Market sell no-frills British food in a small, cosy site with blasted brick walls, zinc-topped tables and an open kitchen.
Best Bread since Sliced Bread
06/11/2008 by intoxicating
“‘Give us this day our daily bread’ is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language…” [P. J. Wingate] EVERY TIME I find myself in the stray teen gorged vicinity of Camden Market, I know I have aged. I have never been fond of hemp leaf motifed paraphanelia, drop-in piercing bars, reams of anti-epileptic battery powered club-wear and inferno of dubiously scented candles. On one occasion I was dragged around a specialist corset shop by a spicy ex. The suprisingly sage purveyor did not, alas, have my size… When I arrive, I think about leaving, which is the same reaction I had towards Solvang, ‘Danish capital of California’. My friend, Chris, has however spent the last seven months trying to persuade me to re-visit NW1. The cause inevitably involves cutlery rather than corsets, and takes the humdrum title of ‘Market’. The family run space is formed of wood and bare bricks, with low, zinc effect tables. It is simplified in an almost Scandanavian manner rather than the overtly cost conscious bareness of the Giaconda Dining Room. A staircase with a potentially lethal initial recessed step leads to a private dining room. Here five professional drinkers took root. The beige cube resembled something out of a deep cleaned student house, with a retro lamp and a snooker-sized table lent character by festal woodworm. They opt for England’s classics rather than classic English. Dishes are honestly tasty rather than worthy. On reflection, most of my meal was about texture. It appears that they draw quite heavily on expensive suppliers represented at Borough Market, although customer facing prices remain sane. Liftingly delicious silced bloomer from the Flour Station accompanied native succulent sea petals from Helford River (Wright Bros.) Warm Potted Shrimps came succulently butter spun in a kilner jar. Discreetly home smoked mackerel was served softly moussed into creamy quenelles. Chicken livers were heftily spiced with the texture of raw button mushrooms. Bone Marrow centres were sordidly good, like drippy aspic, but not quite as dramatic as St. John’s plated stonehenge. My companions raved about musky Pig Cheek and peat coloured Black Pudding. Parsley sprinkled Whole Lemon Sole was showered with Clams and easily peeled from the bones. I set to work on Steamed Jam Sponge upon fine beige custard as Chris administered large bowls of mineral and ore Priorat - Clos Mogador '04, to Chef, Dan. Front of house staff looked enviously on. In my opinion the restaurateurs have fulfilled their aim to craft a cosy ‘home from home’ with moreish, meaty dishes and a slightly coarse charm. It is best not to make your customers feel too secure, however. I remember one restaurant in Buckinghamshire where my friend felt so at home, she left the loo door unbolted... Overall, Market is a positive dot in an area more ghetto than gastronomic. I do worry, however, about the staunch admiration they repeatedly voiced for the Giaconda during my visit...Report this
A great place to have a special evening ruined.
13/05/2008 by natashajohnson
Hoping to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday in peace, I asked ahead whether it would be ok to bring our own cake (made by my mother), to which the response was 'yes'. So far so good. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a slightly anxious woman, possibly the manager. It later transpired that she was actually the owner, though the staff were reluctant to give us her name. At first her anxious behaviour seemed to contribute to her efficient manner. Twenty minutes into the evening we were asked whether we were ready to order drinks, though no one had bothered to bring us the drinks menu. And that's on a Tuesday night when the restaurant was half empty anyway (something to consider as well). The food was decent, nothing special ('no frills' as described by the restaurant's website). The prices were not horrendous but not as reasonable as suggested considering the food. The wines--where do I start? Not only were they out or almost out of every decent bottle, our white wine was left unchilled without a bucket for at least twenty minutes, in spite of our numerous requests. The cake was brought out as requested and we were left with four large pieces which we asked that they kindly pack (separately). Our waitress seemed to have no problem with this. The manager/owner then brought the cake out as one piece, slamming it on the table and snapped 'you'll have it as one piece, as you brought it'. That was really the last straw. Not that we minded their inability to pack the cake, the attitude was really rude and unpleasant at the end of what should have been a lovely birthday dinner. All that was needed was a 'sorry guys, we can't do that for you due to lack of staff and/or materials'. After slapping us with a £300 bill (including a £30 'optional' service charge) for what can only be described as mediocre food and service, I was truly shocked at the owner/manager's unprofessional behaviour. Spend your hard earned cash elsewhere!Report this