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Arthur Hooper's

  • Restaurants
  • Borough
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A small-plates restaurant next to Borough Market, on the site of a former greengrocer.

I like a restaurant with plenty of veg. It shows confidence. And, in the case of this Stoney Street newbie, tomato-throwing distance from Borough Market, it’s apt, because once upon a time, it was owned by a greengrocer, Arthur Hooper.

Not that you should expect a cor blimey guv’nor, what a load of ol’ cobblers, give us a lady (Godiva – fiver) kind of a place. The short menu – half of which is veggie – is modern Euro with a distinctly Italian accent. It’s not fussy, but looks beautiful and tastes magnifico.

There was a shimmering beef carpaccio: interlacing tiles of meat anointed with teeny blobs of fresh salsa verde and a fragrant olive oil. I adored the clams: juicy little shellfish nuggets and thin rounds of courgette over warm, n’duja-spiked juices. When the shells had all been set to one side, we picked up the serving spoon and ate the rest like soup. You’d have done the same.

Then there was pasta. It takes balls to serve pasta when you’re around the corner from wheat-maestros Padella, but they’ve done it anyway. And it’s ace. Paccheri (large tubes) had a good bite plus an intense, winey beef ragu. A veggie pasta – ribbons of perfect pappardelle with a creamy porcini and girolles sauce – was equally classic, equally intense.

And oh yes, is there time to talk about that veg? It’s gorgeous. Think butter beans in a fresh tomato sauce, with just a hint of harissa. On top, pieces of charred tenderstem broccoli. And shaved, salted ricotta, for creaminess. Even a simple plate of greens flecked with chilli and crunchy batons of chard was a beaut.

The staff are on their game. Refreshingly, they don’t send out all the plates at once, but actually ask you how you’d like your meal to be paced. Gold star. They know their wine too, smoothly recommending from the thoughtfully curated list. I basically loved them.

The only thing I didn’t love was the room. Small and moody, it’s got a masculine boudoir vibe, with black padded seats and wine bottles lit from the walls. ‘Batman’s wine cellar,’ one pal commented. After dark, this may be fine, but if you’re going during daylight hours, ask to sit outside – where you can soak up the bustle of the market – or at least near the entrance. But do go.

Written by
Tania Ballantine

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Arthur Hooper's says
Arthur Hooper’s modern Mediterranean experience is entwined with colourful Borough Market. Informal and welcoming, we create the Mediterranean passion for eating and drinking together in cosmopolitan London Bridge.

Our head chef Federico Tosi has created a Mediterranean menu for a cosmopolitan clientele. He sources fresh organic and seasonal produce locally to flavour our simple and honest menu. We are rightly renowned for healthy fish and vegetarian choices.

Our bar and drinks menu have a fulsome range of Mediterranean and new world wines, champagnes and sparkling wines, cocktails with spirit infusions made in-house.

Choose between our modern and stylish dining room or private Fruit & Veg room. Or get cosy on our Stoney Street terrace - a perfect place for watching the world and other people go by over a drink all year round. Treat your guests to our private dining room for your next event, celebration or corporate get-together.

Details

Address:
8 Stoney Street
London
SE1 9AA
Transport:
Tube: London Bridge
Price:
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 12pm-11pm Sunday Closed
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