Lunch at Mishkins, Covent Garden, London

Mishkin Exterior

I’d never heard of a Reuben sandwich until Mishkins came to town. Two of my lovely friends went to New York recently and told me about this amazing pastrami sandwich they’d eaten and it didn’t click that they were talking about THE Reuben from Katz’s Deli that critics are comparing the same dish from Mishkins to. Mishkins sells itself as a ‘kind-of Jewish deli with cocktails’, and since their opening earlier this year, the crowds have gone crazy for this sandwich (don’t worry, I’ll get to it soon). This probably had something to do with the fact that its the new project from the same team behind Polpo, Spuntino, Polpetta etc, a massively successful set of foody boozy haunts that has gained itself a huge online following. I popped to Mishkins on my day off to get a part of the action and eat the Reuben which, to clarify, is a toasted sandwich (rye or pumpernickel) of layered meat (pastrami or corned beef), sauerkraut and swiss cheese with dressing.

The sandwich (£9) was good, the generously sized bread making it enough for two to share, and it had salty tender meat and seriously stringy cheese. The tangy kick wasn’t there for me in the sauerkraut (maybe the portion was too small) so I stuffed half of my gherkins in there which did the trick. Even with the gherkins, the filling was a bit sparse; the cheese and meat had met in the middle and left the ends bare.  In all honesty, I didn’t get all of the fuss. I wanted this sandwich to be perfect, to sing to me, to be unlike any other sandwich I’d ever eaten and it wasn’t, it was just really nice.

Cod Popcorn

The cod popcorn (£7), which came under the ‘Supper’ section on the menu was little, lightly battered chunks of sweet cod. They went nicely with the slithers of chilli peppers and the chunk of lime garnish, but the dish was just too tiny. If I had ordered if for my ‘supper’ I would have been very very hungry and probably quite drunk (the cocktails, which were absolutely brilliant, packed a punch or two- more below), it was definitely a slider dish that needed pairing up to make it complete. And so came the Cauliflower and Caraway Slaw, a generous side that was light, fresh and wholesome, the perfect accompaniment. Yes an accompaniment, but more filling and cheaper than the cod popcorn. I know what I’ll chose first next time I go.

The ‘London Cup’ cocktail that we ordered was glorious- well thought out and beautifully presented, served up in a mock American diner style plastic jug and two jam jar glasses. A mix of gin, sweet vermouth, campari, mint, grapefruit, was balanced perfectly so that it was tart, sweet and deliciously boozy, our £12 jug poured four cocktails worth too making it a bargain.

Our bill, including a 12.5% tip, was a very reasonable £36 for a jug of cocktail, two mains and a side, though if it’d been dinner we’d probably have needed another dish or two to satisfy our hunger. Overall I did enjoy the experience, but if the sandwiches got a little chunkier, the service got a little tighter and the other dishes got a little more exciting Mishkins would become something really special, rather another decent opening in the Polpo (don’t-call-them-a-chain) chain.

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7 thoughts on “Lunch at Mishkins, Covent Garden, London

  1. It looks delicious! Shame it was a bit of a let down. I had a delicious Reuben sandwich in a cafe called Baba Ganoush in Kendal. The authenticity of this sandwich is questionable, but it was really good!

  2. Two wafer-thin slices of meat – and you’re calling this a Reuben.
    It’s more sauerkraut than meat. And it’s more bread than anything else.
    If I wanted a loaf of bread, I would have gone to a bakery.
    Are you joking?
    Marks and Spencer makes pre-packed Ham sandwiches with more meat than this thing!
    I’ve never seen such a stingy sandwich, let alone a Reuben.
    A place like this would be laughed out of existence in New York, New Jersey – or any state in America for that matter.

    What a let down… I will never return again.

    1. Joey, are you posting this same exact reply under every single Mishkins review? Makes me all a bit suspicious, and i’m not sure why!

      that said, not sure i’d be enticed to the ruebens when the beef patty is by far the most delicious burger i’ve eaten – i’d be hard pushed to give that baby up

    2. Hi Joey,

      It looks like you’ve given this opinion quite widely so far. Yes the Reuben I had was too small, but after having a look around on other blogs, it looks like I was unlucky.

      It definitely still wasn’t comparable to supermarket grub, and the whole experience was still positive and will draw me back.

      Thanks for your reply.

  3. I ate at Mishkin’s on Sunday afternoon because I fancied the taste of a Reuben. Of course, I prefer my Reuben with Salt Beef rather than Pastrami… so when I ordered my Reuben I asked the waitress if she could make my Reuben using Salt Beef rather than using Pastrami. She said, “Sorry Sir, we don’t do that here.”

    I was a bit taken back, because it said on the menu that they also serve Salt Beef sandwiches. So it’s not like they didn’t have any Salt Beef on hand in the kitchen.

    The very moment the waitress said, “Sorry Sir, we don’t do that here.” – that was the moment I should have got up and walked out. But hindsight is always 20/20 and I just assumed they had a very good reason for the rigid policy. So rather than get up and walk out, some strange part of my brain decided to become compliant and said, “OK, I’ll have it with the pastrami then.”

    When the Reuben sandwich arrived on the table, the Pastrami filling was indeed rather slim. But I remedied this shortcoming by forking the pastrami out of one side and putting it all together onto one half, and thereby abandoning two slices of bread. Even so, with all the Pastrami forked over to one side, it was still rather anemic.

    I don’t know why they’re making these sandwiches so paper-thin – but it certainly can’t be good for building a clientele. I certainly wont eat there again.

    As I see it, I learned a valuable lesson. Always go with your initial impression. When the waitress said, “Sorry Sir, we don’t do that here.” – that was the moment I should have got up and walked out. Having said that, I won’t make the mistake again.

  4. well it looks like Joey got onto your comments also about the Reuben!
    i do have to say that the picture in your review shows a Reuben that is ALOT thinner than it was in December last year! so i understand Joey’s concerns..
    hopefully Mishkins fixes this real quick

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