Monday, 23 July 2012

maltby street revisited

the rope walk, maltby street market
a week of summer has come to britain. in celebration o, s and i made our way to maltby street market, that collective of food traders that sees itself removed from the now more commercial borough market. the landscape is distinctly altered from my last trip in january. the shard looms as a constant both near and afar and borough market has experienced a facelift of steel and glass.

the rope walk, maltby street market
over on maltby street the food traders who have taken over the railway arches remain self-assured in their capacity to draw crowds and it is definitely busier than before. the long trestle tables at bea’s diner are fully occupied but sadly monmouth is shut. the boys line their hunger with st. john’s doughnuts, enough to make a recce. o’s lips are rimmed with sugar like that on a cocktail glass.

our first savoury stop is for empanadas. these ones are colombian and are distinct from the spanish and latin american kind as the crust is made from corn meal. the gently crisped fried shell of corn meal is stuffed with a nursery like mash of beef and potato. a fiery red salsa adds just the right heat.

s and i have thick slices of norwegian smoked salmon crowned with crème fraiche and a length of chive. hansen and lydersen were not at maltby street when i was here last and are a very welcome addition. it is a real pleasure watching the salmon being pin-boned and hand filleted. so good was the salmon that the open textured bread seemed a mere vehicle, a bit like the greaseproof paper that we use to hold the canapés. o’s choice of dumplings from speckmobile was less successful although its bed of sauerkraut was worthy of mention.

hansen and lydersen
smoked salmon being pin-boned
the reuben from monty’s deli had somewhat of a celebrity status as o was asked time and again by passer-bys where it had come from. over generous layers of home smoked pastrami lacquered with russian sauce and mustard was served on caraway bread. the whole assemblage was very lightly toasted, the weight of the toaster compacting the reuben although barely enough to mouth size. this is a many napkin affair reuben that is hard to eat in a dignified manner. while we struggled to eat without messing ourselves the man sitting next to us grunted and moaned to himself. clearly his weiner schnitzel was the foodgasm kind.

pastrami carving at monty's deli
sauerkraut for the reuben
rueben in the making
the man with the wiener schnitzel foodgasm
sorbitium ices gave us fruit ice creams that were the essence of summer in a scoop. o’s peach and raspberry melba is sweet peach made piquant with thick ripples of raspberry. it's a marriage of cream and sorbet. my apricot is creamy with a strong note of fruity caramel. it is a frozen version of my mama’s apricot pudding made to collette rossant’s recipe. i could not help but ask where the apricots came from as the ones i have bought in london so far have been anaemic. they were french…

peach melba
peach raspberry melba and apricot ice cream
since the weather was nice and we were well fuelled i coaxed the boys into a walk along the river. s needed his monmouth fix and since the queues at the one in borough market were formidable we just walked all the way to covent garden. i had an iced drip coffee on s’ recommendation. it is thinner and lighter than an ice latte and therefore much more enjoyable. it will definitely be my choice of iced coffee for the summer. 

follow the news on who's who and what's happening at maltby street here. sorbitium ices also trade at eat street and other markets around london. check their website for more details. 

1 comment:

  1. gosh everythign looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous. have already heard so much about maltby street, but just never had to chance to go because of my work at the farmer's market on sat mornings :(