Whole Foods Market - Classic English
Oversexed, overpaid and over here! In case you missed the fuss, a new food shop has opened on Kensington High Street in London. This one happens to the size of a large department store, have 10,000 products and a organic, right on, eco hero philosophy.
Whole Foods is from America and staggers with numbers and variety - it has 100 olive oils, over 40 in house breads (pretty good), a serve yourself, muesli section, an oyster bar, ice cream parlour, fine wine section, sushi bar, a special cheese room even an organic pub and 40 sausages!
The press was initially fascinated, then there was the opening in June and back lash against the prices and the impudence of those Yanks. Much of this was about the prices of the (superb) pick your own salads - apparently customs didnt realise the prices were for each 100g and not for great tubs! The salads are actually great - you grab a tub and fill it with your choice of a multitude of different olives, artichokes in olive oil, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, peppers in oil, feta etc. Like a Pizza Hut salad bar but 100 times better.
We have been twice, once after the opening when it was heaving (must add a special mention of the dinky little trolley dolly baskets you pull along) and a month after in mid week when it was slightly dead. There are now rumours that sales are less than expected. Anyway you should go - it aims to be the best food shop in the country but misses by a smidgen.
What about those 40 sausages? Actually there are more. They have a massive selection of fresh sausages which are heavily US influenced - so half are made with Chicken or Turkey and you get US flavours and poor attempts at UK sausages. There is also a ready packed section which sells own brand plus sausages and bacon from Dalyesford Organics and Devon Rose.
All the sausages are expensive, the pre packed Whole Foods sausages cost £6.99 per kilo. We tried a selection from the butchers plus these. Overall they are very poor, made with rice flour and have little taste or succulence. They tended to split during cooking and are wet, there was traces of flavour in each but nothing to get excited about. The Classic English went head to head from with the Eden Sausage from Tywardreath Butchers and was universally rejected by a hungry gaggle of mountain bikers - no taste, falls apart and dry were the printable comments. They use 85¢ pork from high welfare farms but somewhere the taste goes missing! Overall a very disappointing 4 out of 10 in our scoring system (but still visit the shop!)