In the words of Run DMC, I am down with Jay (Raynor) … on the authentic salt beef sandwich. You want the definitive article? Get yourself to Katz’s Deli on Houston NYC. Once upon a time Londoner’s had Bloom’s, we still have Brick Lane Beigel Bake for late night salt beef sustenance and many (though not so much me) disciples swear by The Brass Rail at Selfridge’s.
Russell ‘Polpo’ Norman’s ‘kind of jewish deli with cocktails’ is the perfect storm between old school kosher cuisine and modern metropolitan dining. That’s his thing right? Taking the classic and subverting, refining, augmenting and re-dressing it for the 21st century metropolitan diner. Turns out that is me.
He also keeps things simple. Mishkin’s is a sit-at bar serving almost exclusively gin-cocktails alongside a handful of formica tables and diner-style booths. Brickwork? exposed. Staff? tattoos and beards (of course). Atmosphere? busy and friendly. Start with a Diamond Fizz and take a wander through neo-classic Jewish comfort food with a liberal sprinkling of Americana and a few on-trend top ups. Chopped liver on toast, pickled herring, salt beef, meatloaf and sauerkraut meets Mac & Cheese, sliders and Cod cheek popcorn…
But I am simple man. I am here for a salt beef sandwich. Fat on (any deli worth its salt beef should ask you). Yes the Reuben (pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & Russian dressing on toasted rye) is always tempting but this diner is unsure if anything is more comforting than slabs of salt beef on rye with pickles and fiery English mustard. Accompanied by pickled herring with beetroot tartare. So to the sandwich… for which I am breaking the pleasures of the Paleo diet for.
Mishkin’s salt beef sandwich is, as Prue Leith is fond of saying, ‘well worth the calories’. Hot moist full flavoured salt-beef (thickly sliced), trimmed fat, good decent rye. Fat chips. What’s not to like? Now accompanied by a gin sour. Rumours that my son is called Mishkin because of this place are somewhat exaggerated, just ask my daughter Pret a Manager. It gets busy, but you can book.