Tenner or Less: African Volcano, Maltby Street Market

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Sensational rare beef patties at the SE1 weekend institution worth queuing for


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African Volcano
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What? Husband and wife team Grant and Julie Hawthorne, together known as African Volcano, sell the only range of British-produced, Mozambique-style peri peri awarded 5 stars by the Guild of Fine Food. Even better, they use it liberally on their chalked-up menu listing a dozen damn tasty #hashtag burgers.

Where? Maltby Street Market – or rather Ropewalk – is still the most exciting streetfood market in the capital. We’re not sure why, but even after eight years trading it just seems to retain an energy and authenticity others don’t quite always have. It’s small, bustling and still feels like a secret. Plus its under-the-arches bars and casual restaurants – stand up 40 Maltby Street, Tozino, Little Bird – are endlessly appealing.

African Volcano
African Volcano at Maltby Street. Photo: Stephen Emms

Why? All the burgers are called #dirty something: we went for a relatively restrained #dirtyoldheifer (£9) which, unlike the #dirtysecret and others, wasn’t piled high with pulled pork. It was, however, cooked exactly as we requested – as rare as possible, the beef juicily red, the ‘secret’ sauce high-kicking, and emmental oozing.

Notes: The only thing we weren’t as sure about was the rather dense bun, making the whole thing tricky to eat (and impossible by hand). It needed the knife-and-fork treatment, and even then was incredibly messy. “It’s a basic bread recipe with the peri peri marinade through it,” said chef Grant when we asked him. “Most people think it’s brioche-like, however it’s actually far from a brioche bun.”

Don’t: Be afraid to queue. It is long at peak feeding o’clock, but worth it. And remember they also sell that moreish piri-piri (and other marinades and sauces) for your larder at home.

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The African Volcano is open Sat & Sun 10-5pm on Maltby Street SE1. Follow @africanvolcano

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