borough, borough market, celiac, coeliac, eating out, elliots cafe, Food, Gluten free, local food, London, market london, natural wines, restaurant, Review, seasonal, simple cooking, stoney st, wheat free
Cuisine: Seasonal modern cooking & / small sharing plates
Number of GF options: All but one (but depends as the menu changes nearly daily)
Cost: £12-15 for mains
Elliot’s Cafe in Borough Market is all about the market. Seasonal, local ingredients cooked simply, with many ingredients from traders and shops in the vicinity. But even though this kids of place makes my heart sing, this is not why I LOVE this place. For me it’s all about the chef and co-owner Brett.
We took a punt going to Elliot’s. A no reservations policy and no idea whether there would be more than a salad for me to eat, I was relying on critic reviews. A quick glance over the menu for gluten free options, before committing to a drinks order, suggested my eating out rule – seasonal, simple cooking = more gf options – was about to serve me well. I duly asked the waitress to check what was gluten free. All but the bread and the cake. You see, Brett the chef is a coeliac.
Most things on the menu were naturally gluten free – roast chicken, sirloin steak, charcuterie, mussels, pork belly. But so were dishes such as cauliflower cheese (which I think was more fondue) and whitebait which was fried in rice flour for a crisper coating. This menu showed a real confidence in the kitchen. What makes it naturally gluten free though, is not over relying on wheat-y carbohydrates in every dish as so many restaurants do. Plus, it allows the diner to focus on the seasonal ingredients that should be centre plate.
Each dish really lets the ingredients shine. Crunchy and fleshy mouthfuls of whitebait were dipped and gone. My roast chicken was the best I have ever eaten. It was no ordinary roast dinner for sure. An interesting selection of unusual and mostly natural wines from small vineyards, many by the glass, complement their meals and style. There are even a few sweet options to accompany dessert. And their puds are free from the usual boring gluten free creme brulee / meringue offerings. New season rhubarb and custard ice cream or pear and almond sundae. What a refreshing change!
The place had a lovely neighbourhood vibe for a tuesday night at touristy Borough Market. Staff were super friendly, knew their stuff but were also happy to check on ingredients. I can’t wait to go back. They are open from breakfast through to lunch and dinner, and even when the kitchen is closed between service they still offer a few things to eat. And they have just started opening for a Sunday lunch sitting.
Elliot’s Cafe for me was gluten free dining at its best. There is a true confidence in the kitchen and you can practically see the links Elliot’s has with their suppliers. Coupled with the discreet but friendly service, this is a firm friend of the coeliacs. Not that you would know it!
For more about Brett and Elliot’s Cafe, watch out for an interview with this gluten free champion in a couple of weeks.
Please note// whilst the menu is usually largely gluten free, please check their website to make sure, as the menu changes nearly daily. I would hate for you to have a wasted trip.