Anyone on a quest for London’s best salt beef sandwich will find themselves sooner or later under the arches, in Druid Street, off Tower Bridge Road. At Monty’s Deli.
Less a deli, more an all in one salt beef factory with bolt on cafe. Less cafe, more a huge arched silo with a few benches and a counter. Immersed in London’s latest off-piste dining quarter. Think a mix of artisan stallholders, hipster-tinged diners and a dash of tourist.
You get the full authentic comfort eating Jewish Monty. Home-cured salt beef and pastrami, bagels, rye bread, Matzo ball soup, potato latkes, chopped chicken liver. So, to the sandwiches.
There simply is no point calling a regrettable skinny slice of processed meat and a pickle a true salt beef sandwich. Monty’s serves big-fat-fill-you-up-and-then-some towering slabs of beef and/or pastrami with saurkraut and monster pickles in fresh, lightly toasted rye.
Today, the Reuben Classic. Multiple slices of hot salt beef and pastrami, melted cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and pickles. The meat is thick, moist with semi-rendered fat ‘on’ (as one must), deeply briney, densely flavoured and melty. All else you need are adequate trimmings to the main attraction. Often the let down is the rye. Not here.
The pop-up food revolution is often, in this correspondent’s opinion, just an excuse for sub-standard dining dressed in dirty-streety-eaty sheep’s clothing, or a self-satisfied denial of what a dining experience should be (uh, not standing in the rain to get in, hmmm, not getting my food only when the kitchen feels like it).
Monty’s is a factory with a dining add on and all the better for it. No trimmings, just as good a salt beef sandwich as I have had in London. A main meal sized lunch for under £10. You should try it.