Sep 21 2013

Elliot's Cafe

I have been reading about Elliot’s Café in blogs and articles for a while now, and everyone that goes there generally tends to like it a lot, so I decided to try it out for brunch with my friend Irina. I had booked a table for lunch for us on a Saturday at 12.15. Elliot’s Café is located in Borough Market, and is quite small and cosy and very welcoming as outside in front of the restaurant they have loafs of bread which they make themselves and which look very tempting. The menu that they give you states that they want you to begin your meal with the best bread possible, hence they make their own, by using organic, stone ground English flours, a 48h fermentation and a fiercely hot oven. I did try their bread, I had to after all this advertising, and it was indeed very good, but in comparison to good home made bread that restaurants serve it did not really stand out that much, nevertheless it was a delicious bread. 

When Irina and I sat down we started studying the menu, which was divided into small plates and larger ones. So many things on the menu look very tempting and apparently the menu is created using the diverse ingredients available from Borough market and which are in season. They also cook their food over a wood fired grill, as this apparently focuses on the ingredients. We both wanted to try as many dishes as we could, so we decided to order five different small plates and then share. All the food arrived randomly and as soon as it was ready and the first thing that arrived was polenta with zuccini, parmesan cheese and chanterelle mushrooms. It was delicious, a wonderful combination of flavours that worked so well and was so tasty. Every single ingredient on that plate was cooked perfectly. Next came “squid, tomatoes & capers”, sort of a simple dish, yet the squid was wonderfully complemented with capers and tomatoes, not your usual combination for squid, the squid chunks were good quality, another delicious dish. The third dish that arrived was “crab on toast, fennel & chilli”, another incredible dish. The crab was so fresh, the dish looked beautiful with the bread, green and white colours, and it was very tasty.

We had also ordered “friggitello peppers & ancho chilli”, and I did not know what they would be, I just liked the sound of peppers and chilli, and it was a bit of a surprise to get the Spanish padron peppers with a bit of chilli on them in this dish, but I like padron peppers, like chilli, like the combination that I have not seen before, so I was happy. And the last dish we go was “Buffalo mozzarella, red peppers & basil”, delicious, great mozzarella and once again I liked the creative twist. Usually mozzarella is served with tomatoes, and here it worked so well with peppers, was interesting and tasty.

After finishing our meal the waitress asked us if we wanted any dessert, and as we said we did not, as we were full from the lunch, she brought us the bill. We paid and continued chatting but soon afterwards (around one and a half hours after we arrived), the manager came and said the table has been booked and we had to go. Obviously it is always unpleasant when you are asked to leave and tables have this policy of only allowing you to be there for a while, and also a bit strange that they did not even let us stay there for 2 hours, which is the norm in restaurants for a table. Nevertheless as the food is so good, I sort of forgive them that.

There are very few things that could tempt me away from the delicious food stalls in Borough market, as I love wondering around and trying different things from different vendours, but Elliot’s Café could do that and it is so good I would happily go just there and forget about the rest of the Borough Market. Food is very current, tasty, combinations are modern, interesting yet they work so well (and sometimes restaurants can get it so extremely wrong by combining things together that just don’t work), ingredients are extremely fresh, the only thing that sort of could be a negative is the fact they only let you have the table for a limited while. But I loved this meal and want to go back.

Date: 21/ 09/ 13
Location: Borough Market
price for 2 people, no alcohol and service charge: £49.50

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4.00

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Elliot's Cafe
12 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
London
United Kingdom
GB
Elliot's Cafe Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4