The stalls tucked under the railway arches on Maltby Street were once the informal spill-off from popular Borough Market, but are now increasingly becoming established as a major market in their own right. Having seen the addition of delicatessen cheese shops and beer joints over the years, cocktail bar The Ropewalk, from Disappearing Dining Club, is the latest attraction to put Maltby Street Market firmly on the radar.
Based in the revamped warehouse LASSCO, the bar will be taking bookings on the former premises of Victorian pub the Barge Bar as well as from the plush upholstery of the Textile Room, where cushions are made from reclaimed fabric. We dined in the chandelier lit Eisenhower room, with its big sharing tables and walls lined with wooden panels taken from the old US Naval HQ in Grosvenor Square (from which President Einsenhower helped plan the D-Day landings): this isn’t just any old restaurant.
With the market right on the doorstep, it’s only natural The Ropewalk showcases the very best of the foodie produce. With cocktails boasting gins from South-London company Little Bird and Jensen, wines from Maltby and Greek and British beers from the patriotic Bottle Shop, this is about as local as it gets. Oh, and they also operate an open-food policy and are happy for shoppers to enjoy their freshly purchased nibbles on site.
One of our highlights from the menu was the Jerusalem artichoke soup. The humble but oh-so-mysterious vegetable surprised us with its rich, nuttiness (the soup itself so delicious we were subsequently inspired to make our own). We also loved the fresh, Brick Lane smoked salmon with dill pickled cucumber – a vivid taste of the neighbouring market's influence. For drinks, we’d recommend the Ottoman cocktail – a deliciously sweet affair with passionfruit and perfectly frothy egg white to boot.
Given what we’ve come to expect from these supperclub masters, the main was slightly disappointing: soupy potatoes and the divisive cold, vinegary kale were limp accompaniments to the generous slice of crackling pork belly: all was not lost, though, as we finished off with a small, but perfectly sweet morsel of eggy bread and spiced raspberry compote.
LASSCO is the ideal neighbourhood destination for drinks and a bite to eat if you find yourself exploring Maltby Street Market in the early evening. As ever, Disappearing Dining Club have succeeded in masterminding a truly special space that serves fresh, local fare. We wandered out into the rainy evening with a warm, well-fed glow.
|What||The Ropewalk review, Disappearing Dining Club, Maltby Street Market|
|Where||Maltby Street Market, Ropewalk, , London , SE1 2HQ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bermondsey (underground)|
01 Feb 16 – 01 Feb 18, Open from Thursday to Sunday; Thursday and Friday, from 5pm to 10pm; Saturday from 12pm to 10pm; Sunday from 12pm to 5pm
|Website||Cick here for more information|