London’s skyline, unlike NYC with its Empire State building, Rockefeller centre and other sky scrapers, has been invaded by cranes. Especially the city. It’s like they’re always trying to come up with a new memorable shaped building: the gherkin (that I like to call the pickle), the shard, and Julien and I spotted the designs of this upcoming building, meant to look like a flower I think. That was the other day when we had lunch in the city, on a waste ground surrounded by constructions: Bishopsgate market.
There were up all Spring and Summer while the place was still empty but I’m afraid they might have left now because we don’t have enough new big buildings in the city you know. However, JB and I got to discover some new names of the food industry and it is pretty exciting.
I really liked the picture. Fancy bankers in suit coming down from their haughty offices nestled up high to those street food trucks on a construction site to enjoy the best lunch outdoors in the Sun, every Tuesday and Wednesday for several months. Would be the highlight of my day if I worked in the city. (Fortunately I don’t!).
But man, the food was soooo good… Though we had several choices (roast, Italian, French crêpes etc) you know the rule: you eat where people are queuing. It’s where the food is the best since it’s people’s favourite, and it adds a bit of the excitement of “quick quick they might run out!” (which, to my big disappointments, I have learnt the hard way…). So we queued for Sub-cult. We wanted their “dub-sub” but obviously they had run out. So we went for the “sub-marine” and waited in line.
When my sub was ready (“no calamari please”), the guy told me to brace myself. “It’s going to be the best sandwich you have ever had”. Don’t they all say that? But they aren’t all right. Only one can be the best, only one can be right. This guy was. We don’t just eat with our palet, we also eat with our nose and with our eyes. I can’t lend you my palet, I can’t lend you my nose. Technology hasn’t developed that yet. BUT! look at that…
Come on, lick the screen. Actually don’t. It’ll be messy. Those things are super messy to eat. And let’s be honest, that’s what makes them even more delicious. Getting spicy mayo all over your face, licking your fingers to not lose a single bit of the sub. That’s the human reaction you want to get when you’re making and selling food. No?
I usually scold Julien for eating to quickly. But my sub didn’t last long… Scallops in it were cooked perfectly, and who doesn’t love pulled pork? and the sauce… and the herbs… and just the bread… Guys in the truck were friendly, and that reflected in the making of the sub. I want my purchases to be stamped with “Made with Love”, not “Made in [Asian country where children are overworked and underpaid]”.
The sub was followed by coffee and doughnuts. What should I start with? doughnut? coffee?
I went for the one combination I’ve heard so much of and had never tried: CHILLI CHOCOLATE! We all know the match made in heaven was chocolate and raspberry… But chocolate can have a little affair can’t it? in which case, it’s sneaking around with chilli because even though the combination may sound off, it is the BOMB.
JB is more of a purist and got the PB+J one.
He may have regretted it as he’s not a fan of custard, and it was peanut butter custard, tucked in that fluffy dough… Which makes sense when you think about it, because who wants dry peanut butter inside a doughnut? But I was happy to eat some! (I don’t like waste… especially when it’s good food).
I went to queue and started taking pictures, as I do. Somehow, it created a bond with the lovely man making the coffee (forgot to ask his name) and the two ladies being served before me. I got to see him at work, preparing some hot (again) chilli chocolate.
Though I was tempted to try it as well, I thought the only way you can judge the value of a coffee maker, is by drinking their coffee. So I opted for a good old flatwhite. My favourite. Though I was better at making cappuccinos when I was a waitress. I may have said this before, but having worked with a professional coffee machine in the past, and having learnt how to steam milk the right way, I have a really hard time ordering coffee in cafes… When you walk in a chain coffee shop, you’re at least assured your barista has been trained. It’s not the case in independent shops and I’ve found myself emptying my coffee down the sink (and you know I hate waste) because the milk was ruined. So when I saw the guy starting to pour that beautiful creamy, thick and fluffy milk down the paper cup, swirling it around to create a pretty leaf pattern (+ a little heart in the corner because we had bonded), I KNEW I was going to drink some amazing coffee. And I did.
Overall, it was a very satisfying lunch that we digested making our way to the Tate and getting another angle on the City.You’ll find CROSSTOWN DOUGHNUTS at Bishopsgate market again this month on Fridays. Check out their website for more locations.
Lots of foodie love