Five items or less: Maquis Shop, London W6

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Next door to a restaurant called Maquis, in Hammersmith, west London, is a singular grocer of the same name. Puzzled first-time customers ask, is it Middle Eastern, Italian, Spanish, French? A bit of each and a bit of British, too, actually. This is a shop for real cooks, not those who want all the work done for them. There's a selection of ingredients to cook your way round North Africa and Europe. Everything here is among the best of its type – tinned tomatoes like no others, Academy English jams, Ortiz tuna and Elvas plums from Portugal, Moroccan Argan oil that's not extortionately priced, the finest chocolate, Turkish rose-petal jam.

Next door to a restaurant called Maquis, in Hammersmith, west London, is a singular grocer of the same name. Puzzled first-time customers ask, is it Middle Eastern, Italian, Spanish, French? A bit of each and a bit of British, too, actually. This is a shop for real cooks, not those who want all the work done for them. There's a selection of ingredients to cook your way round North Africa and Europe. Everything here is among the best of its type – tinned tomatoes like no others, Academy English jams, Ortiz tuna and Elvas plums from Portugal, Moroccan Argan oil that's not extortionately priced, the finest chocolate, Turkish rose-petal jam.

There are also cheeses and yoghurts from Neal's Yard Dairy, a vacherin Mont d'Or discovered in Paris, matt-skinned, juicy oranges from southern Italy, rocket, tomatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, Spanish hams, Italian salamis, jars of cardamom pods, fresh meat from Ginger Pig, lovingly reared in the Midlands.

There is some overlap in buying with the restaurant, which has more of a French bent than its sister restaurant in east London, Moro. But anyone following recipes in Moro: the Cookbook should come here for dried limes, rose petals, baby broad beans and bulgar wheat. "We keep on selling out of orange-blossom water," says Leila McAlister, who spent months picking the stock. Coming soon: Corsican salami.

1.Freekeh

Roast green wheat, from the Lebanon. It's harvested while the grain is young and green, and roasted in the fields over an open fire, to burn off the husks and impart a smoky flavour. Cook it like rice. £3.80 a kilo.

2. Oregano

A posy of the intensely aromatic bushy herb gathered wild in Portugal and dried. £1.40.

3. Bottarga

Only from Sardinia, a little of this dried grey mullet roe goes a long way. Subtle and yet salty, it can be grated over spaghetti with olive oil and chilli flakes, as it is in Sardinia, or shaved over salads. £113 a kilo, but a couple of roes comes to around £11 and will keep in the fridge for months.

4. Maquis bread

Signature sourdough first baked at Moro and now at Maquis restaurant, by owner Sam Clark. Loaf £3.80, half loaf £1.90.

5. Mussalli hibiscus tea bags

Made in Surrey by Mr Mussalli, a former pharmacist, with the whole dried flowers. He also produces Lebanese-style coffee headily perfumed with cardamom. 20 bags, £1.60.

Maquis Shop, 111 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 (020-8846 3851). Open Mon-Fri from 8am-7pm, Sat 8am-4pm

Comments