experientially. This time last year we were heading off to Nepal to visit the charity and meet the kids, and since then we have got fifteen up and out of domestic labour and back to school, with more to follow. We could never have imagined that from quitting the office and following the bright shiny gyoza path, all this would have been possible too. And it’s our hungry customers to thank.
Every trader’s peak few months, the summer was so crazy we have barely made up the sleep. Wilderness was a massive highlight, and to the determined dude who ordered some fifty five gyoza over the two days, you know who you are and we continually salute you.
Street Feast in Haggerston, then Dalston, was a phenomenon all its own and we will never quite recover from seeing so many hungry people lining up at the hatch in the rain, propelled by the passion and creativity of Dom and his team. Keeping up with the hunger, orders rolling and tongs flying, staff panting, salad all over the place, was amazing and what a summer it turned out to be.
And over at Kerb we have made so many good friends and feeding the regular faces is what it is all about. In a life so itinerant and where every day is full of the new, the friendly faces who know the deal and become more than just a customer are what keeps us sane and rooted. We also had unthinkable fun at Maida Hill and Granary Square with the gospel choir and our favourite traders – as well as guest spots at our beloved Brockley – showing london what meandering Saturday mornings should be about.
There is one guy who has changed the year for us and without whom we could probably not have survived the summer. He of many tattoos and a beard to die for – the one and only Oli Baba – will be leaving us next year to bring his own love-filled food to London’s streets. He has rolled and griddled tens of thousands of gyoza and stayed cool, calm and collected in a hotbox of 47 degrees. Oli, the Rainbo family will be very sad to see you go, and we will miss you very much.
The good news is: you can catch him, us and some sizzling gyoza at Night Tales until Sunday, so come show us some love as we wind up an amazing year.