So what do we need to know about Market Hall Fulham?
Well, it's the first of a series of Market Halls openings. There are six in total planned for London - the next two are Victoria and Oxford Street. It's a modern-day food hall for Londoners, bringing together a variety of food traders under one roof with a communal dining and drinking area.
Where is it?
In the old Fulham Broadway station. It's a Grade II listed building, built in the Edwardian era and quite beautiful. Obviously, the nearest station is the new Fulham Broadway tube.
Where should we meet friends for a drink first?
Here. They've turned the old ticket office into a bar. Almost everything behind the bar is independent British-made beers, spirits and soft-drinks. We tried an exceptional - and brand new - pale ale from North Cornwall brewers Harbour and strongly recommend you give this a go. But they'll also have beers like Cloudwater, Wild Beer Co and off-the-grid Sussex brewers Good Things and Bermondsey based Urban Orchard Cider on tap.
There's a short cocktail list too from which we had the really good mezcal Tommy's margarita with wormwood salt.
So how does the whole thing work?
There are eight food traders, a deli, coffee shop and bar and a large communal dining area for over 180 people. Just rock up to whichever place you fancy eating from and then find yourself a seat. If it's the kind of thing that takes a moment to prepare you'll be given a buzzer to take away with you which goes off when your order is ready.
The Fulham traders include Thima by Farang - Highbury's critically acclaimed Thai, Calcutta Kitchen - the new place from Darjeeling Express's Asma Khan and Yard Sale Pizzas - North East London's finest sourdough pizzas. Alongside then, expect Claude's Kitchen for charcuterie and sandwiches, Soft Serve Society for ice cream, Butchies for fried chicken, Hot Box for barbecue, Fanny's Kebabs, Ahi Poké and Press Cafe. It's quite the line up.
We did our best to try food from most of the traders at the opening and highlights were:
- Tangra garlic chilli prawns (£8) and the Calcutta chicken kati roll (£7.50) from Calcutta Kitchen
- Chargrilled scallops with chilli, mandarin, lime, sweet basil and pomelo served in the shell (£9.50 for two from Thima)
- TSB - tender steam broccoli, manchego, pine nuts and garlic oil pizza from Yard Sale Pizza (£6.50 for a 9")
- Oh Snap ice cream sundae (£6) from Soft Serve Society - vanilla soft serve affogato with salted caramel sauce, gingerbread crumbs, salted caramel bits and waffle
- And the charcuterie plate from Claude's deli was pretty generous too.
This beautiful makeover of a building that had been left empty for years should be a runaway success, cleverly bringing lots of North and East London's buzzy food scene to the denizens of Fulham, saving them the trip across town.
It also heralds London finally getting the kind of food hall we've seen on our travels from New York to Lisbon or Madrid. A place that's really easy to just pop into, grab a table or a stool and pick your favourite from the great array of food on offer. We're looking forward to seeing what they do with their next openings.
More about Market Hall Fulham
Where is it? 472 Fulham Rd, London SW6 1BY
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8 till late
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