Archive | October, 2012

Yorkshire Ham Salad, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill

31 Oct

LOCATION: King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS [map]

PRICE: Er, £2.50 ish? (doesn’t matter, you won’t want to eat it).

BREAD: Malted wheat grain.

FILLING: Yorkshire ham, tomato, mixed leaves, parsley mayonnaise.

PROS: Quite cheap, innit.

CONS: Deep to the mother f***ing breath. Okay so I work very near to this canteen and sometimes, I find myself in a pickle when it comes to lunch. I find myself desperate. I find myself caving to the convenience of these pre-packaged horrors and you know what? I’ve had enough. It’s time to let rip on these muthas. 

Believe it or not, the ‘Yorkshire ham salad’ is one of the best; hell, I may subject you to the full spectrum of fillings in the future, just to get some closure. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter which sandwich I buy because somehow, via some kind of black magic, the makers of these sandwiches (‘Origin Foods’), manage to extract every single last bit of flavour from every ingredient they ever use. All the sandwiches taste of precisely nothing (note the hot sauce, salt and pepper); after that, it’s all down to texture and boy, do I have something to say about that…

The bread is soggy, because I’ve made the mistake of buying a pre-packaged sandwich which contains tomato. Everyone knows this is a mistake. The corners have turned to mush and need to be picked off and discarded; I’m not sure there’s anything more unpleasant IN THE WORLD. The ham, although not the worst I’ve ever encountered, is obviously cheap and watery. The tomato is in there, which makes it wrong wrong wrong. The mixed leaves look like something that got washed up at the side of The Thames. The mayo is starting to congeal at the edges, which brings me nicely to my next point…

The sandwiches are always, without question, within 1 day of being out of date. One could argue this means they’re keeping stock fresh but as we’ve seen, that’s clearly not the case. I’ve even seen one dated a day previously. This is a hospital.

GET WELL SOON, PEOPLE!

SCORE: 1/10

Buffalo Chicken Sub at Chooks, Muswell Hill

28 Oct

LOCATION: Chooks, 43 The Broadway, Muswell Hill, N10 3HA [map].

PRICE: £8.25.

BREAD: Soft white sub.

FILLING: Buffalo chicken pieces, cabbage and watercress slaw, mega tousle of watercress on top.

PROS: They were certainly generous with the filling, which they damn well should be for £8.25.

CONS: What do you mean that’s not the actual sandwich in the picture? You dissing my food photography skills or what? Shocking. Okay so I couldn’t take a picture of the sandwich because it’s too dark in Chooks. There is an extraordinary amount of red neon strip lighting though. Mmmmm, brothel chic. I have therefore gifted you with a stunningly accurate representation which I created using the magic of Paint. I’m particularly pleased with the watercress. It wasn’t what I actually ordered, by the way. I actually ordered the ‘chooks philly’ but the waitress cocked it up and brought the wrong thing, and not for the first time during the meal.

The buffalo chicken itself was fine, I suppose. It’s quite hard to balls up buffalo sauce to be honest, and although not the best, it was mediocre rather than downright bad. Underneath it however, lurked a truly insipid ‘cabbage and watercress slaw’ which my mate rather eloquently described as tasting like ‘cabbage in milk’. On top was that magnificent tangle of undressed watercress. No, I’ve no idea either. We began by taking a bite and finished by picking out the bits of strangely watery chicken, leaving bun, cabbage and leaves to think about what they’d had done to them.

EIGHT POUNDS AND TWENTY FIVE PENCE.

Chooks is trying hard to be cool in an identikit, ticking off current trends kind of way; cocktails in jam jars; tin cups and plates a la Spuntino; dark interior like Meatliquor; food on trays with paper like Meatliquor; ‘house rules’ posted on the wall like er, Meatliquor; waitresses walking around looking cocky like, you’ve guessed it, Meatliquor. Table sauce in squeezy plastic chef bottles like Pitt Cue. It’s the restaurant equivalent of a fashion victim.

Also, the food is shit.

SCORE: 1/10 

I was invited to review Chooks

Chooks on Urbanspoon

Scampi Fry & Dairylea Lunchables on the 176 to Penge

23 Oct

LOCATION: The 176 to Penge.

PRICE: £2.18 (buys multiple sandwiches)

BREAD: Diarylea Lunchables biscuit things.

FILLING: 2 squares Dairylea Lunchables shiny ham, 2 squares Dairylea Lunchables shiny bendy cheese, 1 Scampi Fry.

PROS: We were hungover and I can’t deny that we just wanted to cram as many filthy snacks into our faces as possible. This was infinitely more pleasurable because we felt guilty for doing it; what kind of sicko sandwiches Dairylea Lunchables with Scampi Fries?

CONS: Apart from the fact that this is obviously sick, the ‘sandwich’ was one dry, crumbly bastard, even when washed down with a warm can of London Pride.  Also, it’s really quite incredible that the smelliest of all snack items, the Scampi Fry, is totally overwhelmed by the Lunchables; the flavour is, remarkably, completely lost and we all know that they properly KIFF. That’s just like, anti-science or some shit.

Still went back for a second though.

SCORE: 2/10

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Spit & Roast, King’s X

16 Oct

LOCATION: Spit & Roast at Kerb, King’s Boulevard, King’s X (vendors change daily; your best bet at the moment is to check Twitter for details) [map].

PRICE: £5

BREAD: Floury white bap.

FILLING: Buttermilk fried chicken, apple coleslaw and Korean chilli sauce.

PROS: The chicken had been marinated in buttermilk which we all know by now is the ONLY way to prep fried chicken. The meat is obviously good quality, full of flavour, generously proportioned and mega succulent from the buttermilk treatment. The coating is really well spiced too; a touch of the colonel about it but like he’s levelled up one in the sophistication stakes. Apple slaw is fresh, not claggy, and it compliments the fried chicken nicely, if hardly breaking the mould. Korean chilli sauce has a good flavour, mainly of gojuchang (Korean chilli paste); it’s mild and sweet yet distinctive, having as it does a touch of the funk about it.

CONS: There is one major sin when it comes to fried chicken and that is an under-crisped coating. It’s such a shame to undermine the work that has gone into the spicing by retrieving that bird from the fryer too soon. It’s difficult to get fried chicken right, I know that, but still..them’s the facts. Also, the coleslaw, advertised as apple, did not appear to have any apple in it; at least I couldn’t taste it and I wanted to. I was promised it after all. More citrus is also needed to give the fat in the chicken skin what for. The Korean sauce could use more heat; no-one can blame them for erring on the side of caution when it comes to chilli, but I did find myself returning to get some of the extra hot sauce sensibly provided on the counter.

It’s a sandwich with mega potential; even the floury bun worked and I was sceptical. There’s something about the flour from a bun like that getting EVERYWHERE that annoys me to unreasonable levels. Spit and Roast are clearly on to a good thing but really, just Spit and Roast? Where’s the Fry?

SCORE: 7/10