“Subject: A new jewel of a food market discovery (I just had to share!)
> I discovered an amazing food market this morning which i just had to share with you both! ….. Maltby Street Market: Ropewalk in Bermondsey, approx 15 minute walk from Borough Market. It was magical and had some incredible stalls surrounded by art deco antique shops and quirky cafes. You can take a sneak peek here:
> Maybe we can go together sometime?”
From the moment this email popped up in my inbox I yearned to go. It took me quite a time to get there because it’s only open at weekends and I’m not often in London outside the working week. Maltby Street Market is open on Saturdays from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm and on Sundays from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm.
But when I finally did arrive this small, but perfectly formed, London market didn’t disappoint. Borough Market is a magnificent maze of alleyways, open squares, and covered aisles. Maltby Street, by contrast, is just one, simple and straight, street – it’s much more intimate and accessible.
In the slide show below you’ll see a quick visual tour of what we found, and below the slide show is a list of the best stalls, restaurants and shops we found with links to their websites.
Set up in 2013 by Tamas and fiancée Andrea whose philosophy is that:
“honey is like wine, it has a characteristic by the type of plant it’s been collected from, and the hard work and care the beekeeper invested in it. Therefore, all our honey has a great traceability back to the producer and its character always as it has been at the time it has been harvested.”
RAW Artisan Honey represents a selection of specialist producers. I tried a variety, but I like my honey bitter, so my preferred choice was the linden blossom honey.
Based in Finsbury Park, this company makes all kinds of cakes for events, including wedding cakes, and very creative celebration cakes.
The brainchild of Philip Morton, M-wine commissions winemakers from around the world to make the wine they’ve always dreamt of making. He offers wine tasting for two in the arches at Maltby market or even comes to your home for a party of six! His next commission is likely to be an English sparkling wine.
Finest Fayre specialise in a wide range of unexpected Scotch eggs – choose from classic, chorizo, black pudding, haddock, veggie….something for everyone.
Bad Brownie was set up in 2013 by chocoholics, Paz and Morag, when, baking their tempting treats in a tiny flat in leafy Richmond, they took their first batches of gourmet brownies to a South London market in Paz’s mum’s trusty (and rusty) Nissan Micra.
Success has meant they’ve been able to ditch their old spreadsheet jobs for further developing their quality and range – their version of Christmas cake was to die for.
Began in 2008 when Azadeh and Florian first came to Britain and asked where they could get a decent sausage. The answer was to import them themselves from their trusted butcher back in the Black Forest. Now they have three shops in London.
Maldon oysters are grown in re-established oyster beds (both growing native oysters and Gigas Pacific oysters) on the River Blackwater in Essex. The company is the first shellfish producer in the UK to be allowed to use ozone as part of its purification treatment. This reduces both shelf life and flavour whilst reducing the risk of a virus being carried.
The company also supplies mussels, cockles and clams.
Little Bird gin includes pink grapefruit, sweet orange peel and ginger among other ingredients to produce a citrusy flavour – good in a Gin Fizz or a Gimlet.
Their distinctive Miss Ginger logo is inspired by Alberto Vargas’ ‘Vargas Girls’, published originally in Esquire magazine in the early 20th century.
In 2008 Mark Dyer was helping with the olive harvest at his mother’s small holding in west Murcia in Spain. The resulting oil was outstanding and he was convinced that he could sell it to delis and other gourmet shops. He turned out to be right and since then, after extensive quality testing, he has sourced additional stock from Ace Agra producers.
Why is his oil sold in tins? “Mainly” he tells me, “to protect the oil from light, one of the three things that damage olive oil along with air and heat. Also because it’s much lighter than glass therefore more logistically environmentally friendly.”
It has a distinctive, peppery taste – wonderful.
Tozino is a tapas bar set in old railway arches. It takes its famed jamón out into the street where it’s carved straight from the bone. For more about Spanish jamón go to Is jamón ibérico de Bellota really the best?
The Cheese Truck sells the most superb cheese sandwiches. There’s a choice of: Keen’s cheddar, Oglefield and onion mix, optional bacon; Hampshire Rosary goats’ cheese, honey, walnut and rosemary butter; queso, Chihuahua, chorizo and jalapeño salsa; and Cropwell Bishop stilton bacon and pear chutney
Oli Baba claims to be ‘the original creator of halloumi fries’. They are certainly excellent, served with a yoghurt-based sauce, a bit of healthy green, and bejewelled with ruby-red pomegranate seeds. Well worth trying.
Grant Hawthorne is a South African chef whose peri peri anointed burgers are now enthusiastically consumed by visitors to Maltby Street market.
He explains that he originally got the recipe from a lady who had fled to Cape Town from the revolution in Mozambique, and since then he’s been carefully developing and improving the flavour. Peri peri (or piri piri) is a very hot chilli grown all over Africa, especially popular in Portuguese east africa – now Mozambique. Peri peri sauce also contains citrus, spices, garlic and oil.
Grant says, “the style of my peri peri is flavour then heat, followed by a lingering aftertaste and slight burn. It shouldn’t just burn you and that is the end of the endorphin rush! Too many hot sauces use vinegar as a base. My versions do not, as I believe it is all about the flavour).”
Maltby & Greek are specialist suppliers of Greek food and wine. In the picture below you can see that many of the stalls at Maltby Street market as placed inside the storerooms of the LASSCO architectural salvage yard, which is closed at the weekend.
Comptoir Gourmand is a traditional, artisan French patisserie set up by Sebastian Wind in 2005. Cakes and pastries use French butter and cheese. At their open air market stall in Maltby Street they also offer tartiflette, a hearty concoction from the French alps composed of potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions.
Love Fresh Vietnamese was founded in 2013 by Nam Nguyen offering fresh and homemade Vietnamese food – a good range comprising pancakes and prawns, grilled lemongrass chicken and Ma’s tofu.
This post is dedicated, with thanks, to Jacqueline Crocker