Friday, 23 February 2007

The Love Of Butchers - to be continued...

Over the last year or two, being constantly on my bike around London, I have encountered many butchers of varying quality, price and cooperation. I currently have the number of 6 butchers in my mobile so can usualy guarantee to track what I want. If none of those have it, I go to Selfridges food hall where I've never been let down. Here's a lowdown:

Randalls, Wandsworth Bridge Road
113 Wandsworth Bridge Road
020 7736 3426

I have a love/hate relationship with this place. It costs a fortune - without doubt the most expensive meat in London. They always look down their noses at me when I walk in, sensing that my pockets aren't as deep as fucking Gordon's. They have warmed to me slightly slightly but I think they're just a bit up themselves. The main reason for their snobbery is Gordon Ramsay who buys his meat there. Jamie Oliver and a host of other famed foodies also shop there, so you're paying partly for the celebrity association.

That aside, their meat is amazing. Not just the quality, which is faultless, but the way in which it is prepared. Their game comes beautifully dressed in a protective layer of pork fat (to ensure moistness) and impeccably tied. Many of the prepared joints are stuffed with fresh herbs and there is always a pungent pile of herbs in the shop ready to be stuffed in a glistening hungry orifice (calm it Stu, wrong blog).

If you're looking for a real treat, and have just been paid, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, please so pop in as a spectator. Everyone should see this place, even vegetarians.

AA King, Parsons Green
30-34 New King's Road
020 7736 4004

King's is a great balance of quality and price. Their meat is great quality but despite it's location, you don't pay through the nose for it. Good for game, always friendly and keen to order you the less common cuts, this is one of my favourites in London. Until recently, the butcher most frequently behind the counter was a lady. It was a pleasure to be served by Sally and a rare sight to see a female butcher.

The funny thing about Sally is that she can't cope with the thought of eating rabbit. So whenever I bought rabbit I'd get a stern look, an anecdote about her pet rabbits and a gereral air of disapproval. Funnily enough, she has occasionally asked a furtive question such as "so is it really nice then?" which showed that deep down, she is still a butcher.

Best value butcher I know of in London and a really great place to go if you have no idea what you want for tea.

Chadwick's Organic Butchers, Balham
208 Balham High Road
SW12 9BS
020 8772 1895

I went to university with Gary Chadwick and had no idea that 3 years later, he'd pop up as my local butcher.

Pure Meat Co, Kentish Town
258 Kentish Town Road
Kentish Town
020 7485 0346

Coming soon.

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