Markets are “in” right now and Monday mornings in many a workplace are spent discussing which trendy market you visited at the weekend. Of course Borough is a firm favourite. Situated in the middle of this bustling spot, Elliot’s Cafe is cashing in on the cool with a laid-back vibe and diverse ingredients. After hearing lots of good things about the place, we headed down on a Friday evening to hang out with the hip crowd and soak in the atmosphere.
For me, Elliot’s Cafe Borough Market feels really “old school London” on the approach. A simple, blue signage and striped awnings pleasingly made me feel as though I had jumped back in time and really added to the market feel. Welcoming and cosy-looking, it’s the kind of spot you can imagine going to for lunch and finding you’re still there at closing time. As we entered a lovely waiter greeted us, making us feel really welcome and showed us to our table, nestled in beside the rustic, light brick walls and near enough the windows that we could watch the comings and goings of the market outside.
I’m going to tell you about all the food I ate, however, it’s important to note that the dishes change regularly (they’re focused on only serving the best ingredients here), so don’t head in demanding the same delicious dishes I had.
After picking some lovely wine, we settled down to take a peek at the menu. As someone who is bed-ridden for days after a couple of glasses of wine, I was happy to see the wine list is comprised completely of all-natural wines from artisan growers. (Less “stuff” in the wine tends to lead to a less “stuffy” head the next day.)
Our food arrived in super-quick time and the small plates that we’d ordered all looked like works of art. We’re both big seafood fans and the Cornish mussels with corn, bacon, and tarragon were perfectly fresh and went fantastically with my delicious glass of white wine. We’d also spotted oysters on the menu and they were obviously a must. It was clear from this dish that there’s an abundance of fresh produce near Elliot’s Cafe, Borough Market being right on the doorstep is an obvious plus.
The oysters tasted as though they’d jumped from the water onto our plates and I almost wished that we’d ordered triple the amount we did. However, we absolutely loved the cheese puffs made with Isle of Mull cheddar; possibly the most creamy, cheesy thing I’d ever eaten, and baby artichokes, chickpeas, and smoked tomato were the perfect ending after a belly-full of rich foods.
There were a selection of really great-looking desserts on offer at Elliot’s Cafe but we actually decided to just settle back and enjoy some of the wines that the staff recommended. Everyone who works here has a love of natural wines and this really comes across in the obvious knowledge when they recommend a glass or bottle. I get the feeling there’s a lot of staff tastings happen at Elliot’s Cafe, Borough Market and I admit to being more than a little jealous. A really nice Beaujolais perfectly rounded off the meal and made the perfect companion to people-watching the market outside.
12 Stoney St, London SE1 9AD