Ham and Piccalilli on Wholemeal at The Delicatessen, Clapham Common

18 Jun

Ham and piccalilli at The Delicatessen
LOCATION: The Delicatessen, 5 The Pavement, London, Clapham SW4 0HY [map]

PRICE: £5, I think.

BREAD: Floury brown roll.

FILLING: Ham, piccalilli, watercress.

PROS: This is from The Delicatessen, which in case you’re not some food-obsessed, in-the-know, restaurant-slave, wobbly-thighed tit like me and everyone I hang around with, is the deli opened by a restaurant called The Dairy. It’s a really brilliant restaurant that makes us all go weak at the knees before we start drooling and making ga ga goo goo goo noises. The Delicatessen is just next door, and they have the seating areas joined up, so you can eat this sandwich while watching someone put away a tasting menu. Also, there’s the street life, and, as much as I will never, ever be Clapham’s biggest fan (although I feel I am slowly moving past the BUILD A WALL AROUND IT stage), it has to be said that the street life is excellent. Many an hour can be idled away slagging off and shamelessly categorising the people that walk past. I hadn’t previously noticed either, just how many people in Clapham have had bad plastic surgery. Staggering.

Anyway. The sandwich was very good and it includes their piccalilli which is really well balanced and crucially, has great crunch. We all know that the secret to a top notch piccalilli is keeping those vegetables crisp. Nothing worse than realising you’ve got a limp batch. Don’t quote me on that. The ham is of staggeringly good quality, obviously, and they leave all the lovely creamy fatty bits on which I used to hate when I was a child but now I’m a fully fledged fat munching adult who eats good quality meat I say, bring it on. The roll was good – kudos for making it wholemeal, nice bit of chew, not too thick but…

CONS:…VERY floury – as floury as an Irish blaa. I like blaas, but goddamn they’re floury. I think if I were to have this sandwich again, I’d want a bit more moisture in there, you know? The piccalilli doesn’t have quite enough juice to lube the sandwich. Also, how is one supposed to pick up a floury bap then go back to Instagramming one’s sandwich like a social media enslaved twat if one has digits covered in flour? Life in Clapham is HARD.

SCORE: 7/10. I mean there’s only so many points I can give to a ham bap, even if I do worship the ground they walk on.

Egg Mayo & Bacon on Wholemeal Baguette from Absolutely Starving, Tooley Street

11 May

snipped sarnie 2

This is a guest post from a guy called Jerry. I don’t know him or anything. We’ve never met. He’s done a review on here before though and then he sent me this and it made me laugh so I’m posting it.

LOCATION: Absolutely Starving, 51 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN [map]

PRICE: £3.75 (I think – certainly wasn’t over four quid).

BREAD: Wholemeal baguette, lightly buttered.

FILLING: Egg mayonnaise, crispy bacon (proper slices, not that diced shit), rocket and cucumber.

PROS: Absolutely Starving (or ‘A-starv’, as twats probably say) is a good 15 minutes on the 343 bus from my place of employment, but I try to make the trip at least once a week. I discovered it by chance one day when I was releasing a live otter back into the Thames and needed somewhere to shelter from the rain. That story’s not true, but it doesn’t matter because their food is so completely delicious.

It’s an enormous place, built into the warehouses, populated by a battalion of not unattractive young continentals serving hot and cold meals, pre-filled and made to order sandwiches  along with all the artisanal, gluten-free biscuits/cakes/sauces etc. that you could shake a buffalo mozzarella cheese stick at. Despite clearly appealing to an upmarket crowd, they don’t take the piss with prices – they do a pre-filled sausage, red onion and mustard baguette which costs only £2.75 and is the absolute testes.

Last week I went back for my favourite – both their wholemeal and white breads are excellent – crisp, quite sweet to the taste and with plenty of give on the first penetrative bite. Straight in with a very generous base of egg mayonnaise; not the bland orangey mush that you often find in deli trays, but rich, creamy, peppery and yet still replete with the eggy texture and taste. God, I’ve got a saliva on just writing this.

In with the bacon; cold, but still soft, retaining its meaty tang. Lastly, my own particular salad favourites – a rocket base with a cucumber overlay. Two or three slices of cucumber should be enough as the watery taste CAN dominate at the expense of the bacon and if you get it wrong the only sensible thing to do is throw it in the fucking river.

CONS: Only the fact that the place is full of braying, cone-headed besuited consulting types from PWC up the road, who in ideal world would be only allowed in two at a time.

SCORE: 9.5/10

Salt Beef on Challah Roll from Delancey & Co., Goodge Street

2 Apr

img_7398 (1)

LOCATION: Delancey & Co., 34 Goodge St, London, W1T 2QL [map]

PRICE: £10.65

BREAD: Challah roll.

FILLING: A huge amount of salt beef. I went for the ‘bigger beef’. A smaller serving is available at £8.75, although that isn’t actually small, either. Also American mustard, and mixed pickles.

PROS: All the pros. The challah roll is just sweet enough, just sturdy enough, and just about big enough, so it struggles a little to accommodate all that glorious meat. There are rye options, but they do far too good a job of containing everything and I prefer to pick up the spillage with my mustard stained mitts like a feral. Also, it’s tastier and it’s SHINY. Oh and it’s made by a Jewish baker who bakes it only for them. Just get the challah, guys, okay?

Oh, the beef! So soft, with lovely edges of fat. Just like me. They make it themselves. This has to be the best salt beef in London right now. Easily. Sorry Selfridge’s, sorry Monty’s, sorry…actually Beigel Bake isn’t really about the quality of the salt beef, is it? Anyway, sorrys all round. Forget about all others. Eat Delancey dust, etc. etc.

The pickles are excellent, by the way. Did you think they wouldn’t be? Ha, fool!  They make those, of course, and you can get sweet n’ sour, salty or New Green (NYC half sours – seasonal). I get a mixture of sweet n’ sour and salty in my sandwich. Do that. Sometimes I get a slice of Swiss. That’s not really necessary.

CONS: Well, I say ‘cons’ but really I just need something to write here. The menu can be a little overwhelming at first, with so many options for ‘load ups’ but it’s not, once you get started going there every week. What? The smoked salmon is worth a try, too. I like it on a plain bagel with chive cream cheese schmear and seaweed. Bonus picture at the end.

I love Delancey and Co. so much I just did a little spontaneous rap about them. Here it is.

Delancey and Co, I am a ho, for yo,

Can’t spend enough of my dough, getting your beef into my face hole.

Yeah okay maybe not.

SCORE: 10/10

Delancey and co smoked salmon

Pork Roll Bánh Mì at Aobaba, Elephant and Castle

3 Jan

Banh Mi at Aobaba

LOCATION: Aobaba,128-132 Walworth Road, London SE17 1JL [map]

PRICE: £3.50? £4? I really need to get better at this.

BREAD: Baguette (I think rice flour).

FILLING: Pork roll, pate, pickled carrot and daikon, coriander, chilli, cucumber, mayonnaise. SUPPOSEDLY.

PROS: I struggle here, I really do. Um…it was a rice flour baguette as far as I could tell, which may please the authenticity sticklers amongst you.

CONS: This is easily the worst bánh mì I’ve ever eaten. None of the baguettes are advertised on the menu as containing pork roll, which is probably how I ended up ordering it. It’s probably called something else, I don’t know. What I can say, is that I don’t like the stuff; it often comes with a rind on the outside which is impossible to eat and sure enough, there it is – an orange rim so disgusting and chewy it was like the arse end of a stripper’s thong after a fresh fake tan. The pate was present only as a skid mark.

Pickled carrot and daikon however – definitely present. A great whacking tangle of the stuff, with all the flavour and charm of a half-unravelled rubber band ball. I mined down to find cucumber underneath. Fine. But what of the chilli? The coriander? Both essential. I sigh, take a swig of my Saigon beer and make my way back across the vast, soulless, plastic bamboo-skirted floor to the counter where…I have an argument with the server. He insists he put chilli and coriander in my banh mi. I tell him that he didn’t. He tells me he did. I show him the sandwich and give him an evil. He reluctantly slaps some chilli and coriander on top. I take the sandwich and sit down. The sandwich looks better for some colour, but tastes of nothing. The pork roll, apart from knicker rind, is mostly flabby fat. I’m a huge fan of fat – the size of my arse is testament to the fact – but even I don’t want JUST fat. Well, not unless it’s lardo on toast. Or the finest milky Iberico fat. Or the underneath of a pork scratching. Look, you get the idea. Quality fat is full of flavour. I expect my thighs would be delicious.

I know that this place is popular with students in the area (it is practically, if not actually, underneath student halls) and you know what, if I were one of them I’d probably take my hangover along for a noodle soup, squirted with obscene amounts of Sriracha. I’d be happy with the price and the convenience of it. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to see young ‘uns scoffing in their pyjamas having wobbled downstairs after a night on the sauce. I certainly can’t think of a reason why anyone else would eat there.

SCORE: 1/10

 

 

Bokit at Bokit’La, Oval Farmers’ Market

29 Aug

Salt fish Bokit

Salt fish bokit (sorry, I couldn’t wait to eat it)

LOCATION: Oval Farmers’ Market, St. Mark’s Church, 337 Kennington Park Road, SE11 4PW [map]

PRICE: A fiver, I think.

BREAD: A sort of fried pitta-style pocket bread.

FILLING: I tried both the aubergine with lettuce, avocado and hot sauce, and the salt fish with lettuce, avocado and hot sauce.

PROS: Where to start? I shall break it down into three glorious parts.

1) I hadn’t heard of this sandwich before last Saturday, and I was slightly ashamed/unsettled by the thrill it gave me to discover some fresh meat on the scene. I imagine it won’t surprise you to learn that this is the only bokit stall in London, and so we should firstly rejoice at the fact it is something new and interesting that is not just meat in a bun.

2) The bokit, in case you don’t know (ahem), is sold as street food in Guadeloupe. Small balls of dough are rolled out, deep fried, split and stuffed with a variety of fillings. Bokit’La offer chicken, aubergine, or salt fish. I tried the latter two, both topped with avocado (this is extra, recommended) and hot sauce (this is essential). Both awesome, but if I had to choose just one I think it would be the aubergine due to its almost explicit silkiness. And the sauce! It is made from scotch bonnets and comes in four heat levels. I, uncharacteristically, chose medium; next time I’ll go for hot. They pack all the flavour of the chilli, plus a whack of garlic, plus THEIR MUM MAKES THEM. Or the mother of one of them. I’m not sure these people are related. I’ll get to that in a minute.

3) Ladies! Gays! Listen the fuck up, right now, because these three men are BUFF. I am not kidding. Check out the evidence below. They bonded over their mutual love for swimming, apparently, and I’m talking serious swimming here, not a couple of lengths on a Monday afternoon when it’s quiet. Again, I point you towards the pictorial evidence. They’ve got the look, they’ve got the music, they’ve got the sandwiches. I’m not entirely sure what else you could want, save them being licensed.

Bokit'La

CONS: Despite the fact that the sandwiches are mega tasty, I did, to be fair, give them an extra point for being muscly. I don’t think they’ve quite hit the giddy heights of an LROS 10/10 just yet.

SCORE: 9/10

Sadly their website is down but you can stalk them on Twitter and Facebook.

Holy Burger at Ham Holy Burger, Oxford Street

15 Aug

Ham Holy Burger
LOCATION: 3rd floor, John Lewis, 278-306 Oxford Street, London W1A 1EX [map]

PRICE: £8.95.

BREAD: Un-seeded burger bun.

FILLING: Piedmont beef burger, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, red onion, holy sauce.

PROS: Meh, I dunno, sometimes I tie myself in knots with my own format, here. I’m just going to whack it all under the cons, which to be fair, isn’t that far off anyway.

CONS: Ham Holy burger is full of really irritatingly bouncy, cheery staff, presumably because they don’t need to do a great deal. When I arrive, a woman at the door screeches at me “whaddya want?! PIZZA? PASTA? BURGER?” to which I reply “burger! Burger! Burger!” in the manner of someone trying to calm a person who is having a panic attack, and she ushers me towards Ham Holy Burger.

All the food is ordered on an Ipad. What? What’s that? Yes yes, I said everything is ordered on an Ipad. It’s saving staff costs and is more efficient, you see. PAHAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding on the last part. A very young, very enthusiastic Italian man is telling me how to use said Ipad. This takes a while. The obvious thought occurs to me: it would have been much quicker if he could just take my order. “Can I have a glass of Chianti please?!” I blurt out, desperately, confused by the fact I have been sat at this table for a while, talking to a waiter, yet he hasn’t offered me a drink. At this point, he turns his head from the Ipad to face me, bares his teeth in a sort of dazzling, threatening smile, and says ‘”OOOOH!” as if I have just suggested we have a threesome with one of the waitresses. He then stabs at the Ipad and someone else brings the Chianti, which is grim.

The Holy Burger is made from Piedmontese beef, which is criminally under seasoned. Perhaps because I am so discombobulated by the whole experience, I forget my Maldon pinch pot nestled in my handbag, but obviously I shouldn’t need it. Bun = fine. Lettuce = fine. Onions = fine. Tomato = fine. Cucumber = weird. Usually, of course, they’re pickled, but in this case thick slices of plain old cuke bring a sort of odd freshness, like I’m supposed to be eating a lamb pitta with tzatziki. The ‘Holy Sauce’ is rather nice actually, but there isn’t enough of it to bring the richness and pickle flavour that the burger so desperately needs.

As our hearts slowly sink and we contemplate asking (an actual person) if we can have the bill, my mate decides to take revenge. I snap a picture of him on the Ipad which he sets as the wallpaper and home screen, before password protecting the Ipad so they can’t change it back. We walk away, chuckling, and head straight around the corner to MeatLiquor.

SCORE: 3/10

 

 

Philly Cheesesteak at Liberty Cheesesteak, Victoria

5 Jun

Cheesesteak

LOCATION: Liberty Cheesesteak stall, Cardinal Place Shopping Centre, Victoria, SW1E 5JD [map].

PRICE: £8.00 for a whole one. You can also buy a half for er, £4 I guess?

BREAD: Italian-style sub roll.

FILLING: Rib-eye steak, Cheez Whiz, fried onions.

PROS: Soooo, the deal with Liberty Cheesesteak is that they are all about the authenticity. While I was waiting for my mate I overheard one of the cooks saying to an American customer, “when we sawwww how people were doing cheesesteaks over herrrre we were all like, whaaaaaa???!!” and so Liberty Cheesesteak was born. The sandwich apparently should not contain any extras, such as the commonly added fried green peppers, only the fried steak, the onions, the cheese, that’s it.

Now I am not a fan of the food police, you must know that, but I have to say, this was a fine cheesesteak. I like green peppers in a cheesesteak, I do, but it turns out that I also like the sandwich very much without ’em. The beef was rib eye, cut into really thin slices (I presume by freezing it first), then slapped on the hot plate and chopped up and mixed with the onions using those scrapey flippy spatula jobbies. There were three options for cheese: Whiz, American, and Provolone. I went for Whiz, firstly because it was billed as ‘authentic’ HINT HINT and also because I’ve always wanted to try it. It’s like artificial processed cheese that comes in jars. The Americans love that shit. It was great in the cheesesteak I have to say, like a cheesier Dairylea or a melted slappy cheese slice, and it made for the most wonderful goo inside the sandwich when mixed with the hot meat. That sounds horrible but was great, really. Honest. You no like idea of goo? No goo for you? Boo hoo. Okay I’ll stop.

Oh and the bread! Those very light and easily inhalable Italian style subs that the Americans do so well.  They didn’t get the bread FROM America, obviously, but they have, apparently, ‘worked with a baker in Putney’. So there ya go.

CONS: Ummm well we agreed the meat could use some pepper, but other than that it’s hard to think of any. Still meat in a bun wit cheez though innit, so just shy of full marks.

SCORE: 8/10

Untitled

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