Alright, I’m a bit behind on writing up posts but I loved the second day of our Maltby St Madness weekend so much I had to get it up here. On Saturday, we had hit up The Cheese Truck, Monty’s Deli, and Gosnells Mead which you can read about here. When we returned, we came back for some jerk chicken, a loaded flatbread from PHATbread, and a posh cocktail in the sun with Little Bird Gin Café.
Let’s start with the food, shall we?
I opted to get some spice with a jerk chicken wrap with plantains from a friendly guy running a Jamaican stall. I know he was friendly because he was entertaining and chatty and I’m guess Jamaican from the Jamaican flag I recognised (thanks Cool Runnings) all over the place. The actual chicken was grilled nicely but the flavours were lacking the intensity I typically associate with the meal. And the wrap was unnecessary as the tortilla was a bit dry and fell apart. But what really stood out were the sauces he had on offer – three different levels of heat and a ridiculous amount of flavor crammed into each drop. I’d go back just for the sauces – they are that good. £7.50 got me the wrap plus a small cup of sugar cane juice (delicious) but seemed a bit overpriced for the quantity and quality of food.
The gf originally went to get some hog roast but was distracted by the PHAT (Pretty Hot and Tempting) Bread stall instead. As usual, she has excellent taste. I could just show you this picture and say that’s all you need to know to motivate you to get there this weekend.
But we both know I’d never just stop there. PHATbread has a number of options but the one the gf opted for the Moorish which has spcied ground beef, hummus, pistachios, fresh herbs, and pomegranate molasses salted lemons. Wow, just wow. The bread, cooked as you watch in their wood fired oven, is hot and crispy, the meat well seasoned with a hint of heat, and the hummus clean and fresh without the any oiliness or processed taste which I’ve come to associate with most UK offerings (my time in the Middle East spoiled me I admit).
The salted lemon topping was an interesting addition and added a tangy note but thankfully without any bitterness that often comes with using the pith and peel. For £7, it’s a pretty damn good deal and enough food (with the weighty toppings) to act as a decent sized lunch.
And then on to drinks!
We grabbed a spot in the sun at one of Little Bird Gin Café’s outdoor tables. Immediately they get plus points for a) allowing people to bring food from other vendors and eat at the tables, and b) having table service! We went with a classic G&T and a Negroni from the Sunday menu (the Saturday menu seems to have more cocktail options). Both were exceptionally well balanced and mixed and every drink comes served in some truly special glassware. Rather than opt for your standard barware, Little Bird has gone with the heavy decadent cut glass vessels with a good heft and plenty of intricate design. If you like the gin, you can take a bottle with you for just £25.
The G&T comes with a slice of pink grapefruit which pairs well with the botanicals in the gin. The negroni is on the milder side and will sit well with those of you who are usually put off by the bitterness of the Campari. There are few better feelings that sitting in the sun enjoying one of their drinks while nibbling on the food.
I’m already looking forward to dropping by this coming Sunday for a wee snack and a drink before a bbq.
Visit Maltby St Market
Closest tubes are London Bridge and Bermondsey or take a bus to the corner of Tooley St and Tower Bridge Road (buses 78 & 42). The market is open from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sundays and is located at 41 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA.