Monday, 21 January 2013

Borough Market - London

(Guest Post! - by @SGVekNZ)

When you've been living in Asia for awhile, you just don't realise how much you've missed some foods from the Western world. Sure you can buy some of it over here in Singapore but it usually comes at a price; a very steep one. 

So when we were prepping for our trip to London, we asked a few people where was the place to go if we wanted to get a glimpse and smell of very desirable foods. The answer that came up was always Borough Market. That was enough, it had to be on the list!

And so the day finally came, such is the reputation of the place that even the friends that we were staying with wanted to go along. 

Borough Market is actually very easy to get to. We took the tube and got off at London Bridge. From there it was a short walk. 

As we walked along we knew we were getting close to the Markets. There was a buzz that simply grew and grew until; BAM, the Market hits you as you round the corner. The crowd instantly grows more dense and your ears are filled with the murmurings of a shopping crowd. Above the din of the shoppers though, the stall keepers can be heard quite clearly as they shout out their wares; the ones vocally loud enough to out compete their neighbours anyway. 

Simply put, Borough Market is AH-MAZE-ZING!

Only the beginning - we're about to approach and blend in with the crowd ahead

There is such variety at the market, the smell, the sights and the colours. Having missed Western food at its best, every step, every corner bought a sense of happiness when you recognised something. 

There were a lot of sights so lets take a mini tour :)
First up; Paella, this was carb heaven. Cooked and simmering in large 1 metre sized Woks; this smelt amazing.

Seafood Paella
The Seafood was fresh and perfect with the wedges of Lemon. You could tell it was popular as they had 3 of these large Woks going at once, waiting to feed the hungry shoppers. 

With the weather also getting colder, what could be more perfect than hot Soup? A great variety from Pumpkin to Potato and all of the other great flavours. The Soup is made fresh as well so no wonder many could be seen clutching a cup of Soup and warming their hands. When they say hot, it IS hot, with a very warm bellow of steam coming from the Soup - bliss!

Soup, Soup, Soup, wonderful Soup

Next up was a stall where I found what I was looking for, something so simple but had the power to quench my thirst for meat. That of course, is the humble Bacon Butty.

How can something this simple be SO GOOD

This thing was Amaze Balls; it was salty and went so well with the Cheese, the Pickles and the small amount of Salad. Bacon was perfect; having been cooked on a very hot cast iron sheet, it was crispy, smokey and very very tasty. I gobbled this down very quickly, just in time to round the corner and find..........

CHEESE! For those living in Singapore; we all know how much this stuff can cost, but right now in front of me was a load of it!

For a brief moment, it looked like the best job in the World - cutting Cheese :)

These weren't your "Baby" Cheeses either but BIG round blocks of it. There were stalls and stalls selling Cheese, all the varieties you could think of. The chance to sample and taste them was ever present as the staff kept cutting and placing more morsels onto the tasting dishes.

And staying with Cheese, close by was a Sandwich shop that sold only Cheese Sandwiches. It's safe to say that they are VERY generous with the filling. Check it out below......

Extra cheese with that Sir?

So far it has all been savory. A market wouldn't be complete if there weren't any sweets around. Again very spoilt for choice.

Another highlight was the Chocolate Brownies, every Chocco Bicky fan would go nuts if they saw the Pyramids of the stuff piled high. 

Different type of Egyptian Architecture - Chocky Brownie style

You did have to shop around a bit as many were offering this desirable morsel of Chocolate goodness. It was fun tasting the offerings from different stalls to find the one that was the most moist and had just the right amount of Chocolate in it. A tough job, but someone had to do it........

And staying with sweets, there are also the Bakery stalls. So many treats that the tables should've literally buckled from the number of calories :P

One stall caught my eye; it had almost everything you could think of, Apple slices, Macarons, Cookies, Buns, Cakes, Everything!

Oh man; drool, spot the Eclairs as well

There is simply so much food here that it'll be impossible to write about everything; so to round off this mini tour, a quick fire Photo round!

Fresh Seafood - the smoked stuff was awesome
Glorious fresh bread - something I miss in Singapore
Amazing Deli style goods - behold the colours

Plenty of fantastic cold cut meats - carved for you on the spot

If you're in London, Borough Market is a must visit. It has got everything; fresh produce, Meats, Seafood, baked goods, sweets and drinks. There is a constant buzz around the place and the sights and smells will stimulate all your senses. The best one to stimulate would have to be your taste buds :)

Whether you're a Foodie or not this place will have something for everyone. I was completely blown away with the Bacon Butty........... brief interlude here - lets look at this Bad Boy again :P ........

Bacon Butty - Act 2
..... and then there were the Organic fresh Juices as well which I had. They were Amaze Balls.

Just make sure you don't have Breakfast before you go. You will be tempted by all the samples and get very full by just doing tastings alone. 

If you're planning on going to London, put Borough Market on your list. If you're living in London, go there next weekend :) I know I would.

Bon Appetit.
PS - Have a hang over from the night before? Plenty were there to cure it with great food :)


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