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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.

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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

Chargrilled Caulifower Wrap at Mike and Ollie, Brockley

28 Jan

Yes, a wrap is a sandwich. Read my FAQ to find out why.

LOCATION: Brockley Market, Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT [map]

PRICE: £5.50

BREAD: Home made flatbread with a touch of orange blossom water.

FILLING: Chargrilled caulifower with crispy garlic and cumin; hummus; red cabbage; rose hip molasses; home made yoghurt; Turkish chilli; toasted seeds; coriander; a little rocket.

PROS: I don’t know where to start because this wrap was just outstanding. The cauliflower was lovely and smoky from char grilling and was packed with garlic and spice. The whole wrap brimmed with wonderful contrasts; silky cooling yoghurt mixed with mild Turkish chilli heat; creamy soft hummus against bits of charred cauli, toasted seeds and sweet molasses. Cabbage added crunch. Coriander, freshness. It’s like a flavour explosion, barely contained within that beautiful home made flat bread, faintly fragrant with orange blossom, warmed through on a hot pan. Mike and Ollie are two chefs who wanted to do something different; they make everything themselves, going so far as foraging for rose hips, fruits, nuts, whatever is in season locally. From what I can tell, Ollie is the behind the scenes foraging guy, while Mike does the cooking and selling. Bloody nice bloke he is, too.

There are meat and fish options available. I tried the spanking fresh mackerel (pictured below) with beetroot puree; crisp apple (fab with the fish); caramelised red onion and rosemary; rocket; home made yoghurt; toasted seeds. This was also brilliant but eclipsed by the cauli.

CONS: I can’t think of any. So why does this get 9 and not 10/10? I suppose the best answer I can give is that, although this tastes INCREDIBLE, it didn’t make me start dancing on the nearest table. I’m not sure any sandwich can ever get a 10 but then, that’s the challenge I have set for myself. It might just be out there, waiting. One day. In the meantime, get your chops around one of these wraps.

SCORE: 9/10