It’s rare to come across a wine bar which is known for its food as much as for its wine. I’ve read a number of articles over the past year or so where London chefs are asked what their favourite London restaurants are. Answers were invariably some of London’s more expensive establishments, like Fera (at Claridges) or Berner’s Tavern, but also places like Lyle’s (need to go) and the Palomar (one of my personal favourites). But I also kept reading about 40 Maltby Street. An understated little hidden gem of a wine bar, tucked away in one of my favourite markets – Maltby Street Market.
Side note – if you have not been to Malby Street Market then go; it’s a smaller, cosier, cheaper and more local version of Borough Market, which you’ll find under the railway arches in the backstreets of Southwark.
So what’s the deal? 40 Maltby Street is located in the warehouse of wine merchants Gergovie Wines (who sell wine made without chemicals). They’re open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30pm, and all day during the weekend. You can buy wine here to take home, or you can have a drink here and order some of their small plates. Which I recommend. The menu changes every week, and they say they take as much care making their food, as the wine makers do making their wine. This is certainly evident. Everything from their zucchini fritters (best I’ve had outside Italy) to creamy duck terrine on sourdough toast. Even their cheese boards are a delicious selection of British cheeses, mature cheddars and cheeses I’d never heard of.
On the wine front, they focus mainly on Italian and French wines, and this is really your chance to experiment with wines you wouldn’t normally go for. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable, recommending wines which might suit your tastes, but they are clearly just as proud of their food.
If you’re lucky, grab one of their little tables outside, or else grab a stool and sip your wine at a table/crate. It get’s pretty busy on a Friday evening, so go early, or head here for a laid back lunch on Saturday.
40 Maltby Street
020 7237 9247