Another highly anticipated restaurant has opened up in London’s Borough Market, combining the wonders of small plates to share and a fantastic wine list to match. Arthur Hooper’s is about the fine and fresh food from local suppliers and all about seasonal ingredients. The setting of the restaurant is comfortable, modern and stylish. Some of the best small plates I have had for a while, since The Shed. A perfect spot for a nice relaxing and comfortable evening of gorgeous small plates and perfect wines!
Alot of small plates slash wine bars often offer just too little variety on their menus. The menu here has a real wonderful range: Bites, Cheeses, Cured Meats, Meats, Fish, Vegetables and Desserts. The options were quite endless and well thought of. We started off our evening with the Burrata with Samphire and Almond Salad. The cheese was creamy, smooth and light and countered by the crunchy bits of almonds and battled off with this salty samphire green. That combination of creamy texture, crunch and salty was a proper delight. Salty and creamy don’t always go well together but this was just yum. Top it off with thin slices of garlic and you have a properly nice mouthful.
A bit of cured meat to balance off that cheese, with the thin flat beef from Italy’s La Credenza. Not your usual salami or carpaccio. A bit oily but packed with meaty flavours.
The meats menu is filled with tasty looking meatballs, pork sausages and beef carpaccios. As a big fan of flank and onglet steak cuts, we were not going to miss out trying their version of the onglet. Cooked well, this juicy bit of beef was served up with English asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and a delightful walnut dressing. Some of the larger main dishes have options of starters or mains sizes. We regret getting the smaller version as the combination of flavours here were again top notch. The steak was well cooked and juicy – at first we thought it was a bit under seasoned, but when you have it with that walnut dressing and those extra spices, its a completely different story. Juicy, spiced up and perfect with the crunchy asparagus. New combinations of ingredients have been a real surprise lately and steak with walnuts is definitely a delightful surprise!
Off the Blackboard
Some people might know that there are a few dishes or ingredients that I will order everytime I see them on the menu. Aubergine is definitely one of them, so when I saw the special’s board with a baked aubergine parmigiana, we had to order it. This is the closest thing I have had to some sort of spaghetti bake but much healthier and low carb. Baked chunks of aubergine softly mixed up with this tomato sauce and an unbelievable bit of stringy cheese. Mouthful after mouthful of cheesy tomato sauce! A real delight!
One ingredient that stood out of all the fish dishes was nduja, which was served up with gower clams and courgettes. A quick google search and it tells you that this is a spicy, spreadable pork salumi from Italy. Salumi (not a typo!) are cold cuts of pork which includes the previously tried bresaola. This spice tasted pretty much like chorizo, so the clams and courgettes had this interesting pork chorizo flavour coated with it. Fresh seafood with meaty flavours again is a bit of an odd combination but tasted pretty good. In fact, the way the courgette soaked up with last bits of the sauce made it all super flavourful!
Finishing Off With Some Cheese
A good meal for me always ends with some cheese! This was Ewes Cheddar made from cow’s milk and was unpasteurized and from Scotland. It came with an interesting pineapple chutney which had a hint of spicy to it. A lovely combination of pineapple and cheddar!
All in All
A lovely evening of great small plates and some decent red wine. A nice spot with some great flavours and ingredient combinations. I cannot wait to come back to try that burrata and onglet steak again. The use of extra bits of crunchy nuts really adds texture and a new dimension to both dishes.
Also published on Medium.