A girl needs more than just a knife
October 16, 2006 4:16 AM   Subscribe

Londonfilter: Just landed with a chef's knife and need to locate goods.

Have perused the many threads on shopping in London but need to track down a restaurant supply store open to the public and baking supplies/ingredients of high quality. Robert Dylas, Argos nor Tesco Direct are not giving me the equipment nor the ingredients I need. Extra points for places near Putney but am willing to travel using tube and bus. Have already tried the Spice Shop on Portabello Road (hate to say, but the goods were not up to par especially in extracts). Thanks for any suggestions and help.
posted by jadepearl to Food & Drink (18 answers total)
Cooking utensils etc from Divertimenti on the Brompton Road. Ingredients from food halls at Harrods, Selfridges and of course Fortnum's. What did you want in particular?
posted by boudicca at 5:54 AM on October 16, 2006

If you're looking for proper equipment (rather than ingredients), try Dentons catering supplies at the bottom of Clapham High Street.
posted by patricio at 6:00 AM on October 16, 2006

Amongst supermarkets, Waitrose is best for ingredients. It depends which spices you are after, but quite often the smaller "ethnic" supermarkets are best.

(Never heard of Robert Dylas, but Argos is the bargain basement for equipment, and Tesco Direct is a mini-supermarket: you may well have more luck going to a full sized tescos. But a big Waitrose would be best.)
posted by handee at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2006

Waitrose store locator.
posted by handee at 6:41 AM on October 16, 2006

And my third comment (sorry) I was mistaken above about Tesco Direct which is of course their online presence, I confused it with Tesco Local (their mini supermarket).
posted by handee at 6:43 AM on October 16, 2006

If you're looking for spices, flour and other staples to buy in bulk, you could do a lot worse than go to one of the 'Turkish' stores you find in certain areas of London, which seem catered towards restaurants as well as punters. (They sell powdered citric acid, for instance.) There are loads in West Ealing and in Haringey.
posted by randomination at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2006

(To get to West Ealing high street from Putney, take the train to Brentford and get an E8 or E2 bus northbound.)
posted by randomination at 6:59 AM on October 16, 2006

Oh yeah and of course borough market at the weekend.
posted by handee at 7:00 AM on October 16, 2006

For kitchen supplies (cookware, etc.) you may want to try John Lewis. There's one in Kingston which is not that far from Putney.
posted by gfrobe at 7:06 AM on October 16, 2006

Further thought: Villandry on Great Portland Street is a "foodie" mecca.

[Of the supermarket chains, Waitrose definitely has the greatest range of interesting ingredients, but a lot of regular items are overpriced compared to other supermarkets.]
posted by boudicca at 7:13 AM on October 16, 2006

Best answer: Pages on Shaftesbury Avenue does professional grade catering gear. I took my friend (who has a thing about exceptionally pricy cooking knives) and he was in here for about two hours.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:20 AM on October 16, 2006

There is a small-ish Waitrose conveniently right opposite Divertimenti, I buy my baking supplies there at Christmas. Waitrose also delivers under their pseudonym Ocado. I would also highly recommend Lakeland for baking supplies. There aren't any actual Lakeland stores in inner London, weirdly, your nearest is probably Brent Cross.
posted by featherboa at 7:28 AM on October 16, 2006

Um, that's the Divertimenti on Marylebone High Street that has a Waitrose opposite it. I always forget there's more than one!
posted by featherboa at 7:29 AM on October 16, 2006

Would also recommend Pages on Shaftesbury avenue if it is restaurant grade stuff you want. Divertimenti is excellent but very pricey - really it is catering to the monied Chelsea set (no offence featherboa!) who want top quality copper bottomed pans that also look lovely.

Lakeland is great fun, you are probably better off ordering stuff on the internet.

Otherwise, the John Lewis and Waitrose stores are the best on the high street for quality homewares and ingredients respectively. I think there is a Waitrose in the shopping centre on Putney High Street.
posted by csg77 at 7:38 AM on October 16, 2006

Hansen's on Fulham Road is near Putney and a professional chef/kitchen supplier. Fun place for a nose around; open to the general public.
posted by sagwalla at 7:41 AM on October 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the tips. Waitrose in Putney, I think, is kind of small and did not have an extensive section of baking ingredients (had a hard time finding fresh herbs too). If you are wondering what I am looking for something on the lines of double or triple fold vanilla extract-- folks who have that usually carry other interesting goods. In regard to knife equipment a good hone, maybe an offset. I don't need insane cold forged German steel but maybe something on the line of F. Dick which are nice, reliable and professional without account emptying prices.

Keep the suggestions coming.
posted by jadepearl at 8:43 AM on October 16, 2006

Waitrose/John Lewis at Kingston is probably a good bet then - it is a little larger than the average.
posted by handee at 8:46 AM on October 16, 2006

The Conran Shop (eg Marylebone High St and King's Rd) has high end kitchen stuff. For ingredients you should try Borough Market and also the Selfridge's food hall.
posted by cushie at 10:21 AM on October 16, 2006

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