Thursday, July 5, 2018

Market Halls Fulham - Street Food Inside a Former Underground Station

Market Hall Fulham - Street Food Inside a Former Underground Station

Formerly the Fulham Broadway Station, Market Halls Fulham is the best new thing to hit my little corner of West London for quite some time. Though I don't live in Fulham, I'm close enough and I often walk there when the weather is nice to Fulham Broadway for the cinema, to have a coffee, see friends, take a dance class or grab dinner at any number of great restaurants in the area. Market Halls is the perfect new addition to this vibrant, ever-changing neighbourhood and whether you're coming from near or far, it's worth a bit of a commute!

Market Halls Fulham

The former Fulham Broadway underground station has been neglected for years, or at least as far as I've ever seen in my nearly 8 years here, so it's great to see it's finally being put to a good use. Just steps away from the new Fulham Broadway station, Market Halls is easily accessed by public transportation and it's very close to the Vue Cinema making it perfect for a dinner & movie evening. 

converted train station ticket booth

On my first visit to Market Halls Fulham I was on a bit of a mission. Because of its food court type set-up, I wanted to try as much as possible, so I gathered up a couple of friends and we ordered a wide selection of dishes from the various different street food vendors available. Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to try everything, but I think I tasted a good enough selection to make up my mind that Market Halls Fulham is a great spot for food & drinks, no matter what you're craving! (Truth be told, I've been back several times since my first visit and everything I've tasted was so amazing, I've found it difficult not to order the same things time and again.)

bar at Fulham Market Halls

When you enter the Market Halls, my advice would be to first find a table if you're not dining alone. Set up camp, review the menus on the tables and make a plan. I would suggest placing your various food orders first because they will take a bit of time to prepare. You will be given a little vibrating buzzer that will go off when your food is ready, but they aren't marked so be sure to keep them in order so you know what to collect when it vibrates. It's super simple and an effective way to ensure you don't stand around waiting for your food for ages in long queues. You can get on with your socialising and more importantly, head to the bar to order your drinks. 

bartender making an espresso martini

The bar is unique because it's set up inside the preserved ticket booth from the original station. It couldn't be cuter or more London-like and I love how they've maintained the train station feel. Fully stocked with beer, spirits and a cocktail menu that's sure to excite you, there's something for everyone. That said, if you just want a soda or a bottle of water, you can grab that from most of the food vendors and save yourself a trip to the bar. If it's something healthier you want or if you're in desperate need of a coffee, there is a coffee shop inside the Market Halls and some of the vendors offer a selection of more health-conscious drink options.

espresso martini and two pints of lager

The Bar at Market Halls Fulham aims to feature independent British-made beers, spirits and soft drinks including a house lager called Market Helles. Additionally, there's a rotation of other UK beers from some of the nation's finest breweries available with 6 British craft beers on tap alongside a selection of 20 bottles & cans you can enjoy. 

making cocktails

The cocktail list slightly resembles that of a classic American Bar found in any major city in Europe (such as the one at the Savoy Hotel), featuring a short list of classic, familiar drinks reimagined with creativity using British craft spirits by London Vodka and East London Liquor Company

Paloma cocktail

I found the cocktails too tempting to refuse on my first visit so off to the bar I went, first ordering an Espresso Martini which was recommended to me by the bartender. For my second drink I decided to try a Paloma. Both were delicious!
bar

In addition to the cocktails and beers available, there's a seasonal wine list at The Bar. Carefully selected to complement the food on offer inside the Market Halls, the list consists of a healthy variety of red, white, rose and sparkling wines available in a range of sizes.

Fulham Market Halls House Sodas

Everything at The Bar is made with in-house ingredients wherever possible, including house made cordials. To keep things authentic, Market Halls has even collaborated with Square Root, the Hackney-based small batch soda makers to make the Market Halls Pink Grapefruit Soda used in the Paloma. A wide selection of soft drinks are on hand for non-drinkers and the kiddos. In addition, free water refilling stations are located inside the halls to keep guests hydrated. To say they've covered all the bases would be an understatement, but enough about The Bar... Let's talk about the food.

BBQ Brisket Poutine

Hotbox London
I had a tip from a friend that the poutine at Hotbox London was a must-try, so it was one of the first things I ordered. A Canadian specialty, poutine traditionally consists of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. I want to fairly warn you - traditional poutine is not what you're getting at Hotbox. It's more of a BBQ-style tribute to the Canadian classic featuring french fries topped with barbecued brisket, a cheesy sauce and sliced chillis. It's incredible and worth every calorie... It's also perfect for sharing! While I haven't tried anything else at Hotbox, I can say the brisket sandwiches look so good and they also offer a heap of traditional BBQ favourites including chicken, ribs, burgers and the ultimate side for such dishes, macaroni & cheese.

Garlic Bread and Pizza
Yard Sale Pizza
By far my favourite of all the vendors I've tried at Market Halls Fulham, Yard Sale Pizza is serving up delicious pies and garlic breads alongside their own homemade dipping sauces. My favourite is the Holy Pepperoni which features two types of pepperoni alongside Nduja sausage. For those of you who aren't familiar, Nduja is a soft, spreadable, spicy Italian sausage that's often used in croquettes and it's pretty much my favourite thing ever. The garlic bread with cheese is pretty awesome too! If you're feeling adventurous, try the garlic bread with Marmite or the Holy F**k Hot Sauce. Yard Sale also offers ice cream sandwiches too if dessert is something you fancy, but definitely do try the pizza first!

Butchies Chicken Strips

Butchies
Fried chicken is what's on tap at Butchies which boasts a mouthwatering menu featuring sandwiches with catchy names (one is even named after J-Lo), traditional American-style favourites and a few spicy items for those who are brave enough. I opted for the chicken strips and they were perfect - crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and absolutely delicious. I can't wait to go back and try more, particularly the Cheesy Rider!

Persian Spiced fries


Fanny's
Serving up various kebabs, Fanny's caught my eye with their Persian Fries and I couldn't resist giving them a try. These might very well be the best fries I've had in London! Covered in spices, crispy yet soft and just salty enough, these little darlins don't need any ketchup at all.

Flowers

In addition to the vendors I tried, there are several other options available. For Indian, there's Calcutta Canteen, Ahi Poke offers a taste of the Pacific, Claude's Deli serves up seasonal British fare and Thima by Farang for Thai. Coffee lovers will want to hit up Press Coffee and for something sweet, Soft Serve Society offers an interesting selection of ice cream flavours to tempt you. There was also a flower pop-up when I visited for purchasing lovely arrangements and bouquets to take home, so there really is something for everyone.

skylight

The bright open space at Market Halls Fulham is lovely and the glass sun roof gives the impression that you're still outside enjoying the weather. Occasionally there's music playing and when that's the case, it can be a little loud, but more often than not the atmosphere is fun, light-hearted and perfect for enjoying delicious food & drinks with friends or family. One section of seating is located near a small play area for children, so it's a good spot for lunch if you're bringing little ones. 

Market Halls Fulham

The Market Halls Fulham is located just next to Fulham Broadway Station on Fulham Road, so it's easily accessible by the District Line. With 9 kitchens, a bar and plenty of seats, there's no need for reservations and I've yet to struggle too hard to find a seat or wait more than 5 minutes or so in a queue. If Fulham isn't convenient to you, don't sweat it. Market Halls is opening two more locations later this year in Victoria and Oxford Circus, so keep your eye out for those. For more information, visit markethalls.co.uk.
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