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Tuna Panuozzo at Theo’s, Camberwell

20 Oct

panuozzo

LOCATION: Theo’s Pizzeria, 2 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY [map]

PRICE: £5

BREAD: Lovely sourdough pizza base.

FILLING: Tuna, mozzarella, chilli, black olives, sliced onion.

PROS: I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, because for years I have upheld the belief that the tuna melt is basically the most disgusting sandwich of all time. I mean, tuna with cheese, FFS. Fish with CHEESE. Fishy cheese. Chishy feeze. Can you think of any other dish where that’s a thing? I can’t. Fish pie, maybe, if you’re the kind of idiot who puts cheese on a fish pie, in which case your opinions aren’t valid anyway. No, it doesn’t work, it shouldn’t be done and yet, here we are.

The reason Theo’s gets away with this, I think, is the quality of the ingredients. They use Ortiz, which, in case you don’t know, is basically really good tinned tuna. Not that grey mushy shite you get from Prince’s that looks like it was scraped out of the tumble dryer lint collector. No students, anywhere, are mixing this with mayonnaise and putting it on their jacket potatoes. So there’s that. Then there is the mozzarella which I know is Bianca la Bufala flown in from Naples because I asked about it when I wrote this review of their pizzas. Again, brilliant. There is sliced onion and chilli to give it some bite and there are shiny black olives. I don’t know anything about the olives except that they’re very good and I’m sad when they’re all gone. They’re glossy and plump and they slip around and out of the sandwich and you pick one up and eat it and feel happy.

It’s just a really classy sandwich, is what I’m saying. Tuna and sodding cheese.

CONS: Head fuck.

SCORE: 9/10

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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.

Smoked Salmon and Dill Sauce at Opus, Clapham

2 Jul

LOCATION: Opus, 89 Acre Lane, SW2 5TN  [map]

PRICE: £4.20

BREAD: A white muffin.

FILLING: Smoked salmon, cucumber, tomato, dill sauce, rocket.

PROS: Well, dill tastes nice doesn’t it.

CONS: Opus only do toasted sandwiches. Bit annoying on a hot day but whatever. Also, every single sandwich, of which there are about 10, contains tomatoes. Stranger still is the fact that the ingredients list for every sandwich on the menu begins with ‘tomatoes’, like they’re the primary ingredient in any sandwich apart from a tomato sandwich. I stand for a minute or so trying to work out the reason for this but it’s a total dead end so I choose one of the sandwiches instead. There are normal options such as cheese, ham or cheese and ham together. And then, there is smoked salmon with cucumber and dill sauce. Toasted. That sounds like something which should be eaten cold, no? That will be weird, I think to myself. Won’t that just be really weird? So of course I order it.

It arrives in a paper bag with a piece of kitchen paper around it. She knows I’m eating in but perhaps she feels I can’t be trusted with a plate. I remove it from the bag and…MY EYES! The thing is stuffed to the brim with rocket. Shitloads of it. I hate rocket. I hate it primarily because it doesn’t taste very nice and it dominates everything with its gashness but also because it pops up sodding everywhere. Perhaps this offensive leaf invasion was listed on the menu; I wouldn’t know because I was busy thinking about why there were so many tomatoes of primary importance flinging about.

I press on. So the outside is blistering hot, right? Fair enough, that’s called toasting. Everything on the inside is cold though. The salmon particularly so. The contrast is unpleasant. As I make my way through the sandwich, the tomato, which is next to the bread, starts to warm up, taking on a fluffy, mealy texture. I’m frantically pulling out the rocket. Worst of all though is the fact that the salmon is starting to get warm too, but only in places. I do love eating a piece of fish that has both hot and cold patches, it’s not at all unnerving.

The thoroughly pleasant dill sauce has its work cut out trying to make amends for everything else, which is a shame. An ill-conceived sandwich, a baffling approach to menu writing and a waitress who couldn’t crack a smile.

SCORE: 2/10 

Smoked Eel and Horseradish at Quo Vadis, Soho

3 Feb

LOCATION: Quo Vadis, 26 Dean Street, London, W1D 3LL [map]

PRICE: £6.50

BREAD: Sourdough (I think), toasted

FILLING: Smoked eel and creamed horseradish

PROS: Two little squares of charred sourdough sported just the right amount of bitter char. A peek inside revealed a generous slice of rich, oily, delicately smoked eel, smothered with freshly grated, properly nostril-searing creamed horseradish. Is there a more perfect flavour combination than that pungent horseradish and luscious, creamy-fleshed eel? Not when you’re eating this sandwich there isn’t. The overall richness was countered admirably by a dainty wee pile of pink, lightly picked onions and it took every ounce of my strength not to shove them in the sandwich too, pick the whole thing up and make a right old mess. Quo Vadis is a proper restaurant though, and it’s such a glorious and smart little ‘wich that I didn’t mind eating it with a knife and fork, thus saving my companions the embarrassment of dining with a woman sporting a fishy face mask. The sandwich is small but to be honest, due to the richness I wouldn’t want it any bigger (lies, lies).

CONS: The splendour of the sandwich was offset by a couple of mistakes with the meal. It’s perhaps a little unfair of me to mention it considering this is a review of a sandwich and not the restaurant in general but it left a slightly bad taste in the mouth and so I’m knocking a point off.

SCORE: 9/10