London is also famous for their food markets; Borough Market, Portobello Market, Camden Lock Market, Brick Lane Market and so on. Some sell food (meat, vegetables, cheese etc.) from local farms, and some are specialized in street food, where you can sit down for lunch or late morning snack. Some are a combination of the two plus other goods such as fashion, local specialties from around the world. When I lived in London, I loved going to these markets on a weekend morning to have breakfast and most probably to buy local produced meat and vegetables. They were not necessary the cheapest markets, quite on the contrary, but to spend more for the freshest food was always well worth it.
We were planning to have lunch at what was once one of my favorites markets, Borough Market. However, we were told that there was another smaller, not so crowed (it was very crowed – which proofs it popularity!) food market which was not so far from Borough Market, in Bermondsey near to Tower Bridge. As this market was new to me, we decided to give it a try.
The Maltby Street Ropewalk Market was full of different food vendors, from Mexican Taco, salted beef sandwiches, grilled oysters, smoked fishes, pulled pork burgers to traditional Scotch eggs, cheeses and pies – and even German Bratwurst. Every vendor was happy and busy cooking for their customers, the uplifting atmosphere made you feel like you would want to go back there as often as you can!
Our little one opted for a waffle topped with the sweet and juicy strawberries with extra icing sugar for her lunch(!) My husband and I couldn’t make up our minds as the option were too many, so we decided to sit inside of ‘St John Bakery Room‘ – the stand alone bakery from the famous St John restaurant in London Clerkenwell. The bakery also served light lunch accompanied by their own-baked bread.
I ordered the Ox tongue, green bean and pickled walnut on their lunch menu, and my husband had the Pickled Mackerel, potato and spinach. Both of our lunches were exceptionally well made; the thinly sliced ox tongue was succulent but still remained a bite, the green beans were cooked till al dente and slightly dressed with Balsamic vinegar, capers, very finely sliced onion and watercress. The saltiness from the ox tongue and the very subtle sourness from the pickled walnut, all these opposite flavors worked in harmony together. My husband especially enjoyed the pickled mackerel as the fish was so fresh you could still taste the sea. It was firm with a ‘just right’ saltiness. Thinly sliced carrots were a fine crunchy addition to the whole dish and the soft bite of the new potatoes with capers, onions, all coated with a honey mustard lemon dressing was a super tasty dish and left a satisfied memory to the taste buds (and the minds as well). A home-made madeleine was brought over to our daughter as a gift by one of the friendly waiters. So everybody was happy and it was a very good lunch indeed!