Has The Mouse gone abroad? Hehe, not at all.
Kang is eating his way through Londonâ€”and sharing the experience with inimitable excitement, charm, and style. Oh, and knowledge. He knows a thing or two about good food. Check out his blog and I think you’ll see why we’re so fond of him here at The Hungry Mouse.
One quick note…we have a new format!
I wanted to bring the site more in line with the way I present my recipes: visually. That’s why we’ve smooshed our layout around to make more of our content readily accessible and user friendly for you. We hope you guys like it!
And with that, take it away, Kang!
Walk with me at King’s Road Market in London, won’t you?
by Kang Leong of London Eater
Writing my first guest post for an American audience had me scratching my head about how to best describe the city I live in. London has had its fair share of US media attention. I can remember when Ross went to London to get married and Rachel shared a plane with Hugh Laurie (Now Dr. House, then one part of the acclaimed British comedic duo Fry & Laurie â€” yes folks, he is indeed, English.)
And then of course, there was that film about a fictional American mega star (played by Julia Roberts) falling in love with Hughâ€”Mr. Floppy Hairâ€”Grant. It sent (and continues to send) millions of tourist from all over the globe to the now legendary Portebello Market in Notting Hill, London. I’m about to burst bubbles because Portebello ain’t the only cool food market in the Big Smokeâ€”there are cooler ones.
How many more?
The short answer is a lot more, certainly within London, there are plenty of food markets set up along closed roads during the weekends where locals can buy fresh produce.
The great thing about food markets of course, is the buzz, the atmosphere of bustling haggling, the chatter from the crowds and the smell. Oh, the smell always gets me going.
I live in a fairly affluent part of London in the Kensington & Chelsea borough, the main high street for that part of London is called King’s Roadâ€”it’s where Prince William’s girlfriend lives. In addition to a smattering of shops of all sorts of posh brands which I will never afford; it is home of Saatchi Galleries and it turns into a mini food market on weekends.
Let’s get the tour on the road
So you may or may not have noticed but in London , we like our sweet things. At least I do, pudding is the most important part of my meal (I never miss out) and one of the food trends on the rise over on this side of the pond are cupcakes. I managed to snap a picture of quite a beautiful rainbow of colours on sale at the cupcake vendor. Mmmm.
Now here’s a little known fact about Londonâ€”it’s completely multicultural and that means that it is possible to find rather authentic world cuisines as there are large communities dotted around the city to support those foods.
Here, is a vendor selling some Malaysian curry puffs:
Right next to some brilliant French style artisan breads.
Over in Europe, we love our stone baked breads and sourdoughs, bit of Serrano or Parma ham, bit of mozzarella, in the oven for 10 minutes and that’s the making of a great lunch.
Speaking of cured meats, here’s the man in charge of a delicious leg of parma ham. Yum. Perhaps the greatest bit about food markets is the people. He saw me snapping away at all the wonderful food and as I panned my camera to him, this dude jumped back from his ham and gave me a “whoa”.
The raw stuff
Personally, I think that the best beef in the world is Kobe beef. I’ve had Australian wagyu, which is nice, but it pales in comparison with the Japanese stuff. I’ve only ever had low grade Kobe beef and I’ve heard great things about Prime USDA beef, but they don’t export to the UK, so I can’t really deliver my piece about it.
As for British beef, it may not have the best rep but it’s actually pretty good. No let me rephrase, English beef is horrible, but Scottish Beef is gold. They come from the Aberdeen Angus breed and I’m guessing it has something to do with the healthy grass diet and the rain in Scotland. Scotch beef is full of flavour, tender and when dry aged properly, can rival the best of them out there.
Scotland also means rock oysters!!
Yet more sweet things in the form of pastry. Lots of icing and this picture with all the Burgundian red reminds of the Christmas that’s just gone.
And speaking of the multiculturalism, here’s a shot of some Mediterranean food.
And some Caribbean delights! While the food looked great, the shop owner didn’t quite appreciate me snapping photos of her food and I was turned away moments after I took the shot.
I’m really more a coffee than a tea person and if you’re looking for the real cream tea, you need to head north to Yorkshire than in London. Having said that, it’s still a lovely basket of scones there. Mmmm…
Finally, it just would be injustice if I didn’t include a picture of pie! The usual suspects come in flavours of chicken and mushroom, cheese and onion but my favourite has got to be steak and Guinness. If you’re ever on the wrong side of the Atlantic, this should be at the top of your eating list.
And that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this little virtual trip around this London food market, hope I did sufficiently to whet your appetite and perhaps tempt you to do a trip to London in the near future. ‘Til then, happy eating!
Kang Leong runs London Eater, a food blog about the best places to grab a bite in London, as well as commentary on general food trends, latest developments in London, and wine. Go have a nibble with him at LondonEater.com.
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Copyright 2008-2009 The Hungry Mouse/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved. Content and pictures for “Walk with me at King’s Market Road, won’t you?”, copyright Kang Leong, republished here with permission.