The UnProfessional Chef

A girl's commentary on food, cooking and all things delicious!

Location: Singapore

A closet food critic and wannabe chef who loves the art of cooking and enjoying great cuisine in the company of great friends!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Feast for All Senses

Within literally hours in London, we discovered this gem, this most exhilarating of all our food experiences on this trip – Borough Market, where were you all these years? I was stumped beyond belief as to how I could have missed this paradise of the freshest organic fruit and vegetable produce, cornucopia of cheeses and bread, and haven of fresh and smoked meats despite having lived in the UK for three years during my university days, and repeated visits for the past couple of years. I must thank, very very gratefully indeed, Cindy from Food Migration, for blogging about this place on her own recent visit and inspiring me to hunt down this little market tucked into a corner close to London Bridge tube station.

Borough Market

Borough Market was certainly a feast for all our senses. Our noses were invaded by the glorious cooking smells of the freshest organically-reared meats ranging from venison burgers to ostrich kebabs. Straight out of the oven breads, tarts and other delectable goodies competed with the mountain of cheeses, huge slabs of Echire butter, vegetables so fresh the brussel sprouts were still on their stems, and homey freshly-squeezed juices for our attention. I was like a kid in the proverbial candy store and simply did not know where to begin looking and more importantly, tasting.

Brussel Sprouts - still on stem!!

Since we’d arrived in London in the wee hours of the morning, we decided to have both breakfast and lunch there – we fully intended to eat our way through the market, either substantially or grazing and nibbling on the free samples offered. We started with a roast pork loin sandwich with stuffing and applesauce – pretty satisfying, but turned out to be the weakest performer in the show that was our meal. This was followed by the best cheese in Britain, whose name I didn’t record in my enthusiasm to eat it, which tasted like a subtle goat’s cheese and was delicious. We moved on to parma ham so thinly sliced and delicately flavoured which in no way resembled the tough pieces of rubber we usually get served back home. It was then time for a coffee break at Monmouth Coffee Company – the aroma alone was worth the 1.80 quid for the takeaway cup.

Huge leg of Parma Ham

Rested, we resumed our eating marathon. We discovered Bergblumenkäse, a mildy-hard Swiss cheese that had been wrapped in meadow grass to mature - it was absolutely sublime and tasted of Alpine flowers, making me wish I could be Heidi for a few months in order to live on mountains and on this cheese. Mr UnProfessional Chef, needing another ration of meat, moved on to a venison burger from the West Country. Despite being pretty stuffed by this time, the burger was so juicy and tasty that we scarfed it down in record time. Another beverage break was required at this point and was more than adequately filled by freshly-pressed apple juice so flavourful we could taste that particular apple’s complexity and aroma.

Cheese Alps

It was then time for dessert. I selected a wonderful, caramelly pecan tart, tasted black dried strawberries, bought a loaf of warm walnut bread, and sampled (and bought) handmade chocolate truffles flavoured uniquely by orange and cardammon, honey and ginger etc.

Dark Sugar handmade truffles

That’s not all folks – we loved it so much, we decided to come back on our last day in London to bring some of the lovely goodness of the market home. We visited all our favourite stores for the cheeses and parma ham, adding on a Gruyère cheese from the same Swiss cheese stall, and an excellently tart lemon crunch cake from Konditer and Cook. It being lunch time, we joined the queue for freshly-grilled chorizo sandwiches from Brindisa. These were simply out of this world – the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. Hot, crisp, juicy chorizo were embraced by BBQ grilled bread buns, peppery fresh rocket leaves and spicy piquillo peppers. This was finished with a generous dosing of olive oil. Best of all, despite the queue, we didn’t have to wait long – the staff were friendly and efficient, doling out the sandwiches to the hungry masses speedily. I’m still dreaming about those sandwiches long after touching down in Singapore.

Brindisa's smoking chorizo sandwiches

Borough Market is truly a moveable feast for the senses and was a fantastic way to start and end our vacation.

Borough Market
Between Borough High Street and Bedale Street, Winchester Walk and Stoney Street
London SE1
Fri: 12 noon – 6 pm
Sat: 9 am – 4 pm

Monmouth Coffee Company
2 Park Street
Borough Market
London SE1
Mon – Fri: 7.30 am – 6 pm
Sat: 7.30 am – 5 pm

Konditor and Cook
10 Stoney Street
Borough Market
London SE1
(No opening times stated)


Blogger cindym said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I love those brussels sprouts still on stem...

6:48 PM  
Blogger The UnProfessional Chef said...

It was wonderful - we ate far far too much :)
I couldn't find the raclette store though!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Manne said...

You captured it very well. :) Like you I too am completely and madly in love with Borough Market. Unlike you I have the privilege to live a brisk 15 minute walk away. ;)

I have collected some pictures from Borough in my flickr account.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real pleased that you love Borough Market. My office over looks the market from Stoney Street. I love this market too and the pics are good.

Raclette man has now moved on to pastures new but no-one seems to know where this is... But you must try the Posh Bangers in a Roll just next door to the Market Porter.

Keep loving the market

12:12 AM  

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