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Jan 15, 2011 03:29 AM

Maltby Street saturday shops, Bermondsey/Southwark, London

• Cheese stall (102 Druid Street)
Thin soft oatcakes, patched with browned and crispy spots, wonderful oaty flavour, filled like a crepe with slightly oozy melted cheese, each bite finished with the sharp shearing of sweet little red onion bits. Wonderful stuff, and a reasonable rival to the cheese sandwich from Kappacaesin.

• Ham and Cheese (98 Druid Street/1 Rope Walk)
Sweet, salty pork veil of rosy parma ham. Nutty, savoury, aged parmesan. Rich creamy flavour in the mozzarella, with a gorgeous dense spongy/curdy texture.

• La Grotta Ices (next to Monmouth on 34 Maltby Street)
Pleasantly rich chocolate flavour from molten the chocolate stirred into marmalade ice cream. Cooled, it becomes fudgy in texture, mingled with the supporting ice cream that carried intensely flavoured strands of orange, sweet and citrusy, both chocolate and marmalade combining synergistically, and nicely offset by the more neutral flavoured cream.

• St Johns Bakery (72 Druid Street)
Vanilla cream filled donuts (slightly yeasty, nicely spongy most of the time) are a natural accompaniment to the filter coffee at Monmouth (not cheap at £2, but worth the occasional treat). I think their bread while hefty and rustic, but is expensive compared to other equally good or better bakeries like Tetote or even the Poilane loaves that they share a shelf with at Neals Yard in Borough Market.

Some discussion of St Johns Bakery here:

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  1. Thanks for the reviews. I keep meaning to go there. I wonder if the oatcakes are from Neal's Yard as I know they sell them. Did you happen to notice whether or not they sell them separately to take home? Years ago I had a Staffordshire house mate and she used to bring the oatcakes back to London frequently. Grilled with cheese is how she taught me to eat them. I believe they are a dying art up there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cathodetube

      Sorry, don't have the answers to your questions; will ask the next time I pop in there.

    2. Great reviews. Is anything open on a Sunday, do you (anyone) know?

      2 Replies
        1. re: t_g

          A website, who'd have thought? Thanks! Guess it'll be BV for me on Sunday morning, Maltby next weekend! It's great having the lie-in-loving bf out of town for a while...

      1. How long does it take to walk from the Borough Market to the Maltby/Druid Street area? Five minutes? Ten minutes?

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidT

          Just over 10 minutes I'd say, depending on your walking speed.

          I had a beer at the brewery today, nice spot, fun atmosphere, though both the beers we tried were a little on the bitter side for my personal taste.

        2. • Smoked Salmon stall
          Excellent smoked salmon - very lightly smoked, the fish very supple and tender, with good flavour. Available on a slice of bread with a touch of dill and sour cream.

          • Monty's Deli
          OK-ish, but nothing fantastic. Mentioned their pastrami sandwich and matzoh ball soup previously:

          • Jose
          Same tortilla as the version at the nearby tapas place, which I like.

          • Sorbitium Ices
          Good ices, with finely shredded flakes of the ice and pleasant flavour. Evocative raspberry in the raspberry with mascarpone; nutty almond backed by a bit of fruit from sherry poached apricots was also enjoyable.

          • Little Bread Pedlar
          Flakey and moderately crispy ham and cheese roses - classic ham and cheese flavour combination -- salty, nutty, meaty, using ham from the nearby Ham & Cheese Co. Chocolate brioche is light, wispy with a good topping of bittersweet chocolate. Definitely one of the better pastry places of its kind in London.

          • Coleman Roasters
          A moderately sharp Brazilian filter coffee, a tiny bit of green and bitter finish. Perhaps slightly more complex than some that I've had from Monmouth, but not by much.

          • London Honey Co.
          Good chewy edges on the honeycomb, a lovely sweet-sour combination between honey and rich yogurt.

          • Ice Cream Union
          A pretty good rum and raisin, slightly boozy, the ice cream on the soft side.

          P.S. the Monmouth shop on Maltby Street is closed. Sign says that they're looking for another location.

          1. Noticed that La Grotta Ices has moved from its previous spot just outside Monmouth Coffee to the Bermondsey Spa area next to the London Honey Co.

            There's a newish ice cream stand, Eden or something to that effect; the chocolate was pretty ordinary.

            Enjoyed the jamon iberico from a stand next to Jose. Pleasant slices of ruby ham streaked with white. Firm but tender, sweet, salty savoury, with a slight coat of oiliness, good flavour, and a reasonable amount and quality for £10.