Two's company. A few words on food, drink and little adventures! @atablefortwoLDN
Can London keep a secret? The answers no. There’s very rarely a place you want to be a complete secret. A place that you’d want to go time and time again, until one day maybe you might get that nod of acceptance from the staff.
40 Maltby Street joins a plethora of small businesses under a south London archway in Bermondsey. It’s name sake street offers coffee from Monmouth and waffles from well…Waffle On. But beneath this certain archway lies a kitchen of very modest size that seems to create a goliath force of ingredient based wizardry. For the Bermondsey Street elite, it’s their local.
Managing on this occasion to beat them to the door we grabbed a seat on the bar-facing communal table. The place still holds true to it’s wine merchant origins. Bottles and lists spill over tables and shelves, wine seems to seep out of the walls. In ordering it would seem that it’s mostly impossible to order anything with a bum note.
Being a early summer, we ordered a Jean-Christophe Garnier, Brut Nature. A dazzling effervescent rose.
The menu changes daily, boasting good small plates as well as some comfortable larger dishes. We sort absolute comfort in the Baked Jersey Royals and Cod’s Roe (with sour cream). Our humble potato has finally been treated with the respect it deserves. Perfection continued with Crispy Brawn with a Radish Salad. Again, even the radishes demonstrated a culinary intelligence.
40 Maltby Street employs an informal ethos in bringing your food to the table. In other words…when it’s ready – it’s ready. You’re never waiting too long between dishes and theres always a good bit of sourdough to keep you going.
Eagerly but patiently waiting our larger plates arrived. Salt Dexter Brisket, new seasons carrots and pickled walnuts. The salty hunk of beef sat well with the sweet tang of the carrots and slight mouth puckering quality of the walnuts.
The other dish of no lesser note was the Baked Lamb, tomatoes and mint. Rich tender lamb intelligently balanced with punchy tomatoes. The lamb, refreshingly was a little more mature than the cradle snatched specimens we so bulk buy in Spring. A fuller deeper flavour is rewarded to those who wait.
40 Maltby Street serves as an antidote to places like Zedel and Balthazar, which have such a Wizard of Oz existence. The prices are simple and so is the food, while the wine is sublime. The kitchen speaks of purity and experience, the plates are stripped down and then built up. It’s safe to say it would be hard to get sick of this place.