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Reuben at Monty’s Deli, Maltby Street

31 Aug

LOCATION: Monty’s Deli, Maltby Street Market, Bermondsey [map].

PRICE: £6

BREAD: Light rye.

FILLING: Pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, yellow mustard, sauerkraut.

PROS: As  my sandwich is built I stand, semi-catatonic, mesmerised; pastrami is sliced from wobbly hunks and piled into an ever-growing tower of protein. The Shard, overlooking the market, begins to look small in comparison. I’m offered a piece of the meat to taste as I wait, and….oh – it’s a little dry and chewy. Once pressed in the toaster however, which struggles to clamp its jaws around the beast, the fat melts and everything softens. Some pockets of fat remain intact (though I wish for more), begging to dissolve on the tongue and settle on the hips. The crust of predominantly black pepper and coriander seeds is really pokey; a revelation compared to the crap we usually get served in the UK. Russian dressing and sauerkraut are carefully applied in just the right amounts, too; their flavour and moisture is welcome and yet they do nothing more than big up the meat.

CONS: The pastrami could learn a few tricks from the salt beef, which is gloriously moist and fatty. As I wait for my reuben to toast I am distracted by the request of another customer, ‘one special, please’. One WHAT, sorry? What is this special of which you speak and why am I not having it? I am drawn to a frankly miniscule sign on the counter top. Turns out I could have been eating this reuben with an extra topping of salt beef. I try a piece. It is INCREDIBLE. This is lauded as the best salt beef in London by a man who really knows his salt beef. So, when I think about this sandwich compared to other reubens available in London it could easily have scored 9/10, but I’m knocking a point off for their failure to properly advertise their special.

SCORE: 8/10 

Selfridge’s Brass Rail Classic Salt Beef & Reuben

16 Jan

Two sandwiches for you today! See the lengths I will go to in order to find London’s Best Sandwich? Let’s deal with the Classic Salt Beef first:

LOCATION: Selfridge’s Brass Rail, on the ground floor at the back of the food hall.

PRICE£8.75 (for regular size; there are also half sandwiches and a large size available)

BREAD: Caraway-seeded rye.

FILLING: 200g of salt beef plus your choice of mustard (I chose American – mistake) and a pickle on the side if you want it (of course you do).

PROS: it may cost the bones of £9 but the amount of salt beef is very generous. 200g generous. They slice it and weigh it in front of you, see. I’d say this is the best salt beef I’ve tasted in London so far and the texture was fantastic – incredibly soft and juicy, it just melts in the mouth. Some of the pieces had fat on them which made me feel delirious with happiness.  The pickles are ace too – excellent crunch – the sort of crunch that they didn’t even have pre-pickle. Nice and sweet. Perfect. The caraway-seeded rye is dreamy and to be honest, I wouldn’t deviate from rye anyway when it comes to a salt beef ‘wich.

CONS: There’s a choice of mustard and I chose wrong because I panicked. While my brain was saying ‘get English, get English, that’s a lot of beef you need the kick’, I made the decision to get American. No. I wanted it to work but it doesn’t have the backbone. Also, £9 is still expensive.

SCORE: 6/10

LOCATION: Selfridge’s Brass Rail, on the ground floor at the back of the food hall.

PRICE£14.50

BREAD: A massive white sourdough bun of immense crustiness.

FILLING: Salt beef, sliced pickles, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut.

PROS: This is a right beast of a ‘wich and so it should be for FIFTEEN POUNDS. A very generous layer of that wobbly beef again though, and those perfect sweet pickles topped with two slices of Swiss. The sauerkraut and dressing smoosh together into a juicy layer of sharp/sweet mush which oozes out all over your hands, your chin, the table. Good stuff.

CONS: I know this is Selfridge’s and the sandwich is big but OUCH, that’s expensive. I also think the bread is wrong. I know it needs the structural integrity to hold up under all that filling but it’s just too crusty and it overwhelms the fillings, which frankly, takes some doing. I couldn’t believe my ears but I heard myself saying I preferred the simplicity of the Classic Salt Beef.

SCORE: 5/10