Friday, April 06, 2007

Miscellaneous Food: Borough Market

I have a whole bunch of restaurant reviews written by my sister, but they're sitting in draft form because I don't have the pictures that go with them just yet.

In the meantime I'll cover some of my recent gastronomic exploits. I suppose one of the benefits of studying overseas is the opportunity to be exposed to a wide array of culinary experiences, limited only by your interest and budget.

Good food is not, as is sometimes thought, about expensive restaurants and celebrity chefs. Good food begins with good ingredients. Anyone who has ever had bad sushi can attest to that. Once you start with fresh, unadulterated ingredients, very little work and effort is needed to produce good food. To produce exceptional food something extra is needed, but that's not the point.

It can be a little difficult in Singapore to find really good ingredients, given our heavy dependence on imported foreign products, which, by the time they reach the end-user, are either bruised or have lost some of their freshness after having travelled thousands of miles and being exposed to all sorts of transportation stresses.

Undoubtedly, Borough Market is an institution devoted to the freshness of ingredients, and indeed, dedicated to food itself. A visit there is always rewarding, and if you go on an empty stomach, quite filling.


Stalls there cater to every possible craving of human appetites. There is a stall selling artisanal cider and beers, and a specialist sausage shop, selling things like wild boar sausages.


Chocolate gets a good representation, with one stall in particular laying out massive blocks of chocolate and mounds of cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles. The French chain L'Artisan du Chocolat also has a presence at Borough, though its chocolates sell for exorbitant rates.


One mistake I made was not going to Borough Market on an empty stomach. There is a panoply of edible food to be found - from burger stalls selling kangaroo, ostrich and wild boar burgers, to Welsh bread and Scottish cheeses, it is impossible to go hungry at this market. Even if you don't have any money on you at all, the free samples that are given out allows you to have a satisfying meal without spending anything.


Ingredients are not just limited to the UK - exquisite fleur de sel from France and mozzarella from Italy are on display and severely tempted me, as I had a dinner appointment and didn't want to ruin my appetite.

MushroomsTropical fruits

I recently read a fascinating book on sustainable food production and consumption, which placed emphasis on organic foods, which is also something that enjoys considerable popularity at Borough. In addition, those craving proper tropical fruits (not the sorry excuse of a fruit that Britain calls a banana) will find them in abundance here, though they may be prohibitively expensive.

If you do drop by Borough Market, be sure to try (among other things) the ostrich and wild boar burgers, as well as the many ethnic foods on offer, from Indian to Greek.

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