Saturday, 3 December 2011

Absinthe & Ribs at Hackney's Long Table night market

I hit the Boot Strap Company's Long Table pop up food market last night. It was the 2nd of their Friday night pop up food markets in the open air of a car park just off Dalston Junction. But don't let that description of the location fool you, when that disused open air spot is lined with the best independent restaurants and breweries that East London has to offer and the interior is filled with an army of young people, the result is a hip night time Borough Market.

It was the 2nd night (it runs every Friday until Christmas) and we had to queue for just under an hour but it was worth it.

Throwing all caution to the wind on arrival inside I opted for the first delicious thing I saw. Gone was the plan to survey all the stalls and try the best things. Instead I was now clutching an absinthe hot chocolate. Think alcoholic mint chocolate so viscous it might solidify back to chocolate in your throat. It was presented with an enormous gingerbread biscuit for your dunking pleasure.

This was absolutely delicious and absolutely the wrong thing to start with! We shared it between two but it could easily have been for four people...

Next up, some Meantime beer. One of my favourite breweries and so great to see them more and more.

The stand out dish for me was the beef short ribs by the Michelin starred chef, Nuno Mendes. These were cooked on a BBQ at the back of his Loft Project stall. Mr Mendes was even there on the night too. The ribs were fat and meaty with the flesh falling away from the bone. They came with a mushroom, caramel and salted peanut pralines sauce which had me proclaiming I'd never eaten anything so rich in my life that wasn't blended into a pate. Apparently he might be trying something different each week but if you see ribs, ignore all queues, get a drink, and wait patiently.

My final highlight was trying the London Fields Brewery beer. I never knew there was a brewery there but it turns out that they make their beers below the arches in London Fields and have a decent range of beers. The IPA was fruity and went down a treat as a closing desert.

They also had a 'Love , Not War' beer which was brewed during the London Riots earlier this year. Hopefully local projects like this pop up and the enterprising new businesses can make a difference in communities across London.

A few small dishes later and we were done.

This was a inexpensive night and great fun. It was wonderful to see the creativity and brilliance of London's independent restaurateurs and breweries being showcased to such a fun appreciative crowd... further illustration of London's general awesomeness.

More about the Long Table pop up market:

Creator: http://www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk/

Qype: http://www.qype.co.uk/events/562391-The-Long-Table-Launch-Abbot-Street-Dalston-London

Time Out: http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2011/12/02/long-table%E2%80%99s-the-talk-of-dalston/

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