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Bacon Sandwich at Coal Rooms, Peckham

13 Oct

Coal Rooms Bacon Sandwich

LOCATION: Coal Rooms, 11a Station Way, SE15 4RX (it’s attached to Peckham Rye Station, in the old waiting room) [map]

PRICE: £5? I always think ‘I’ll look online’ and then the price is never online.

BREAD: We’ll get to this.

FILLING: Bacon, dumbass.

PROS: You’ve got to admire their enthusiasm at Coal Rooms; they’re doing a lot themselves, including making this bacon. You also get to choose which bit you’d like them to slice so you can have more or less fat, depending on your preference. I went for half and half because answering the question: ‘how much bacon fat do you want?’ was seemingly impossible at 9am on a Tuesday.

About that. We weren’t sure we’d actually be able to eat the bacon sandwiches as when I asked after them I was told they’re available from 9am, ‘if the chefs turn up at 9’ which put me in a bit of a tricky position because we were having a Pit magazine meeting and had based the entire thing around the availability of the sandwiches because that’s the way we (bacon) roll.

I’m not being a dick about this by the way; I understand that being a chef is hard graft and means late nights and I don’t really give a shit if you get in at half nine or 8.45 but I’m mentioning it because you lot need to know that the sandwiches are kind of available from 9am. Don’t hold this against them because you’ll piss me off.

So the bacon was lovely; thick cut and full of flavour from the coffee cure (they use coffee grounds because this place is from the people behind Spike and Earl Roastery and that’s their thing). It wasn’t at all crisped up like bacon though, so it was basically like eating a nice ham sandwich. You get a choice of sauce but I chose brown because that is the correct option. As I said to a mate the other day: ketchup is for chips and children.

CONS: The bread is fully weird. I don’t know what they’re trying to do here but the only way I can describe it is like a sort of split, slightly sweet, overly-bready doughnut. It was pretty solid, rather dry and overall not a pleasant thing to eat. I’m sorry, Coal Rooms; I really am on your side and I think you can be brilliant but for the love of hog you gotta change that bread.

SCORE: 7/10 (extra point because the toilets are cool).

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Lamb Kebab Wrap at Asian Takeaway, Peckham

30 Apr

Babbage

LOCATION: ‘Asian Takeaway’, opposite the station on Rye Lane, next to Ali Baba fruit n veg.

PRICE: Can’t remember. A few quid? Not much, anyway. 

BREAD: Naan.

FILLING: Minced lamb kebab, cucumber, lettuce, yoghurt sauce, chilli sauce.

PROS: This sandwich is a lesson in the value of simplicity and freshness. Who would’ve thought we’d be so lucky that a bunch of firecrackers would set up a tandoor in what is basically a shack tucked away off Peckham’s main drag, Rye Lane? A man works next to the sweaty heat of the oven rolling balls of dough, one under each palm in opposite directions, simultaneously. Wax on, wax off. These are shaped and hand-slapped into the tandoor, to order. He wears gloves. Long, skewered kebabs are speared in and out too, then hung from the roof to cool once cooked.

What’s particularly impressive about this kebab is the spicing. So often too many spices muddle together making the overall flavour flat and oddly, very bland. These guys know when to stop. There’s a whacking great measure of green chilli though, which brings searing freshness as well as, obviously, hefty poke.

The salad is as juicily spanking as everything else, and the cucumber is cut lengthways, so that it actually lies flat in the wrap and doesn’t fall out. Finally. Someone. I can never get one of these wraps into my face quite fast enough actually, and then I always have to be talked out of getting another. I don’t let go of this idea usually until I get way down past Maccy D’s and almost around the corner to the High Street, by which point it just means really that I can’t be arsed to walk back.

CONS: So I have lived in Peckham for like, quite a lot of years now and I never knew this place existed. The first time I went there I asked the guy why he didn’t have a sign, to which he responded by pointing at the sign. It’s kinda hard to see but actually once you…okay I’m just a massive doofus.

SCORE: 7/10

 

 

Goats’ Cheese Fondue, Marinated Artichoke & Beetroot Focaccia at Frog on The Green, Nunhead

27 Nov

LOCATION: Frog on The Green, 119 Consort Road, SE15 3RU [map]

PRICE: £4.50

BREAD: Foccacia (I like to pronounce this FOCK A CHEE YA because I am childish)

FILLING: Goats’ cheese (where am I supposed to put that apostrophe? It’s more than one goat so I’m cool, right? I mean, it can’t be the milk from a solitary bearded gnarly old goat can it?), marinated artichokes and beetroot, salad leaves and a mustardy dressing.

PROS: Pro diddy pro diddy pro pro pro. I’m going to start by talking about the guy that owns this place; his name is John Gionleka. He used to work at The Square when Brett Graham was there and he jacked in the cheffing lark to open a little deli in Peckham. Respeck, blud! *finger whip*. So the point of me telling you this other than that it is interesting, is that it really bloody shows in his sandwiches. So instead of just spreading some goats’ cheese in his sandwich, he made a flippin fondue, yo! Of course he did, he’s a chef. He knows the fondue will be well gooey, giving that sandwich lots of sexy lubey love. Then there’s the veg and again it’s all about the attention to detail; artichokes, which are actually one of my favourite vegetables in the world and then beetroot which are, well, ditto. There are fresh mixed leaves which provide texture without coming out in one big piece and slapping against the chin, and they appear to be dressed in something heavy on the wholegrain mustard. I watch John making the sandwich and he does so with proper care and attention; controlling the ooze of the fondue, teasing the vegetables into submission, tangling the salad and dressing it, before seasoning with a genuine flourish.

This is one of the best (and largest) sandwiches to be had in SE London, and I say that confidently without even having tried them all. Also, ALSO, there was a cat. No not in the sandwich you sick mo fos!!! Hanging about around the deli. I am crazy cat lady. I could easily own about ten cats and start hoarding stuff and making wigs and cushions out of cat hair if only my friends and family would let me. Also, we ate our sandwiches listening to reggae. You look at this photo of Frog on The Green and tell me if you would expect to hear reggae inside. No, no you wouldn’t. This is the coolest deli ever. Fact.

CONS: Apparently (I say ‘apparently’ because I actually see this as a bonus), the sandwich was a little too large (HA HA HA, seriously?). I am told it was a little too ‘bready’. I can but report back.

SCORE: 9/10

Ham, Cheese & Salt & Vinegar Crisps at Dish and Spoon, Nunhead

2 Nov

LOCATION: The Dish and The Spoon, 61 Cheltenham Road, Nunhead, SE15 3AF [map]

PRICE: £4.50

BREAD: Soft white.

FILLING: Hafod Welsh Cheddar, ham, salt and vinegar crisps, butter, tomato chutney.

PROS: So in the morning I whinge on Twitter that I have an unholy craving for a ham, cheese and crisp sandwich. The next thing I know, Dish & Spoon tweet that they will deliver one, to my office. How. Cool. Is. That? Top marks for coolness and spontaneity.

The sandwich arrives 20 minutes later and is packing plenty of thick cut proper ham that’s really meaning business, some frankly outstanding Hafod cheddar that has those crunchy little crystals which I think are collections of the amino acid tyrosine, and a sign of good maturation? Cheese expertise welcome at this point. It’s very good anyway; all those big fat wadges of it. Tomato chutney arrived on the side, just in case I wanted it, and I did.

Salt and vinegar crisps are my sandwich crisp of choice, closely followed by cheese and onion. What made me very, VERY happy about this sandiwch however, other than the fact it was delivered into my hands, was that they had left the ‘press down’ for me to do myself; you know, when you press the top slice of bread down and all the crisps crunch together.  Surely half the pleasure of eating a crisp sandwich.

CONS: The bread was a little too thick for my taste, but no big deal. Also, I would’ve added mustard – wholegrain probably, plus a little spread of mayo, rather than the chutney.

SCORE: 8/10 plus MAD PROPS for bringing it to my office.