A Bit Casual Eating Out London

Elliot’s, Borough Market

May 26, 2016

The spontaneity in my relationship with food is all but gone; a fate which hardly surprises me given I spend most of my waking hours thinking about what or where to eat. I’ve always been a fastidious meal planner with the magnetic menu and shopping list pad to prove it, but the London restaurant culture has also turned me into a fastidious planner of our meals out.

I used to balk at the thought of making a restaurant booking anything more than a few days ahead, or even at all, but if there’s one thing London has taught me, it’s to be prepared to plan or queue, or risk a wasted meal. I’m still not the most organised but we generally know where we’re headed before we leave the house, so on the rare occasions we don’t… I’m a bit of a deer in the headlights!

On this particular evening, I did have a semblance of a plan – light bite to eat at Padella then a short walk across the river to friends’ engagement drinks. In hindsight, this was a horrible plan because did I really think we could walk straight into one of London’s currently most talked about restaurants without waiting? Cue the facepalm. Of course not, not even at 6pm sharp. Instagram-obsessed pasta lovers are always out in force, at all hours of the day it seems.

So we went to plan B which was also packed… then onto Plan C which was anything else in the area. But, I hear you proclaim, Borough Market is full of dining options… it’s one of London’s best foodie destinations… the restaurants are great… blah blah blah. I hear you, I really do, but this deer in the headlights was too hungry and in too much of a hurry to be thinking logically like that. We zigzagged all over the show and speedily assessed the menus before settling on Elliot’s; their concise menu won us over at first sight. Seasonal ingredients, passionately produced, knowledgeably sourced… ticks all the right boxes.

The beauty of a short list of appealing dishes is that it doesn’t take long to order. If a light dinner hadn’t been on the cards, we might have actually ordered most of the menu, but we’ll have to save that for the next visit. This time round, we started with the salt cod croquettas, I like the identifiable chunks of salt cod but can’t help thinking it might have been improved with a condiment; spoken like a true sauce-fanatic.

No such complaints about the chicken hearts and lardo though. We love offal, lardo, and sauce, and this was the perfect combination of all three. I know a lot of people would get squeamish at the thought of eating hearts but I promise you, they’re not scary. Hearts are just like any other meat, but probably leaner, meaner, and fuller in flavour. These also had the added benefit of being bathed in the most addictive salty and slight sweet sauce, it was so good we ordered bread just to mop it all up.

Elliots_chickenhearts1

We then moved onto something lighter, a refreshingly crisp and delicate crab and fennel salad before another dish of offal, the lamb sweetbreads with broad beans, onions and garlic, with a side of fried Maris Pipers. These sweetbreads were firmer in texture than we’re used to but no less delectable and well matched with sweet onions and pea shoots. The large wedges of crunchy outer, fluffy inner potatoes were also a great choice, but let’s be honest… in what planet would they not be?

This light dinner turned out to be pleasantly satisfying, every dish was a delight. I would have liked them to come out a teeny bit faster but a certain someone wasn’t bothered so that might just be my impatience being petty. Between bites, I was asked numerous times why we hadn’t been to Elliot’s before, and why I hadn’t even heard of it. Hmm.

Yes, that was a certain someone being a little facetious and winding me up, but seriously, why hadn’t we been there before and why hadn’t I heard of it? I’m sure many of you know of Elliot’s, have eaten there before and hopefully, are now nodding along in agreement with my praise… but if you haven’t been, take my word for it and pop in soon!


Are you also a fastidious planner of all your meals, either when dining in or out? Have you been to Elliot’s?

Elliot's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal

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  • I work right next to Borough Market and have wanted to go to Elliots for so long I don’t know why it is one of those places I just seem to forget about. These pictures have inspired me to actually get my butt down there and check it out.

    Emma Inks

    • You should definitely give it a go – it’s a pretty casual spot, nice short menu which changes regularly I believe and not to pricey which is always good!

  • I swerve between meticulous planning and ‘ooooh, that looks good!’ Too much methinks…

    • No, no, that’s good… best to be flexible and able to do both!

  • Dining out in London always seems to be at two extremes – either planning ahead or being prepared to queue… so it’s good to know that there are delicious places like Elliot’s which fall in between!! xx

    • It is, isn’t it?! Such a catch 22 – I hate queueing but on the other hand, I hate having to plan so far ahead because sometimes by the time the actual meal rolls round, I don’t actually feel like that restaurant/cuisine that day! #foodbloggerproblems

  • Vi Vian Woo

    Elliot’s is one of my favourite places in Borough. I am surprised you have not heard or been recommended about it, but never too late to find out about it :0

    • I know, the shame… I’ve always walked past and maybe thought it was just a bar?! Never mind, I definitely know it’s there now!

      • Vi Vian Woo

        yes, the restaurant was not obvious because the seating place is behind and when you go on weekends, it tends to fill up in front, not surprising you mistaken it for a bar and on the other hand, a full restaurant is a good sign 😉

  • I’m ashamed to say that I work next to the market and still haven’t made it to Elliot’s! I definitely have to check it out, it looks amazing.

    Erin xx
    islandbell.co.uk

    • I’m so pleased we decided to go in… such a great, simple dinner! Will be heading back soon to sample more of the menu!

  • Aaron Vallance (1dish4theroad)

    Some of my favourite days in London are when things don’t quite go to plan, and you end up somewhere unexpected and special. Going with the flow has a lot going for it!

    • Oh I know – I should totally go with the flow more… I used to be super relaxed with bookings at home in Wellington but London has conditioned me otherwise!

  • Kiran

    I’ve still never been to Borough Market properly, bar a rush through it on a HiddenCity hunt. It’s quite shameful. I need to go soon, and even more so after reading this 🙂

    • Hold on, what?! It’s absolutely manic and touristy but still a London must-do I think… definitely time to visit soon missy!

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