Archive | August, 2015

Lamb Wrap at F M Mangal, Camberwell

30 Aug

Adana Wrap

LOCATION: 54 Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8QZ [map].

PRICE: £6.00 – £7.50.

BREAD: A very large, thin flatbread, the like of which I have not seen elsewhere.

FILLING: Lamb, salad (carrot, onion, lettuce, peppers), garlic yoghurt sauce, chilli sauce.

PROS & CONS: F M Mangal is very close to my house and I have long since stopped eating in. I’ve discovered the way to do things properly, which is to order the wraps, embellish with a Turkish salad and flamingo tarama (if going all out) and then just get on with life. Straying into the wider menu is for idiots and the uninitiated. You’ll notice that I have titled this post ‘lamb wrap’ as I couldn’t decide between the lamb shish and the adana. We often order both, then halve them and share. The lamb shish should be eaten first, while the chunks of lamb are springy and hot from the grill; they bounce between the teeth, just cooked in the centre, smoke infused. They’re as juicy as a tense plum, and the not-quite-bloody flavours and fats combine inside with the thin garlic yoghurt, chilli sauce and salad. This is why you get the wrap; this magical cauldron of tasty will not bubble if things are presented just so on a plate.

The adana, conversely, is better when slightly cooled; at least, it can take it, unlike the lamb shish, which has a tendency to taste livery if not still jumping from the heat. These lengthy pucks of minced meat and spice ooze fat and glory. My one complaint is that they do turn up the odd nugget of gristle but this adds to the spit, smoke and flame-licked animal appeal of it all. The key to making a good adana that stays on the skewer lies in the kneading of the meat mixture beforehand, which increases the density of the kebab and stops it flopping off into the coals. This is a good, solid but juicy example that they bash out consistently like a sewing machine hammers fabric. Confident and relentless.

SCORE: 9/10

Rare Roast Beef on Ciabatta at Street Kitchen, Broadgate

25 Aug

Rare Roast Beef

LOCATION: Street Kitchen, Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2BY [map]. This place also has one of those posho air stream van things nearby but that’s not where I went. The actual shop is about ten feet to the right.

PRICE: Various, see website for menu and prices.

BREAD: Ciabatta.

FILLING: Rare roast beef, caramelised onions, horseradish mayo, salad leaves.

PROS: Street Kitchen sell sandwiches by the inch, which sounds like a swizz until you realise that they might only be an inch in width, but the length is very substantial. Arf. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, the sandwich is rare roast beef in a whacking great ciabatta bun, which they’ve had made by someone on spec. It’s quite hard to find two foot long ciabattas, apparently. The excellent meat is from a Welsh farmer called Tom Jones (yes really), and it’s very thinly sliced, then layered up like pastrami. This gives the sandwich a very satisfying texture, making it tender and easy to eat. There’s some carefully layered leafage, horseradish mayo and caramelised onions which I normally CAN’T STAND *goats’ cheese tart flashbacks* but in this case I think they work. I suspect this is all down to their attention to detail.

I spoke with the owner of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel, and so I know that this is a man dedicated to the sandwich cause. They get their ingredients from many different suppliers, because they know that the best quality stuff cannot be consistently supplied by the same source; there just isn’t enough of it to go around. They circumnavigate the problem to ensure standards remain high. I was super impressed by this. I think they love sandwiches as much as I do. Okay maybe not that much. No one else loves them that much, right?

I shall give you another example of loveliness: the salmon bap. This juicy arrangement consists of Loch Duart salmon, just cooked, so it’s still a little wibbly. Over cooked salmon is a disgusting, mushy abomination. There’s beetroot, which doesn’t have even a hint of the granny sandwich about it, because it’s sliced so thinly and carefully stacked. There’s watercress, there’s home made mayo. No Hellman’s for Street Kitchen (although I am a big fan, in general). Like I told you, the devil is in the detail.

CONS: Well, it’s in the soul sucking suit-pit that is Broadgate Circle, which is a shame. There’s also a Yauatcha and a Franco Manca, so it’s not like the place is full of Pret and EAT, it’s just a weird corporate space, which is privately owned, I think, so it’s full of security guards. Anyway, that isn’t Street Kitchen’s fault, obviously, and they have plans to roll out further sites (there’s another in Battersea already). What I’m saying is, don’t let the prospect of eating amongst the T M Lewin shirted rat racers put you off. Unless you are one, in which case you’re lucky because you have a really sweet place to buy lunch.

8/10

 

 

Egg Mayo Bun at WA Café, Ealing

13 Aug

Egg Mayo Bun

LOCATION: WA Cafe, 32 Haven Green, Ealing, Greater London W5 2NX [map]

PRICE: £2.10

BREAD: Wellll, I’ll come back to that.

FILLING: Egg mayo.

PROS: Brace yourselves, guys, because this ain’t no ordinary egg mayo bap. This is, and I’m absolutely not kidding here, egg mayo in a sort of savoury doughnut, which has been coated in cornflakes and deep fried. Yes. Sounds disgusting, right? I know. This can’t possibly be good, I thought to myself; what kind of bonzo brained muppet puts all that savoury dairy inside a sweet bread? What kind of quack-assed twerp is still doing things that stink of the ‘dude-food’ trend, like coating doughnuts in cornflakes? The thing is, it’s brilliant. The Japanese have such a lightness of touch when it comes to frying. The egg mayo is rich with yolks, which makes it much more passable as a filling than if it were all wibbly bits of white hanging out in there. The doughnut-like ‘bun’ is very thin, and not very sweet. It’s also lightly curried. The coating is just so – enough to provide crunch, enough to be playful, enough to raise a smile but not make you feel like you’re chowing down on something conceived of by ten year old boys.

There’s also a curry bun. It’s very good. I’ll be publishing a full review of the place on Londonist, so head over there next week to find out what that’s all about (hint: curry, buns).

CONS: Ealing. EALING. Also, I went twice because the first time, I got there and the buns had run out. I ate a sandwich which I didn’t particularly enjoy, drank a can of cold oolong tea which I did enjoy, and then trudged off again. The buns are available between 12-2pm, I have discovered. The hard way.

SCORE: 9/10