Last Thursday, I met up with my lovely friends Lisa and Bronwyn for a bite to eat after work. I wanted to try out 40 Maltby Street as I’d been hearing a lot of talk about it lately.

Maltby Street in Bermondsey hosts a fabulous food market every Saturday out of the railway arches near Tower Bridge, bringing together artisan food and drink producers selling top quality produce. Its a different world from Borough Market which is just a 10 minute walk away. It’s a lot smaller and more laid-back…a lovely departure from the hectic hustle and bustle of Borough Market which I sometimes find a bit stressful. Its also a lot more personable, with the stall holders more than happy to stop and talk about their produce.

Nestled in the arches, is 40 Maltby Street, the wine bar attached to Gergovie Wines, an independent supplier dealing with organic producers in Italy, France and Slovenia. Two evenings a week and all day Saturday, they open up their very small kitchen and serve up some fantastic food from their menu on the blackboard by the bar.

Knowing how busy this place gets, and the fact you can’t book, we decided to try it on a Thursday night to avoid the queues. I got there just before 7pm and it was already pretty busy. Luckily Lisa and Bron were already there and had got us a pitch right next to the wines!

We’d all had pretty long, stressful days so it was a blessed relief to be out of the office, and near wine! Bron asked the waitress for a recommendation and she came back with this really lovely smooth white wine…

After a couple of glasses of wine we felt a lot more relaxed and decided to order some plates of food. Looking at the menu by the bar, I could have eaten everything!

But between us we decided to go for the Tuscan salami….

The cheese plate featured Lincolnshire Poacher, an unpasteurised cows milk cheese (sweet, nutty and with a nice sharp tang), Stawley, an unpasteurised goat cheese (firm, smooth and nutty) …

And St John’s, an unpasteurised sheep’s milk cheese (smooth, creamy and a little salty)…

Soft, thinly sliced bresaola with sliced crunchy artichokes….

Then came the most wonderful tasting semolina gnocchi with braised beef cheek…

This dish was a triumph! The beef melted in your mouth, the sauce was rich and deep, the gnocchi was creamy and smooth. I kept closing my eyes when I was eating it so I could concentrate on the flavours. It really was delicious and I really hope I can try it there again.

To accompany the beef dish, we ordered these stunning tasting Roman courgettes….

These were absolutely incredible and complimented the beef dish perfectly. There was a tiny amount of chilli through them and even though I generally steer clear of chilli since I can’t take the heat of it, it actually provided taste rather than heat. They were really beautiful…light, fresh and full of flavour.

We also had another lovely bottle of wine…

I’m afraid I don’t remember what this tasted like but I remember I liked it a lot!

I will definitely come back here. I loved the atmosphere, the wine and the food. The staff are friendly, passionate and knowledgeable about what they’re selling.

Don’t come here hoping for a large meal, this is a place to come to if you want to enjoy some really good wine and have a bite to eat with it. I love this style of eating…lots of little things so I can pick and have lots of different flavours. They change their menu regularly so I would like to come back to see what else they have to offer. Although I really hope they have the beef cheeks with gnocchi next time I go back as I’d like to be able to devour it by myself without having to share it!

40 Maltby Street SE1.

Thursday and Friday, 5.30pm – 10pm; Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
No reservations.

40 Maltby Street on Urbanspoon

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