Sunday, March 7

Tardis Belly

Sourdough bread, butter and honey

Apricot tart

Argentinian empanada

Pastry filled with Dulce de Leche

Chinese ribs with fresh noodles

Salt cod rissole

Portuguese custard tart

A Morroccan chicken pasty the size of a big man’s fist

Rice pudding

That’s what went in to my stomach today and unsurprisingly it is making low growly noises, I embarked on a weekend of eating my way around the London markets starting yesterday at Broadway Market in Hackney. This morning I made an early dash to Chiswick Farmers Market to buy lamb and cake with Half a Pop Group before joining the seething masses along Brick Lane.

Fortification is needed for Brick Lane, among the sci-fi film extras and stoned rocknroll types with their big coats, bigger hair and wacky hatsneyewear there are a phenomenal amount of people dragging suitcases along.

And there is an overwhelming amount of food - I wanted it all – well lots of it, not the lump of mashed potato that was being stirred around in tepid oil but I did want warm pepper and chorizo rolls and latkes and samosas ... but most of all after a very short period of squeezing my way through the crowds I needed to sit down.

Seeing a vacant chair placed at a table covered with a rose-printed oilcloth, I asked the lady standing behind the counter if I could have whatever she was serving. She turned and shouted at the curtain behind her, a man emerged and picked up a lump of white dough from a floured counter top, he swung it around, fast, forming long ropes which he drew out to make thinner. When he had made a whole skein of fat string he threw it into a boiling cauldron, fished it out a minute later, placed it in a bowl, added broth and ribs and put the ensemble on the rose-printed cloth where I was sitting - it was the most delicious thing in the world.


  1. What was the broth, ribs, ropey dough dish called? What ethnicity?

    "Hot & Jellied Eels Shop"
    [getting queasy]

  2. That sounds super...and the photo was great...I can see myself, the skeins surrounding my head and shoulders, being drawn inexorably int the boiling fat...

  3. A multi-cultural celebration in your tummy! (I lived in Chiswick for a few years, in a council flat, in the early seventies when I was a kid.)

  4. I need to move to London, right now! X

  5. xl - they were Chinese and spoke very little English they just called this Fresh Noodles (as opposed to the Dim Sum they were also serving).

    Misc - sounds like the place for you then.

    Fly - Careful there!

    Synchy - Did you used to go to the market?

    Eryl - There's some good stuff here

  6. Take me out for dinner pleeeeze

  7. Ah, Brick Lane, used to be the cheapest place in London to eat, probably all changed now though. Do they still have the fabric shops?

  8. Never went to that market, don't even know if it was there, then. I remember the library and 'Ant and Bee' books. . .and the shop over the road with Lois Lane and Superman comics. And Bunty comics with a paper doll pattern on the back page every week. :)

  9. From the photo I thought it was that extruded Hungarian sweet thingy with sesame seeds, but then I wasn't wearing my varifocals.

  10. I've not been down Brick Lane for years. When I lived in Essex (yes, for a while I was an Essex girl but I tried to resist the white stilettos) my solicitor was based just round the corner from there. (I only had him for flat buying purposes, my life of crime had finished by then).

    I must say I am not a very bold eater at markets. I have a bit of a fly phobia and when I watch all the flies in the world hover around what is being cooked - it puts me off.

    I must be the only person who went to Thailand and then lived on room service in the hotel.

  11. ho, incredible. problem with france here is we may have amazing markets but theyre not big on street vending food.

    i have a nice memory of the Darwin Markets at sunset, loads of food from every asian country, mixed in w pizza and aussie stuff..sunset on the beach and music...ergh, homesick!!!

  12. Nursey - Ok, whaddya fancy - I'm on an Italian groove today?

    Gadjo - fabric shops?? yes but drowned out by leather shops and 'designer outlets'

    Synch - Bunty comics with a paper doll pattern on the back page every week.- I loved those dolls

    Ellis - aah next a visit to the Polish cake shops!

    Frenchie - sorry to hear the life of crime is over - too wealthy to steal now are we?

    No flies in March in England - come over quick!

    Screamish - Aaah that does sound good, maybe I'll take a plane and head to Darwin.

  13. All that tasty gluten in one day! Life's not fair. (-:

  14. I won't come here again on an empty stomach!

  15. Eating holidays are the best mini-holidays, hands down.

  16. I would be one of those 'lots of people with suitcases.' Which would be an awful dilemma for how would I carry and eat all that food at the same time???

  17. I'll have some gnocchi please darlin'

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  19. Kevin - are you a gluten-free zone?

    Scarlet - I am going to stop going on about food soon - promise!

    Red - Eating holidays are the best mini-holidays
    I'll second that!

    Ange - you'd find a way

    Nursey - gnocchi coming right on up!

  20. torture! you are committing torture! agggghhhhh!

  21. oh, except for the eel pie shop over there on the right...

  22. it sounds so wonderful to be so free around such wonderful food. all that food would overwhelm me. even after years in recovery from eating disorders, i still can't be that free. ahh, there's still hope.

    glad YOU had such a great experience. hope you don't mind that i was so, kind of, open on your blog

  23. We're not in Tesco's any more Toto.

  24. Deb - I 'ave veys of meking you tok' and you will have the eel.

    Mrs Weight - I can't imagine the feelings that you describe and I'm happy for you to be open about it here.

    One day you too will be able to look a bowl of noodles in the eye and say

    'I love you I do'

    Mme Def - In which solar system is this Planet Tesco? Tell me more of the people who inhabit this place.

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  26. Hahah so glad your random market pick turned out to be noodles, it seems it could have been much worse!

  27. next time i'm in london, i'm getting resto recommendations from YOU! xoxoxo

  28. Mrs Cow - they were selling grass too - you'd have loved it!

    Sav - Delighted to be of service


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