Turnips has been vending hyper-fresh fruit & veg to Borough Market punters for the past 30 years. They’re one of the reasons that Borough Market is Borough Market. And then, right in the middle of a world pandemic, after three decades patiently biding their time, they decided that this was the moment to open a restaurant.
Not on their own that is. They’ve enlisted the help of one Tomas Lidakevicius, the former executive chef over at Jason Atherton’s Michelin Starred City Social. His own chance encounter with the stall came when he helped out delivering food parcels to the venerable during lockdown – Turnips supplied his restaurant (and many other top-tier establishments), so he came down to personally pitch in. After a couple of thoroughly inspiring conversations with the owners, a plan was hatched.
Of course, after 30 years working in the same spot, you get pretty comfortable, which is why you’ll actually find Turnips the restaurant tucked in right next to the stall. As day turns to night, any fruit and veg that hasn’t sold is cleared making way for ten or so tables and chairs. The set-up is simple but beautiful nonetheless. You’re essentially sitting in a railway arch with trains noisily running overhead, however a mix of string lighting, candles, potted plants, and fur throws give it all a rather romantic feel.
There’s also something special about sitting right next to the produce you’re about to eat. You feel like you’re sat, suspended somewhere in the midst of an important journey as whatever happens to have been pulled out of the ground that morning is magically transformed into what really are some ridiculously good looking small plates. Think Essex beetroot, with goat’s cheese and sunflower seeds; avocado with red meat radish and fish & cheese croquette; and brittany cauliflower with tardivo wild venison, all of which you can enjoy them either via an A La Carte, or – if you’re looking for something a little more special – a set menu option, with paired wines. Either way it’s near impossible to leave disappointed because if there’s one thing you can guarantee about Turnips…
…they know their onions.
NOTE: Turnips with Tomas Lidakevicius is open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday-Saturday. For more information, or to book, visit their website HERE.
Turnips | 43 Borough Market, SE1 9AH
Talking of new restaurants…have you heard about these guys?