Tag Archives: London’s best sandwiches

Pork Belly Bun at Yum Bun, King’s X

19 Feb

LOCATION: Eat.St at King’s Cross, King’s Boulevard, N1 – see Eat.St website for location, opening times and stalls.

PRICE: £3 for 1, £5 for 2.

BREAD: Chinese steamed bun.

FILLING: Pork belly, cucumber slices, spring onion, hoisin sauce, Sriracha chilli sauce.

PROS: Oh sweet, sweet happy joy! This is a stunning sandwich. The main event is a thick slice of tender pork belly, including a very important strip of wibbly wobbly silken fat. I think the pork belly is pre-simmered with aromatics (e.g. star anise and Chinese cinnamon), then re-heated in the steamer to serve. Whatever, it’s lush. The richness of the soft meat and gleaming fat is offset by discs of crunchy cuke and the punch of shredded spring onion. A drizzle of sticky hoisin provides sweet n’ spice, and Sriracha sauce, gentle heat. And the textures! That bun is a cloud-like bundle of pure pillowy heaven; the fluffiest example I’ve eaten. My friend declared it better than any he’s tried in New York, including the Momofuku version. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t been. What I can say however is that I went back for a second, despite that fact I’d demolished the first one plus another sandwich from another stall (I was very hungry), because I couldn’t take my mind off the thing the whole way back to the station.

CONS: None. Will I ever give anyone a perfect 10/10? It’s possible, but something incredible needs to happen. This bun is faultless nonetheless. Yum Bun, indeed.

SCORE: 9/10

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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