We are catching the last glimpse of this year's summer. So I took it easy on a Friday afternoon and cycled into Covent Garden. Do I feel like a bit of salt beef? Hell yea.
There used to be raving reviews for Mishkins at inception, people liked the extended vibe of Spuntino with a 'Jewish-like' spin on it. Then the records were marred by diners not getting the Jewish side of things, and portions being inconsistent, then overpricing kicked in. I didn't think I needed Mishkins until a recent visit to Spuntino turned out kinda disappointing.
Basically I fell in love with Mishkins within minutes. It was nice and quiet at 3pm, with Sitting on the Dock of the Bay cooing in the background. Elliot, who used to work at Spuntino, showed me a seat at the bar and I rehydrated on tap water. We chatted until my stomach started growling audibly, but was still advised to cut back on my orders.
Half Reuben on rye with pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing & swiss cheese
I never thought an out-of-this-world sandwich could exist, I mean, bottom-line, it's two pieces of bread with some protein and veg in the middle, right? Nope, not this time...this Reuben was no ordinary feat.
The toasted bread infused with melted swiss cheese was made ultra crispy on one side, glazed with fragrant oils. Thin layer of sauerkraut softened the harshness and lifted the weighty combination of meat and cheese, leaving each bite oozing with delightful meat juice, tangy dressing and fluid cheese... Whoa! It re-defines a deli sandwich.
There used to be a time when I thought Selfridges Brass Rail did the best salt beef, pastrami and ox tongue on foccacia. Sadly the sandwiches became so salty last couple of years I found myself downing coke to wash the salt off.
Meatballs : Veal, chilli and sultana
Their meatballs change daily, and often have at least one meat and one veggie version. I think I mentioned somewhere that I am no meatball fan. Well, Mishkins had me converted.
These were about the size of a baby fist, super moist and smooth in texture with a rich, almost foie gras-like centre, which was almost instantly counter-balanced by plump sultanas. These were addictive. Heat from chilli was subtle, more likely lingering aftermath to prompt you another mouthful.
I thought the half portion sandwich was substantial, together with the meatballs it made a pretty complete lunch. For me, Mishkins muscled its way to the top above Spuntino and the Polpo franchise. I'm going to have to try their salt beef and Rachel sandwiches next.
25 Catherine Street
Tel: 0207 240 2078