The Well Bread Bakery: Top-notch Lamb Samosas and Pizzas
The Well Bread Bakery
381-383 North End Road, Fulham
Smack dab in the middle of North End Road Market in London England is The Well Bread Bakery where we went for coffee and breakfast. Home to a large Middle Eastern community, Fulham is filled with lots of great Middle Eastern restaurants, grocers and bakeries such as The Well Bread Bakery and the Best Mangal II. A great thing about North End Market is that it’s open 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday as opposed to some of the other markets in London that we visited such as Portobello Market (Antiques Market, only open on Saturdays), Brick Lane Markets (street food and stalls only open on Sundays) and Borough Market (only open Thursday to Saturday). North End Market was also the first place where I saw fruits and vegetables sold by the bowlful: 1 pound per bowl or “scoops” as they called it. You probably don’t get to keep the cute little bowl; but I found the concept pretty intriguing. It really stops customers from messing up your stand by rifling through huge bins of fruits and vegetables.
Another first that I found amusing was the egg cart! Eggs are never sold in carts in Canada! The fresh egg cart outside of The Well Bread Bakery sold all types of eggs, large medium and small, brown and white. Only in England can you walk downstairs from your flat to pick up half a dozen eggs from an endearing little run-down cart.
What drew us to The Well Bread Bakery at first were the plates piled high with fragrant fried rice and the dishes of samosas. Having had a lot of exposure to Middle Eastern cuisine back home, I have a great appreciation for the food and culture. And what goes better with morning coffee than some deep fried samosas and piping hot goat cheese pasties? We ordered a selection of samosas and pasties to share. The samosas came with lamb stuffing, chicken and vegetables and the pasties were filled with cheese and spinach.
Naturally, I loved the cheese-filled pastie better than the spinach. The dough in the pastie was soft but firm enough to not get soggy when heated. The cheese filling was both crumbly and creamy in the middle, the spices were light. There was a stronger hint of mint and cumin in the spinach-filled pastie.
The samosas were incredible, especially the lamb-filled one. The lamb meat was succulent and flavourful, even though it was in a ground-up filling. The outside of the samosa was crispy and light, flaky and fresh. The chicken samosa was the spiciest, with a strong curry flavour, heavy on cumin, paprika and turmeric. The spinach filling in the samosa was similar to the filling in the pastie.
The Well Bread Bakery was also filled with a ton of other goodies such as shelves and shelves full of Turkish Delight; Edmund from the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe would have been in heaven. More shelves were lined with baklava. The Well Bread Bakery even makes fancy cakes in all different shapes, even designer shoes.
To drink, we ordered a couple of Middle Eastern soft drinks which came in flimsy cans. The tab on our guava juice broke as soon as we tried to open it. They were very nice about exchanging it for us though. The actual guava juice was delicious, light and refreshing. The other drink we chose was called Vimto and it was a carbonated grape juice which I found insanely sweet and extremely bubbly.
Next we ordered a couple of pizzas with half toppings of lamb and cheese. The pies were served to us hot with the cheese still bubbling. The ground lamb, although it doesn’t look that appetizing in the photos was incredibly tasty, nicely seasoned with the natural robust lamb flavours coming through too. The cheese was stretchy and mild, a great compliment to the stronger lamb topping. The pizza crust was very crispy on the bottom, not a hint of sogginess, and the crust along the edges was chewy and crunchy.
I think I chose badly for dessert because what I thought would be a rich and dense sweet pie turned out to be a hard, sticky tart with a very firm, crumbly crust. I chose the apricot tart with a glaze that turned out to have the texture of glue. The crust may have been made from a coarse-ground flour giving it a very tough exterior. The tart filling was tooth-achingly sweet so it wasn’t a great combo with our sweet, fizzy grape drink either.
By this point though, I was quite amused by UK coins, they’re at least 5 times the thickness of Canadian coins. Were these the same heavyset coins used by Ancient kings? Carrying these little anvils in my pocket for 2 weeks definitely stretched out the pockets of my jeans.
I loved the food at The Well Bread Bakery, and will totally revisit when I get the chance.