Sunday 1 July 2012

Market House: a disappointing meal, but a nice place for a pint

I started coming to Broadway Market in the summer of 2009.  At that time I was still living in Scotland, visiting the Fashionista on the weekend in Camberwell.  I had overfilled on Borough market and Broadway was a refreshing change.  Yes there were heritage tomatoes and Comte by the bucket load but it had more of a local feel (in fact I loved it so much so that when I eventually got round to moving down, I decided this was the place for me).  The ratio of tourists to local was in London's favour.  Broadway market is still like that, although the Londoners are more Rupert and Rodger than Dave and Darren these days.

And so, with this gentrification, restaurants have been popping up all over the place.  Outlets which are just not up to scratch fall by the wayside very quickly to be replaced with more accomplished offerings.  Take, for example, La Vie en Rose.  At the end the food they were serving up was so below bar and overpriced I am surprised they lasted as long as they did.  But from the ashes came Market Cafe.  A great little place serving Italian influenced, reasonbaly priced, delicious food in a retro seventies vibe, formica and print wallpaper heaven. 

Market House (which is half way along Broadway Market) has been threatening to open for some months now.  Renowned as the "roughest pub on Broadway" in the good ol' days, it had been spruced up, painted white, ready for Rupert to arrive.

I had the pork belly which came with a disc of black pudding, glazed apples and a "mustard gravy".  The belly had been shorn of its crackling before cooking, a small amout of which (I suppose the chef must have had the rest) came seperate, satisfyingly crunchy. The problem with removing the crackling is, though, that you are left faced with a rectangle of meat topped with soggy fat.  Not even the stuff that is melt-in-the mouth-I-know-I-shouldn't-be-eating-this-but-it-is-too-darned-good-not-to fat, just fat. Not nice. The apples were okay, the black pudding dry, the gravy was more Bisto than Maille. 

The Fashionista had the fish and chips.  The cod was fresh, the batter was okay.  The chips were soggy, really not up to much at all.

All of this would not have been so galling if the prices had not been so high.  That belly, fourteen quid.  The fish and chips, twevle.  Elsewhere on Broadway you can eat exceptionally well for these prices.  The Market House is flanked on one end of Broadway by the Michelin recommended Cat and Mutton, and the aforementioned excellent Market Cafe on the other, both of which serve great, simple food in the ten to fifteen pound range.  Market House is going to have to go through the gears quick snap if it is going to remain a place people chose to eat on Broadway. 

In fairness I should mention that they do serve a great pint of London Pride.  My advice, go there to drink, not to eat.  Good pub, bad gastro pub.  But in the days when everywhere has to be about both food and drink, perhaps that is not such a bad thing. Maybe Market House will end up being a slice of original Broadway in amongst the boutiques, a place for a pint (without the pie).
The Market House on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. i think you should go back and check again.. they have changed a lot and have improved recipes. :)


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