Tales From The Street: Breddos Tacos

By Laura Martin

Breddos Tacos make insanely good tacos. They've been a firm favourite since they popped up in their wooden shack in Netil House Market back in 2012 with their little discs topped with creative mouthfuls of joy. Started by pals Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney, call them what ever you want – just don't call them authentic Mexican. “Contrary to what anyone thinks, we don't claim to be authentic Mexican,” Nud says. “I lived in Mexico for a while and was surfing and obviously eating a lot of the food out there but none of our recipes are Mexican recipes. The ingredients are, but the idea behind Breddos was to use tacos as edible plates, to have these little things that you can put anything on top of that would be small but ultimately delicious. So rather than going to a burger place, having a burger and you're full, our concept was that you could get three different things and delightful fill your stomach up with different flavours.”

The idea came about when Nud and Chris wanted an outlet from their day jobs. Nud says: “It came from a need for me and Chris to do something creative with our time, to do something with our passion for food and also to do something to get out of the rat race, really. We'd lived in Hackney for 12 years or even longer and we'd seen the area grow and we were thinking about opportunities with food and what was missing, what we'd like to have on our doorstep and how we could achieve that.”

In a serendipitious turn, the Breddos bros spotted another street food favourite in a local market and it got them quickly on their way. Nud says: “We stumbled upon Netil Market in and we saw how there was one shack there, I think it was Ben from Lucky Chip who put his van there and we were like 'why don't we put a little taco shack there?' So we wrote this weird little email to Netil House saying we'd like to build a shack and before we knew it we were there one day building our shack and the next Saturday selling our tacos.”

Back in 2012, except for Wahaca and a few far-between places, London was suffering from a real lack of killer Mexican restaurants – something that the guys think has partly lead to their success, and the fact that they get so innovative with their tacos. Chris says: “Yeah, it was very much a case of a lack of good Mexican food and tacos. In Hackney especially.” Nud adds: “We've tried to distance ourselves from authentic Mexican food because quite often that's the food that gets a bad rap – that Tex-Mex thing. We're all over Mex. It's not even Mex sometimes! We've done bahn mi tacos, from Vietnam. Tonight we've got scallop and chorizo tacos on the menu, so the idea was always to take some flavours from some countries and let's use the taco as the base.”

Unsurprisingly, it worked and the word got round to Hackney's foodies who have turned up at the market eagerly from it's midday opening from the off. Chris says: “It was insane, really really good. We could never have anticipated anything quite like it, we were blown away from day one, we were there with queues going “wow, people really like tacos”.”

A residency at The Player bar in Soho followed next, as well as several stints at Street Feast and in April 2014 the ever-expanding gang moved into the Trip Space kitchen, by Haggerston station. Nud says: “The Player got sold so we decided to go to the Trip Space. We're here for at least six months – maybe longer. We've got something special here. We've got an amazing team and the venue is incredible. There's some really leftfield stuff going on in the dance studios next door and I think it also works well as a conceptual artistic space for us too.”

Both Nud and Chris say the most important thing they've learned from going from a shack to a residency is the leap in having to deal with bigger finances. Nud adds: “The most important thing we've learnt is to keep control of your costs. It's easier in a shack to say “OK, I've bought one tin of tomato and kilo of short ribs” where as here in Trip Space, it's completely different.”

And a big part of Breddos success Nud puts down to the pairing of him and Chris: “I think what's worked really well for us is that there's two of us. One of us – me – is really passionate about food and pushing what we can do with it. The other – Chris – is passionate about food and is really good with numbers and building stuff.”

Chris however, thinks it's down to Nud's obsession with food: “all he thinks about is food!” and he's not wrong. While he's not quite dreaming solely about food at night (yet) Nud explains: “I'm always hungry, so I'm always thinking about what I want to cook next. In nearly two years at the shack, we had a different special every week and never the same one.”

At that pace, we don't doubt Breddos have hundreds more creations up their sleeves to come...

 

Check out what taco toppings Breddos are playing around with today on their Twitter