40 Maltby St. London

I just got back from London where the possibility of really good food is always right at your fingertips.  I have my very favs- Barrafina, Brawn, The Cow, but I hoped to try some new places this time and discover some new favs.  Stacy told me that I should try an Indian place called Gymkhana, and I tried really hard but I could not get a res at a time that I could actually go. Bad luck and scheduling kept me from having a lot of time to search out other great new spots.  Georgia and I tried to sneak into Barrafina early one night after some shopping at Liberty, but as usual it was a ridiculously long wait so we sniffed our way back to another spanish place we passed called Fernandez and Wells.  It may not be quite as good as Barrafina, or have as broad of a menu, BUT the Iberico Ham was as good as it can be anywhere and everything else we ate there was incredibly good and it was not crowded and there was no wait.  They also have a little coffee place around the corner that I hear is great.  The next morning we went to the Columbia Rd flower market and had great breakfast and coffee at that little place in the Alley called Lili Vanilli Bakery.  We also found a lady that makes those incredibly delicious Portugese custard tarts and sells them in her housewares shop on Columbia Rd.  You would never know they were there unless you wandered in the shop and noticed them on a little tray way in the back.  I did.  That night we ate at The Cow in Westbourne Park and it was just as mellow, perfect, and delicious as I remembered.  We had amazng oysters (ordered more they were so good), A crispy radishy salad, and a perfectlt cooked and seasoned steak.  G and I ate in another Soho hot spot called BAO.  This place has a great look and is clearly insanely popular.  There is a giant line across the street at most times of the day.  We were lucky and only waited a 1/2 hour or so.  We only had a few things, some buns and a chickeny rice dish but they were all pretty good.  It is a very complicted taste place and although ours didn’t blow me away I think more time has to put into trying all the food there.  Hank, Winton, Josh and I ended up at St. John one night after a lot of indecision.  The place has an incredible rep, but no one felt like eating a bunch of Offal so we ordered pretty conservatively.  Hanks was very happily surprised by how good his smoked haddock dish was.  I had the Bone Marrow, a Kohlrabi salad, and a tongue and endive salad.  The Bone marrow was delicious and kind of perfect, the kohlrabi was exceedingly fresh and crispy and the Endive tongue thing was just OK.  On my last day I got a long list of someone who sounded like she knew what she was talking about’s favorite places and on the top of the list was a place called 40 Maltby street.  A little research and discussion about this place led me to believe that 40 Maltby should have been #1 on my list all along.  Go there if you are looking for tips, please tell me how it was.  Here is the list-

St. John Smithfields (any time of day)
St. John Bread & Wine (any time of day)
Morito (Exmouth Market) (any time of day)
– also one on Hackney Road –
Moro (lunch or dinner)
40 Maltby Street (weds –
sat eve, cracking place for boozy lunch on Saturday)
Koya Bar (any time of day)
Hoppers (lunch, evenings a nightmare)
Towpath Cafe (superb lunch, lazy afternoons)
The Drapers Arms (
Sunday lunch sharing roasts, evenings)
Black Axe Mangal (after a drink)
Barrafina (boozy lunch or
evening)
The Eagle (
evening, Sunday lunch)
Smoking Goat  (lunch or dinner)
Oldroyd (dinner)
BA Shu (sezchuan fix, any time)
Som Saa (dinner)
Trullo. (Dinner,
Sunday lunch)
Padella (Trullo’s pasta place at Borough Market
Bocca Di Lupo (lunch or dinner at the bar)
Brawn (lunch or dinner)
Rochelle Canteen (lunch only, BYO)
Leila’s Cafe

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