Imagine setting up a pop-up restaurant in Borough Market and not using produce from the food stalls. You may as well wander up to a gift-owning horse and say 'Excuse me Mr Horsey, may I inspect your molars?'
Fortunately, new two-month pop-up restaurant Borough Plates does no such thing. Run by Cuisson, the brains behind Pop Down, all of its dishes are created using ingredients from the nearby stalls. But is it delicious? Sadly, we can't really review it in enough detail to let you know what you'll be eating as they change the menu weekly. Here, though, is everything we ate on our fairly decent visit last week.
Mushroom pâté, mushrooms, cauliflower
Admittedly, this photo does look a tad like someone has decided to scrape their muddy boots onto a plate of lovely mushrooms. However, that brown-ish area is in fact a beautiful blob of rich mushroom pâté. It really was phenomenal.
Crispy squid, lemon curd
What happens if you zig-zag actual lemon curd across a dish and then top it with squid rings that you've encased in a curiously granular panko breadcrumb coating? This slightly odd dish, whose taste is perhaps best described as: 'Oh god! I spilt fish on your dessert!'
Baked Val de Loue cheese
We don't know what a Val de Loue cheese looks like when it hasn't been baked into an oozy pool of liquid, but we're willing to bet it probably looks a tad more attractive than this. We're also willing to bet, however, that it's roughly a million times less sexy. Frankly, we're almost jealous of the little hasselback potatoes that appear to be drowning in an ocean of cheese (the best kind of ocean to drown in).
Thyme smoked duck
We would not have called this dish 'thyme smoked duck'. We would have called it: 'HOW THE HELL DOES THAT TINY PORTION COST £13'? Still, that said, the meat was cooked to a beautiful shade of rareness. It was as pink as the bum of a Brit abroad on a nudist beach. But in a good way.
Say you've dried out a slice of pineapple until it's a delicious little crisp, popped it on a plate with a selection of beautiful chilli-flecked fresh pineapple and decided to counterbalance the flavour with a panna cotta: what flavour do you make it if you want it to stand out? Ideally not pineapple, judging by the underwhelming panna cotta at the centre of this dish.
Left to right, that's a chocolate brownie, an awesomely syrupy flapjack and a peanut butter and jelly blondie. They were all phenomenal and, according to the menu, they were the produce of Cinnamon Tree Bakery. We don't know Cinnamon Tree Bakery, but we're definitely going to start finding out more about it pretty soon.
Borough Plates, 1 Cathedral Street, SE1 9AL. The restaurant is open until the end of March, Tue-Sat, noon-10pm. Parties of six or more can book via email@example.com. Smaller group sizes are walk-in only.