Pop-up review: Borough Plates, London Bridge
The former offices of Borough Market are a fitting spot for this sociable pop up, where products from nearby traders get the small-plates treatment
What's the draw
The concept's simple: from now until late March, this two-room pop up restaurant will serve simple but inventive dishes made with ingredients from Borough Market. Each week (from Wednesday to Wednesday), Borough Plates will showcase a rotating selection of traders, with chefs doing magical things with super-fresh, seasonal produce. This week, featured producers include Northfield Farm (meat), Chegworth Valley (fruit) and Sussex Fish (er, fish?).
What to drink
Look out for cocktails that use market produce; an old fashioned, made with blood orange from Turnips, was as bittersweet as you'd hope and as dangerously moreish as you'd imagine. Otherwise, the wine list's got some great and intriguing bottles, most of them by the glass – the Angoris Schioppettino (2014) or Valdonica Arnaio (2013), both from Italy, are both delicious and pleasingly leftfield. Given the proximity to nearby craft-beer meccas the Rake and Utobeer, we'd have liked to have seen a few more interesting brews on the list, though.
What to eat
The philosophy here is one we can get onboard with: source high-quality produce and cook it with plenty of skill and as little fuss as possible. You'll want to start with cheeses (from Mons when we visited) and charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon – the venison and chilli salami has imprinted itself on our memory, in a very good way indeed. Then hit the small plates, which change from week to week. When we visited, we were blown away by the simple beauty of lemon sole from Sussex Fish and thyme-smoked duck via the reliably great Ginger Pig. Cross everything that the apple crumble's on the menu when you go – it's a buttery, perfectly-sweet-and-perfectly-tart bowl of nostalgia. You're hoping it comes with proper custard, ready to tip over the top of it, aren't you? Rest easy; it does.
Small plates from £4-16; wines from £5 by the glass. 1 Cathedral Street, SE1 9AL; boroughmarket.org.uk; closed Sunday and Monday