Archive | July, 2013

Lobster Club at Christopher’s Martini Bar, Covent Garden

22 Jul

LOCATION: Christopher’s Martini Bar, 18 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DD [map].

PRICE: £22.

BREAD: Brioche.

FILLING: Lobster, bacon (according to the menu), fried egg, iceberg lettuce, tomato.

PROS: The brioche is nice. It can’t not be, really, containing as it does all that lovely butter.

CONS: It’s not even really worth my ranting about the fact that the tomato is insipid, the fried egg completely overwhelms the lobster, the advertised bacon is entirely absent, and the chilli mayo is like something that turns up with your chips at GBK. It’s not really worth my even beginning to be upset about all those things because there is one monumental piss take happening here and that is the fact that each triangle, each quarter of the sandwich, contained 1 tiny piece of lobster; I’d say 4 pieces barely the size of a postage stamp and I mean the small ones, no special edition stamp sized pieces of lobster here. The sandwich is £22. TWENTY TWO POUNDS. Someone must be laughing all the way to the bank while relishing the fact they’re dressing all the customers up like total mugs. It’s frankly outrageous money for what is essentially a fried egg and salad sandwich with posh bread.

What makes this even more wincingly, acutely painful, is the fact that the lobster has been shonkily prepped; my mate gets a nice long piece of claw cartilage with his bit. Bigger than the piece of lobster meat it comes with. It’s not a one off either, as we can see from this review in The Independent. The kitchen consistently can’t be arsed.

And finally, just in case I haven’t discouraged you enough from ever ordering this sandwich, let’s consider that for two pounds LESS, you could eat a WHOLE LOBSTER, perfectly cooked, served with melted butter, chips AND a salad at Burger and Lobster on Dean Street.

They make a much better martini too.

SCORE: 1/10

Original Falafel at Just Falafel, Covent Garden

17 Jul

LOCATION: Just Falafel, 1 Monmouth St, London, Greater London WC2H 9DA [map]

PRICE: I can’t remember and there are no prices on the website. Weird.

BREAD: Saj (that’s a Lebanese flatbread).

FILLING: Falafel, cucumber pickles, turnip pickles, parsley, mint, tomato, tahini dressing.

PROS: I’ve been sitting here fretting over this sandwich. Just Falafel are a chain, and an incredibly successful one. They’re huge in the Middle East. Huge. The reason I’m fretting is because it is precisely these chainlike characteristics that make me at once like and dislike their sandwiches. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been invited by the PR. He is there. He tries to push the healthy fast food angle on the falafels. I tell him I don’t care about that. He looks puzzled and orders baked falafels rather than fried. No. I’m thinking ‘has he actually seen my blog?!’ at which point he says that he hasn’t actually seen my blog.

The baked falafel, is, predictably, inferior to the fried. They’re crumbly and soft and obviously lacking in the essential and most endearing quality of falafel – biting through the freshly fried crust. A fried falafel is duly ordered. And you know what? They’re not bad, actually. Not bad at all. The herbs are perky fresh too, as is the salad. The pickled turnips have that brilliant purple/pink hue that make me think I must be getting radiation poisoning; this uses the same logic as the reasoning behind my not standing next to the microwave at work because it ‘makes a funny noise’ and I fear it may make me infertile.

CONS: There is a condiment ‘situation’. We order a side of hummus; always a good test of a place. It’s silky smooth and actually really bloody good, except there’s nothing to dip in it. I end up eating hummus with a plastic spoon. There are pots of other dips and spreads too, and I wonder if I’m supposed to put these in the sandwiches? That’s impossible though, because the wrap is very tightly wrapped, which is obviously a good thing when it comes it being just a sandwich, but when it has become an exercise in finding new ways to eat hummus, well, somewhat of a hindrance to say the least. I think perhaps you can buy the falafels separately, or with fries and then…dip either the falafel or the fries in the hummus? I dunno.

You could do a lot worse than a falafel from Just Falafel ( the ‘original’ – I’ve not mentioned the ‘Greek’, ‘Japanese’, ‘Italian’, ‘Indian’ etc. variations – hold me) but then really, what kind of endorsement is that?

SCORE: 4/10