Elliot's Cafe, Borough Market, great little place

The boys are back in Town as Thin Lizzy so memorably sang. I wonder what he would have made of 4 middle aged chaps catching up in Borough market for some day time drinking, banter and food. The occasion was the re-emergence into society of Swinders. A member of our circle renowned for his late night carousing and hospitable largesse. Family and career had kept him out of sight for several years and yet here he was waiting to see what his young proteges Big Matt, Villa Steve and myself could show him in London. Apart from myself everyone had to travel in to Waterloo so we met up at Borough market. As you can imagine Saturday afternoon was busy but after a few pints, a very nice salt beef sarnie and a pit stop at the cider stall we wanted to find somewhere for a sit down bite to eat. I've not been to Borough since the Olympics and I'm not sure about the regeneration. It's lost a lot of it's character and it felt to me that what was going on around the market was better than what lay within. With that in mind we spotted Elliot's Cafe outside the indoor market and ventured in.

It is very Borough 101 on the inside but in a good way, lots of exposed brickwork and an nice informal feel. The room isn't huge but it feels the part, the big windows at the front give plenty of natural light. It was nearly 4 when we went in so they explained that the kitchen would soon be shutting for a couple of hours but if we ordered they would get the food up to us and we could drink and nibble at our leisure. It's all sharing plates here, British tapas if you must but for once I didn't mind. For me this was the occasion for grazing. Something light and tasty mid afternoon with a glass of wine. We sampled amongst others, a very good crispy pork salad, chicken hearts, a lovely burrata salad and a couple of charcuterie plates. It was all very nice. Really fresh tasting and the perfect accompaniment to a light red we found in their specials. The most unusual dish was a sweet/savoury goats curd which I really liked despite hating goats cheese in general. Portions worked well apart from the charcuterie which was a bit mean but that is usual everywhere. I always wonder why restaurants skimp on an easy high margin dish like this.

Service was charming, a nice young team who despite coming to the end of a busy Saturday lunchtime service were very friendly. We got them to suggest dishes of the menu and it was obvious they took pride in their restaurant's food. It's not exactly cheap but I felt £30 a head for good food and wine was a fair price. I've paid a lot more for inferior fayre elsewhere. So after a happy interlude away from the madding Borough crowds we set off to find a pub showing the football and further adventures followed! I would definitely recommend Elliot's Cafe it was a perfect staging post for our four Don Juan's who quite honestly are looking a bit Don Quixote these days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

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