Can there be anyone who writes about food in London who hasn’t devoted a post to Borough Market? I don’t usually like to follow the herd but since I’ve been confined to SE1 for an age doing my citizenly duty I felt I had to share my experience. Borough Market is a (ugh) ‘foodie heaven’ of sorts but good luck on getting by on your £6 food allowance from Her Maj’s Court Service.
Some of the stalls I could identify from the BM website but others you’ll just have to rely on the photo to work out who they are.
Often the shortest queue in the row (not that you’d think so from the above photo) and in the upper echelon of taste. Pasta, lentils, chick peas, chilli sauce and crunchy onions – suitable for veggie/vegans and excellent value. Recommended.
Yama hama!! Went there three times it was so good. Me like gumbo.
Oh I do like Turkish Coffee, it’s so civilised. And doesn’t make you into a twitchy, sweaty lump after two servings. This coffee was as good as any you’d get on Green Lanes, as was the lokum (of the lemon variety, I’ll be back for more of that when I need cheering up). Shame they don’t have suçuk though. Sat and supped while doing the crossword as the rain bounced off the roof. Made me wish I’d gone to Istanbul more before Erdogan got in.
Be warned, it’s not open every day.
Had a monster chat with the guy about his business model which is to import coffee from co-operatives in Colombia. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, he wants to do a PhD in ethical business. All power to his elbow. Having been sat watching lawyers for 6 weeks I know what I’d rather do. The coffee is excellent btw whether you buy from the stall or go home and make it yourself. Which reminds me I ought to restock on beans before I finish jury service.
Flat cap guy (who sounds like he’s from Hartlepool) brightens up any day and is so cheerful he wouldn’t even join in trash-talking Starb*cks. Outstanding coffee prepared efficiently. The stall to go to if you want a quick fix of the good stuff.
Perfect pre-5-a-side food. Not too much heat, generous chunks of meat in a tasty sauce and on a hefty bed of rice. And less than a fiver. Wolfed down while stood by the bins.
Hot chorizo in a good bread with two slithers of slimy-as-I-like-it pepper. V good if a little overpriced. Ate it while sat on the floor watching the world go by.
Disappointing gristly lumps of lamb in a dry roll with negligible vegetable input. Until I loaded it with ferocious mustard, whose heat at least took my mind off what a chore it would be to unclog my teethjoints before I could face society again.
Laksa. Sour and hot with a lot of floaty things. Not the most elegant to eat but packed full of flavour and made me happy.
Southwark Cathedral Refectory
Strictly speaking not part of Borough Market (in fact since last I visited the area they now have a policy of locking the gates of the grounds to Market eaters) but in the vicinity and paid for up front. Well, if you’re looking for a quick lunch this ain’t the place to come. Obstacles to a 40-minute eating window are as follows:-
- Going elbow to elbow with with the time rich in order to get some grub. I like senior citizens, in fact I’m planning on becoming one myself one day. But when I do I hope that I’ll still be able to make a decision about what I’d like to eat without taking Trav, Mike and Tariq’s opinion about it first before deciding that I’ll just have a cup of tea and wait till later.
- Servers to whom the question, ‘How many sides can I have with the chicken?’ appears to be one of the most impenetrable mysteries of the universe. I still don’t know the answer and resorted to pointing at things.
- Limited till skills. Monkeys jabbing randomly with sticks could have done it more accurately and within the time it takes to boil a mild temper.
For £5 you get hummus, hot lentils and the best borek I’ve ever had. Flaky pastry, oozy cheese and spinach. All topped off with a surprisingly fiery chilli dust. Ideal for veggies.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).