Maltby Street Market is one of my favourite places in London. A bit of a walk through some very quiet and a little dodgy parts of London, but worth it in the end. On the weekend it’s heaving, and not with tourists, which is always a pleasure. Especially since Borough Market has become so unbearable.
40 Maltby Street is a wine bar I repeatedly return to, with good ambience, nice wines and lovely food. It seems to be one of the few places open in the evenings on the weekdays. But then I read great reviews from the Nudge and Hot Dinners about the newly opened Lassco Bar & Dining, just opposite 40 Maltby Street, with very reasonable prices (£25 for 2 courses / £30 for three) and in an eccentric, fun setting.
So I went on Friday and dragged a friend along. When I finally managed to locate it (Lassco is a big warehouse, with multiple entrances), I found it very empty, which unnerved me slightly. But it is an undeniably wonderful setting, and one which is hard to describe. Everything around you is for sale, from the antique furniture, art work, tiles and vintage lamps. You’re surrounded by a mixture of everything, from different continents and decades. And it just works.
The bar is jolly, adorned with (old school) bunting, and a good but select wine list. The cocktails are meant to be worth trying too, but we stuck to the red wine (my preference went to the wine from Le Marche, Italy). We were then led to the ‘dining room’, with attractive light green walls and a selection of prints hanging on the walls. The food was good, starting with fresh sourdough bread and smoked whiskey butter which was beyond moorish. I chose the scallops to start (delicious), Ash the beetroot and Stilton (also good – though Stilton always tends to overpower).
The main courses were both excellent, I again opted for the lemon sole (though I had forgotten how bony this fish is), and Ash went for the wild boar. To finish I couldn’t resist the flourless chocolate cake, which tasted as good as it sounds.
Lassco Bar & Dining has a definite charm to it, and I’d recommend it for a low-lit date or even a sophisticated but fun night with a group of friends (reservations shouldn’t be hard). It just needs a lot more diners (or drinkers), because it lacked the buzz and atmosphere that goes hand in hand with people having a good time. They are apparently moving to an even larger space across the road in June, and I wish them all the best, because this is a place which deserves to do well.
Ropewalk, 41 Maltby Street,
Photo credit: Lassco Bar & Dining