Take a Butcher’s At Macellaio RC’s Spritzeria Menu | Union Yard Arches, London
A few doors down from our old haunt, The Lord Nelson pub where many a good night was had is Better Bankside’s Low Line project – part of the Union Yard Arches development on Union Street. If you’re walking by with your face buried in your phone then it’s likely you’ll miss it. Here’s a top tip for you: when walking around town, or anywhere for that matter – look up, for you never know what you might actually see and discover.
The Low Line, much like New York’s High Line, focuses on the rail arches that have been part of Bankside for over 150 years. A project conceived by a local resident, it aims to transform the public realm by opening up the mostly car-free walkway that runs along the base of the Victorian viaducts. Network Rail have actually produced something decent following significant investment and redevelopment whilst not including huge chain restaurants in the process.
We first spotted Macellaio RC in Exmouth Market, you can’t miss the frontage of this site complete with their trademark red leather chesterfield sofa (unless you have your face in your phone) for it looks like a proper butchers. In fact it is a butchers – Macellaio is the Italian translation for the word. The ‘RC’ bit refers to the owner, Roberto Costa – better than having his full name, I suppose. The Union Street has an in-house butchery and open air Ligurian bakery and meats from the Italian mountains, fresh or dry aged – this is no average steak house.
However we weren’t there to try the meat, we were there to sit on their red chesterfield on the ‘Spritzeria’ (a kind of terrace) and nibble on their smaller, more bready menu. This is ideal ‘not quite hungry enough for dinner’ fodder, or even as a starter and if you like bread and cheese, well you’re sorted. We kicked off with a couple of Aperol Spritzes (£4.50) during happy hour, since returning from Venice where we drank them for just €3 we can’t bring ourselves to pay up to £9 for one so this was a good result.
Now I’m not a huge fan of lardo but the Macellaio RC‘s Lardo bruschetta with honey and walnuts (£4) was outstanding, I can still remember it as clear as day over a week later – the sweetness of the honey was the perfect foil to the fattiness of the meat. We tried a selection of charcuterie – proscuitto cotto (cooked ham), proscuitto crudo (36 month aged parma ham) and Fassana bresaola (salted beef, air-dried for six months) all delicious and obviously extremely high quality.
From the bakery you simply must not miss the Focaccia al formaggio (£6) – a traditional dish from Genova of crispy focaccia stuffed with stracchino cheese, a kind of pancake pizza hybrid and bloody amazing. On the opposite end of the bread scale is the super deep and fluffy Pissa (£4) with tomato sauce and stracchino, proofed for a whopping 90 hours this is delicious and oh so very satisfying.
As I can’t eat cheese, I could only sit and watch Ade devour this cheesy bread feast in frustration and hunger. I poured over the menu where the prices for mains were surprisingly low on the price scale, the Pork collar with honey mustard, cumin and beetroot mayo (£12) was calling my name big time. We felt a little smug as we noticed quite a few admiring glances in our direction whilst we were at Macellaio RC, obviously for our food – not us. I didn’t really know what to expect but it certainly wasn’t anything as tasty and good value as this, we’ll be back and next time for some of that meat…
Arch 24, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR
Telephone: 020 3848 0529
Mon – Fri:
Lunch 12.00pm – 3.00pm
Dinner 6.00pm – 11.00pm
Sat: 12.00pm – 11.00pm
Sun: 12.00pm – 11.00pm