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Mallow – Review
FOOD

Mallow – Review

As someone who has been a vegetarian for many years (and dabbled with veganism on occasion) I was excited to try mallow, the new venture by the minds behind Mildreds that has recently opened in Borough Market. That’s right, Borough Market has finally got a 100% plant-based restaurant (it only took 1,000 years!) so the pressure is on for mallow to deliver. Thankfully, the experience was worth the wait. Mallow promises to offer “an elevated plant-based food model serving fresh, colourful and internationally inspired food with a strong focus on sustainability, seasonality, and provenance”, and this ethos can be felt throughout their menu and the passionate way the staff talked about the food throughout our visit.

The décor is fun and fresh enough to please Borough Market regulars and food enthusiasts, but also elegant and stylish, so will no doubt appeal to nearby London Bridge office workers wanting to impress their clients with their environmental awareness! The upstairs dining area was packed for an early dinner sitting on a Thursday evening, and the fairly close proximity of the tables makes for a buzzy and cosy atmosphere, despite the beautiful high ceilings and large Shard-facing windows.

We start off the evening with a simple plate of sourdough to whet our appetite before the small plates arrive. It is however accompanied by salted maple butter which is anything but simple; I could quite happily have been left a bowl of it and a spoon. As a fan of anything sweet and salty, this was a great start!

Next, we shared the porcini truffle croquettes with aioli, and the son dumplings with kimchi and gochujang dip. Both were tasty and the ingredients fresh, but it was the dumplings that stole the show for us. Deep fry anything as comforting as porchini mushrooms and slather it in garlic and you’re onto a winner, but the dumplings with the crunchy and tangy kimchi and sticky soy dip were just superb (I could have eaten another half a dozen).

For our mains, my partner went with the plum plant-chicken burger, chilli sesame mayo and fries, and I chose the shiitake dashi with udon noodles, mushroom sesame tempeh and daikon. Two very different cuisines and flavours, but with one outcome: satisfaction. My meat-eating partner chowed down his plant burger like it was a steak, devouring the spicy mayo and accompanying daikon so fast I barely had a chance to ask him how it was. My noodles were comforting in their sweet broth, offset by the acidic cabbage beautifully. I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate such a fat juicy shiitake mushroom that contained so much flavour.

For dessert, we needed the help of the (already very helpful) waiting staff, as we could not decide which of the tasty sounding offerings to go with. Eventually we settled on the chocolate hazelnut financier with white chocolate mousse, and the carrot cake sticky toffee with cream cheese mousse. Of all the dishes we tried that evening, we both agreed that our desserts were the most exciting in terms of flavours less travelled. My carrot cake/sticky toffee pudding hybrid was just that; a fabulous combo of freshly homemade carrot cake, with an indulgent hyper-sweet toffee sauce, cut through with the tanginess of a cream cheese frosting. Each mouthful both sweet and savoury but uniformly delicious.

I wish to end this review, not with a summing up of all you have read before, but by simply stating that I have already booked mallow for the work Christmas lunch. That is how confident I am in its universal crowd-pleasing capacity!

Address: 1 Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE

Website: https://mallowlondon.com

Written by Claire Coveney

#boroughmarket #mallow #vegetarian

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