February 18th 2013
Goldborne Road intersects West London’s Portobello Road just north of the Westway. The road itself runs from Ladbroke Grove to Trellick Tower, an iconic late 60’s social housing block, once the tallest block of flats in Europe. Goldborne Road and Trellick Tower have featured in more than half a dozen pop videos including The Bottom Line by Big Audio Dynamite. Ironically, 30 years ago, Trellick Tower was considered to be hard to let housing – today flats on the top floors sell for millions – the view is spectacular!
Goldborne Road has traditionally been like an extension of Portobello Market, selling old furniture,
fruit, vegetables, fish, etc.
It’s also home to a large Portuguese community, with shops selling traditional hams, chorizo, salt cod and other groceries. There are two Portuguese patisseries, not to mention a French/Moroccan one called L’Etoile de Sous. Next door in Portobello Road there are 2 Spanish shops, a convent school and at least 3 Spanish Restaurants. From the 1950’s the area has had a large Caribbean population too.
More recently Golborne Road has become home to a sizeable Moroccan community (possibly the largest in Britain) who’ve opened shops, cafés and some amazing open air restaurants.
These have kitchens in tents or caravans and use fold up tables and chairs.
I’ve eaten at this fish stall before and the food was excellent.
They specialise in fish cooked on a griddle or in a tagine. Their paella is spectacular and the family meal is a huge platter of fish (looking like the sort of dish you see in the South of France) for £12.
I visited Goldborne Road with Fiona – we went specifically to have soup from the soup stall – Mohamed and Ibrahim Siteri recently won Best Takeaway or Streetfood category in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2012. The judges visited the trailer back in November on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme. Note the street bollard (in the picture above) which doubles as a stool.
The menu is fairly simple – you can see above that the soups are £2.50 and come with French bread.
We ordered Aladass – lentil soup
and Harira – celery, chickpeas, lentils, onion, parsley and tomato. Both were quite spicy, but we stirred in an optional teaspoon of harissa too. We shared, so as not to miss out. Both soups were spicy and delicious, but we thought that Aladass was the best.
The soup stall also sells fish or meat tagines (cooking bottom left). I wanted more after the fantastic soup, but the tagines were all gone – there were a big queues when we walked past all the stalls at 1pm.
I had a bap, like most of the Moroccan customers were eating with their soups – I went for the spicy mergaz (merguez) sausages with griddled vegetables, chips, salad and garlic mayonnaise. Merguez are a North African beef or lamb sausage, spiced with chilli or harissa. These were particularly red and hot – perfect for me.
The Soup Stall is terrific and you can see how cheap it is from the menu above. I suspect, from looking at the food on all the stalls, that they are all great!
After lunch we went for a coffee (over the road) at Lisboa, a Portuguese institution in West London.
I wasn’t really hungry, but Fiona ordered a custard tart… I’ve had these before and couldn’t resist a little taste – it was delicious as usual. People go to Golborne Road just for the pastries and coffee at Lisboa, let alone the all other amazing foods!
I took the picture above of some tagines for sale and now I realise I’m going to have to go back and buy one. I bought some whole preserved lemons in one of the shops, which are brilliant in spicy lamb, chicken and fish stews (and tagines, of course) – 6 cost me £1.65, that’s cheaper than fresh ones!
Goldborne Road is close to Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park tubes. Having previously lived off Portobello Road for 10 years, I prefer visiting on Fridays which are nowhere near as packed as Saturdays. I believe that food is served al fresco 5 days a week, they are closed on Thursdays and Sundays. The main Portobello Market days are Friday and Saturday.
Goldborne Road and Portobello Road have been voted Best Street/Outdoor Market in the 2013 Market of the Year awards.