Black Acorn. Iberian Pork. Southbank Food Market

Where: Black Acorn, Iberian Pig Products. Real Food Market, Southbank centre

How Much: £5.50

The Food: Grilled Chorizo sandwich

The Place: A simple food stall set in a food market that’s held every weekend on the Southbank centre, the kind of place where you’d go grab something tasty and get out of there to find a nice spot to sit down by the Thames.

The Rant: I’d been brutally ill for the last fortnight, feeling like I’d been punched in the face by a flu version of Mike Tyson. For a moment Id forgotten who I was, forgotten what sandwiches were and even lost interest in them, largely because I felt like I was going to throw up most of the time. So I needed to get back on track with my sandwich addiction and what I needed what a hearty, hot, chorizo bad ass mother of a sandwich.

The Review: Being primarily a food stall for home grown chorizo, they placed a lot of emphasis on it’s quality and this is what drew me in and wow, the sandwich did not disappoint. Grilled, succulent, sweet and salty chorizo sat beside rocket and piri piri sauce and the star of the show which brought everything beautifully together was the sweet roasted red pepper. The sweet softness of the red pepper worked so perfectly with the chorizo, a combination I hadn’t even ever considered.

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Score & The Score: 9/10. The only downside and this is no fault of this amazing sandwich vendor, it was 30 degrees outside, I was literally sweating as I ate the hot, spicy chorizo sandwich and for this reason only it get’s a 9. If it’d been ten degrees cooler who knows!

Patty & Bun. The Ari Gold Cheeseburger

Where: Patty & Bun. 54 James St, London W1U 1EU

How Much: £12.50

The Food: The ‘ARI GOLD’ Cheeseburger, fries with roseymary salt and winger winger chicken dinner (bbq wings)

The Place: A very small diner with a very big atmosphere, can sit a maximum of no more than 24 people (we counted). As a result of the place being so small the queue was a 45 minute wait out on the pavement outside, but luckily I had some good company in the form of a housemate and some cheap beers from a nearby off licence

The Rant: I came back from the States about a month or so ago, where I had a burger which almost bordered on being some kind of religious experience; one of the most succulent, juiciest, sauciest most flavourful burgers I have ever had in my life from a no frills and no pretention diner. All in all, it made me realise just how overrated burger places are in London, even the so called good ones and how 9.9 times out of 10 I’m given a dry piece of flavourless meat on some bread and expected to dress this up myself with salad, sauce and pickles to hide the fact it tastes like cardboard without them.

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The Review: By the time the burger came we’d been waiting so long in the queue and drank so much beer we were starving and I wondered whether this might result in over enjoyment of the burger. I ripped open the packet and wondered and it’s gold glowing cheesiness for all of about a second and then inhaled half of it before I took some time to sit back and enjoy it. All the ingredients melted and melded into one beautiful whole, gorgeous tomato, succulent beef, lots and lots of cheese. I’m not the biggest fan of brioche buns but even so it worked with this burger. It is the best burger I’ve had in the UK thus far, I can’t really give a better compliment than this.

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The barbeque chicken wings were also an amazing experience, crispy, dry, sweet, smoky and covered in spring onions. Just as comparable to the burger in terms of quality. The fries were thoroughly disappointing, they were stale and tasted as though they’d been made in a Mcdonalds about 20 miles away.. in no way comparable to the amazing rosemary fries of ‘Honest Burger’.

Score & The Score : 8.5/10 (For the UK)
Quite simply the best burger I have had in the UK, a beautiful saucy experience, however the stale fries let it down considerably.

Baozi Inn. Fragrant and Hot Flower Beancurd Soup

Where: Baozi Inn, 26 toNewport Court, London WC2H 7JS

How Much: £5.00

The Food
: Fragarant and Hot Flower Beancurd Soup

The Place: It’s warm, cosy, set out with small tables for two or one and the red chinese lanterns add to the warmth of the place. Also it’s directly opposite a place that does the best pork buns in London and I will probably blog about those soon.

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The Rant
: After having had a plain awful sandwich only an hour before, I needed to get the aftertaste of it out of my mouth and needed one saving grace in a soup or sandwich form. So I immediately made my way into Chinatown and set about hunting down something spicy and soupy.

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The Review: I’d never had beancurd before so i was intrigued. The texture of it was completely new to me, I expected it to taste tofu-esque but it had the consistency and taste of perfectly soft boiled egg, this was unusual but very tender and delicious. The beancurd was bathed in a soy sauce and chilli broth and the textures were crazy and varied. It was topped with spring onions, roasted peanuts and deep fried strands that tasted slightly of mustard. This worked very well against the creaminess of the beancurd and the slight spiciness of the soup worked perfectly with my beer!

It was great and definitely made me forget about my horrible sandwich experience an hour before and each mouthful kept me coming back for more

Score: 7/10.
Unusual, a little bit crazy and delicious.

Fernandez & Wells. Toasted Ham, Cheese and Piccalilli

Where: Fernandez & Wells, St Annes Court, London, W1F OBH

How Much
: £5.75

The Food
: Toasted Ham, Cheese & Piccalilli

The Place
: Fernandez & Wells has three branches, the St Annes branch is tucked away down a little side street. It’s cute, cosy and seats just a handful of people but this makes it a nice place to grab a rest bite from the surrounding chaos of shops and miserable shopping zombies of Oxford Circus. The huge leg of lamb in the window also adds a bit of character to the place and would definitely catch your eye if you were just walking past by chance.

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The Rant: So after a few weeks of trying weird and wonderful sandwiches, I thought it was about time to take things back to basics and seek out some good old fashioned munch.

The Review: Fernandez & Wells seemed it had the potential to be this perfect wholesome paradise, widely lauded as having some of the best in London. I should’ve been more excited however my sarnie intuition was telling me otherwise and my intuition turned out to be right.

The array of sandwiches layed out in front of the shop didn’t fill me with much excitement, they looked pretty lifeless and unappealing. I hadn’t given up hope at this point and asked for a recommendation and the toasted ham, cheese and piccalilli fitted perfectly with my going back to basics ethos

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Calling this one of the best sandwich places in London is a joke. I’d eaten a good portion of it before I even tasted any piccalilli or gherkins, up until then it was bland and I actually would’ve preferred a McDonald’s egg mcmuffin in it’s place and I don’t like egg mcmuffins. Considering they’d made a centre piece of the leg of ham in the window, the ham in the sandwich tasted and looked like cheap supermarket bought wafer thin ham. If you don’t believe me and think I’m exaggerating here’s the evidence and where have the rest of the ingredients gone?!

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In it’s defence once I tasted the piccalilli and gherkins, the sandwich sprung into life. had flavour, became salty, zingy and had good textures that worked well against the ciabatta, cheese and ham. This was a little too late and a sandwich should be consistent throughout not have ingredients piled into one tiny corner

I realise I went to the St Annes branch which is more reknowned for coffee and does not have so much of a focus on sandwiches, however I don’t think this is any excuse for a sister branch not being able to make a decent ham and cheese toastie. I will be open minded and vist the Lexington branch at a later stage but not anytime soon. I was annoyed and went somewhere else immediately afterwards to buy a soup to get the boring aftertaste out of my mouth.

Score: 3/10.

Definitely not one of the best sandwich places in London. All style and very little substance or sandwich fillings for that matter.

Dogfather Diner. Hot Dogs

Where: Dogfather Diner, Northcross Road Market (Saturdays), East Dulwich, London

How Much
: £9.80 (for two)

The Food: One Snoop Dog & One Mac My Bitch Up (Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog)

The Place: A fifties inspired hot dog stand set admist the cafes, pubs and vintage shops of Northcross Road Market. The friendly vendors take your name and order and give you a time when you can come and collect your hot dog, in the meantime there’s plenty to do, so go grab a coffee, a pint or play dodge the yummy mummy as they try to attack you with their prams, hopefully not in that order.

The Rant: I had been craving a hot dog the entire week. I’d been dreaming, salivating and fantasising about them. I’d perused numerous photos of the hot dog merchants of London, the majority of which looked naked, barely covered by a dollop of ketchup or mustard if they were lucky. Until I stumbled across the Dogfather Diner..

The hotdog artist

The menu

The Review: I was not disappointed, the man is an artist, he’s taken his love for the simple hot dog and applied lashings of creativity as well as quality ingredients. There are five or six main hotdogs to choose from with experimental guest dogs making an appearance every week. This weeks guest dog was the ‘Mac My Bitch Up’ a macaroni & cheese inspired creation. The macaroni & cheese itself had been baked in an oven as it had a crispy crust, the bacon was incredible; thick and adding a great crunchy contrast along with the finely diced green peppers. The beef kosher and halal hotdog stuffed into the middle of all this was succulent and juicy and everything just came together in one glorious bite as any good sandwich should.

Snoop Dog

All this made me so glad I had ordered two hot dogs instead of just the one. The following being the Snoop Dog and I think the name lured me in as much as the ingredients; sliced cheese, crispy thick bacon, spring onions, delicious mouth watering barbeque sauce with the same succulent hotdog in the middle. It was beautiful but not comparable to the ‘mac my bitch up’ in my eyes, a controversial opinion perhaps seeing as the Snoop Dog is one of the regulars and not a guest.

Mac my bitch up

The Score : 9/10.

Like I said the man is an artist and I will be coming back to grab myself another unique hot dog creation in a few months.

Kati Roll Company. Indian Style Wraps

Where: Kati Roll Company. 24 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QL

How Much: £ 9.00

The Food: Achari Paneer Roll & Chicken Tikka Roll & Masala Chai

The Place: A small no frills diner that specialises in indian burrito style wraps. Whilst it was a simple eat and go place it had plenty of character with vintage bollywood posters plastered across the walls. Also the fact the venue was packed full of indian people and the warm comforting smell of indian spices hits you as soon as you open the door was definitely a good sign. As was the fact I had to wait 10 or so minutes while they cooked everything fresh.

The Menu

The Rant: My family are originally from north India and whilst I’ve lived in England all my life the standards I expect from indian food have definitely been set far too high. Let me put this into perspective for you, once upon a time I’d bought one samosa from a shop in East London. I didn’t expect much I was just a hungry guy looking for a quick snack whilst shopping, I took one bite and I found that shit so offensive I spat it out and slammed the rest of the samosa into the pavement, POW! My day was ruined and I still think about it now and the hair brained ‘chef’ who thought he could bastardise my north Indian heritage like that.

The Review: So damn was I surprised by the Kati Roll Company. The menu looked great packed full of authentic indian style fillings; paneer (indian cottage cheese), chana masala (chick peas) and these were all wrapped up in a paratha; a slightly buttery flaky indian bread. A paratha can easily be too greasy and you can spend more time cleaning your hands than eating it but at Kati Roll they had got this just right; buttery, light, crispy and a great accompaniment to the fillings inside.

Achari Paneer and Chicken Tikka

Tastier than it looks

Tastier than it looks

I decided to be a greedy bastard and get myself two rolls; the Achari Paneer Roll was heaven just the right amount of spice and the paneer cooked perfectly with green peppers and slightly crisp red onions which was a great contrast to the paneer. Good paneer is hard to find so if you’re a vegetarian or just love paneer in general get down to this place and give it a go.

By the time I got to my second roll, I was pretty damn full and the Chicken Tikka I had ordered as a bit of a wild card, I expected it to be bad and I am glad I was wrong. It was packed full of succulent tender chicken but it lacked slightly in the flavour department compared to the Achari Paneer. After listening to the other indian folks, a lot of people were having their wraps made to order. In addition I hadn’t been handed the little tub of green chilli sauce I saw everyone else enjoying dipping their wraps into. Maybe they heard my english accent and thought I couldn’t handle it.

The masala chai was an outright disappointment, it wasn’t the super strong, super sweet, intense tea hit I’ve come to expect from a masala chai. I can forgive, I’m reviewing sandwiches not cups of tea.

The Score: 7/10.

I left Kati Roll Company in a sandwich high, I can see this place becoming an addiction and there is no reason why next time the score could not easily go higher now I know things can be made to order. I’m sat here left wondering what did that mysterious green chilli sauce taste like, damn.

To soup and sandwich where no man has souped and sandwiched before..

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After having been inspired by a close friend of mine this afternoon who had sent through to me a really great blog about delicious sandwiches I found myself starved deliriously hunting through photos of sandwiches and I thought.. I could probably do better… and hang on this just gives me the absolutely perfect excuse for spending my weekend mornings and lunches running across London searching for impossibly greats sandwiches and soups…

In short just showing my credentials here, this is a tasty pork, ginger and chilli soup I knocked up for myself a few months ago, a Gok Wan recipe and surprisingly the guy knows how to cook up a storm as well as grab women’s butts. I will see how this blog progresses and evolves over the next few weeks and I will also be interested to see what I deem to be acceptable with regards to my boundaries of what counts as a soup or sandwich…. I’m already thinking burgers, so what If I am not a purist! My blog my rules :)