The Globe Tavern Restaurant, Borough Market

The entrance to The Globe Tavern looks like any Borough boozer; noisy and bustling with media, legal, and creative types.

Inside the only indication toward the restaurant is underneath a chalked “toilet” sign. We hope some people get lost on the way and end up in the dining room and what a delicious detour that would be.

The Globe Tavern restaurant is managed by Michael. He waits on the room like you were in his own home but it turns out we are as his flat is above the restaurant*. The restaurant is horseshoe-shaped and split into two dining rooms both wrapped with windows that look down onto Borough Market. In the far room a banquette takes one side and a few tables the other. In the near room the main focus is towards the missing wall that splays open the kitchen in all its shiny, prepping, glory.

Open kitchens, despite the nature of them being open, often feel very closed yet Head Chef Luke Hawkins and his team step beyond the invisible wall and actively work the room. They serve the bread and the glorious brown butter butter. Brown Butter Butter. Brown butter mixed in equal parts with butter. Double butter. What a perfect way to start an evening. Hawkins also brings around the Special (often a larger cut from supplier downstairs in the market) and says they “actively speak to each table at least once”. This interaction releases the pressure cooker and the room is open, relaxed, hospitable. Have a question about the dish? How did you make this sauce? Where does the lamb come from? Catch their eye and if they don’t shout the answer from behind the pass (in the nicest possible way)  they wander over and explain at your table.

Chef Luke Hawkins

You could be in a country pub. You could be in a neighbourhood restaurant. Actually you are five minutes walk from The Shard and sitting above 1002 years of trading history with many more thousands of people passing by every day.

And the food, well, similarly neighbourhood. If you were located within a market why wouldn’t you wander our of your door and pick the brightest and best produce? It seems logical to most however sadly not always put in practice; GT has witnessed beautiful fresh Scottish lobsters leave Loch Inver for France while Roux’s Inver Lodge Hotel looks down from the hill and orders theirs from Billingsgate.

Thankfully at The Globe Tavern the menu reads like a local shopping list with ingredients that utterly shine and what the menu doesn’t say translates to much much more.

Take the “Beef, Apple, Scallop, Broccoli” dish. The beef is from half a Dexter from Swaledale butchers in Yorkshire that Hawkins and his team butcher themselves and the scallop roe is made from hand dived Dorset scallops then dehydrated.

“Asparagus, Smoked Egg Yolk, Pickled Spring Onion, Ramson Flower” is asparagus from Portwood Farm in Norfolk, via Turnips in the market, and the accompanying egg yolk is cooked for two hours at 65 degrees then smoked with Earl Grey.

Strawberries? Raspberries? Nothing less than Gariguette and French Tulameen.

More dishes such as “Crab, Clementine, Peanut, Chicory”, “Lamb, Cockles, Jersey Royals, Sea Purslane” and “Sea Bass, Tomato, Red Pepper, Nduja, Black Rice” offer the same simple listing with complex results like our lovely Brown Butter Butter.

When it’s this good who wouldn’t double up?

Mains Dish

Dessert

Cost of a 3 course dinner and bottle of wine:
£43 per person

Food:
9 out of 10 – picked straight from the market you can’t get more seasonal and fresh

Atmosphere:
8 out of 10 – homely, informal, welcoming and lively although perhaps a little stark for some. Ditch the paper napkins Michael!

Service:
7 out of 10 – friendly greeting and the whole team were amiable with their guests including the Chef and brigade

Overall:
7 out of 10 – excellent food and service although the restaurant is rather hidden and the toilets leave a lot to be desired

Summary in seven:
Brilliant market kitchen that deserves more customers

Details:
8 Bedale Street,
London,
SE1 9AL

Sunday/Monday: 12:00 – 19:00
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: 12:00 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 21:30
Saturday: 12:00 – 21:30

Website: theglobeboroughmarket.com
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7407 0043
Email: hello@theglobeboroughmarket.com

*The flat above the restaurant also belonged to “Bridget Jones”. Michael has not started any official tours as yet although the mention of this on The Globe Tavern’s new website could possibly increase demand. Watch this space!

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The Icelandic Pantry at Borough Market, 7-10 Oct

Ever wondered what kind of cuisine Iceland has to offer? I was pleased to preview ‘The Icelandic Pantry’ at Borough Market; an Icelandic invasion which is bringing the best of Iceland’s cuisine to London.

This is the very first time Borough Market has hosted an Icelandic guest so it will be a unique opportunity to speak with and purchase directly from the Icelandic producers from Reykjavik’s largest farmers market. I can assure you they are all very pleasant and speak excellent English so you won’t need an Icelandic phrasebook to get involved!

According to the producers we met, what makes Iceland a bit different is that their food and production methods are shaped by a harsh climate which makes Icelandic food traditions rather inspirational. There was plenty of evidence of this on the evening from blueberry-cured Lamb to artisan pastries, the world’s only geothermally produced sea salt to an eco-whey drink blended with wild Iceland moss and Arctic thyme.

Iceland’s different regions are represented with organic lambs fed on Angelica to give it a special flavour from West Iceland, hot-smoked mackerel from the East and artisan rhubarb brittle from South Iceland. Some foods also give an insight into Iceland’s rich history, such as a special flatbread dating from the settlement in the 9th century.

Borough Market’s David Matchett describes the occasion as such: “The Icelandic Pantry event is an opportunity for the city’s food lovers to sample and learn about Icelandic cuisine, as well as a chance for local and small scale producers from the country to showcase and talk about what’s special about what they eat to a new UK audience. Icelandic people are among the healthiest on earth and are also one of the most resourceful, living in a harsh and unforgiving environment. They also have a focus on sustainability, which is a way of life rather than an aspiration, so as a market we have a lot of shared values and are excited to welcome them here.”

Icelandic Pantry Dishes

Two Icelandic Dishes: Beautiful Rich Salmon & Surprisingly Good Barley Canape

To whet your appetite, here are the artisan producers who are taking part:

OmNom – Bean to Bar chocolate producers. I have tried these already from the excellent Cocoa Runners and they make some of the very best chocolate money can buy. Well worth picking up a few bars.

Saltverk – The world’s only geothermally produced sea salt. A very impressive feat and truly eco-friendly as a machine free business.

Sandholt Artisan Bakery – traditional pastry (Kleinur) and rye bread.

Modir Jord – Organic farmers from the East with barley products and lactofermented root vegetables. Organic vegetable-based products and cereals, crispbread, jams, chutneys and more. I would never have guessed simple barley on a cracker could be quite so tasty.

Burid – Angelica products: jelly, chutney, jam and tea all made from the plant.

Ytri Fagridalur – Fresh Organic lamb which has grazed on Angelica Archangelica. I really enjoyed this lamb which has a distinctive taste.

Seglbudir – Fresh lamb and cured lamb, apparently the first Icelandic farm to set up production directly from their farm.

Solsker – Omar a giant Icelandic fisherman is bringing smoked and hot smoked Arctic char, mackerel and smoked cod roe to Borough Market.

Islandus Kruss – Whey soft drink with hand picked berries and wild herbs. This was a delicious burst of berries well worth trying.

Rabarbia – Rhubarb caramels and other rhubarb goodies. Sadly we missed these.

Bjarteyjarsandur – Award winning blueberry cured lamb. This was one of the stand out products and definitely worth buying at Borough Market.

Ican – Arctic Fois Gras, fresh cod liver smoked with beech. We all really enjoyed this served on a cracker, makes a great canape.

Osnes – herring with different marinades, including mustard and curry.

If you fancy exploring some interesting new culinary delicacies I heartily recommend you take a visit to Borough Market by the 10th of October.

Icelandic Seaweed

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