Tuesday 7th July - Back in March 2013 when (Matt) The List was just getting started, I discovered the magnificent Street Kitchen hatch at The Doodle Bar in Battersea. Co-owner Mark Jankel was on site, creating this vine and banging out next-level burgers and rosemary fries for a Friday night crowd.
Mark & Jun Tanaka have since spread their wings and airstreams to Devonshire Square and Broadgate Circle (Bermuda Triangle next?), and they have just opened up their first brick-and-mortar shop in the latter.
Their brand new Broadgate Circle hangout is essentially a sandwich shop, with“restaurant know-how lovingly crammed between two slices of bread”. Their gourmet sandwiches are mostly served by the inch (dangerous), alongside glorious salad boxes, Allpress coffee, and quality booze. It makes Ottolenghi's Sesame look pretty lazy.
|India Hells Lager from Camden Town Brewery at Street Kitchen's Sandwich Shop|
When I dropped in at 8pm on a Tuesday eve, the shop was starting to wind down for the night (9pm closing time), but Mark was still there behind the NY deli-style counter, beaming away, and he instantly recalled our brief meeting in SW11 over two years ago. Some people just have the hospitality / customer service thing nailed.
We sat outside to soak up the Broadgate Circle al fresco atmosphere and worked our way through four sandwiches and a salad in record time. Veggies are well catered for with roasted broccoli or cauliflower options sold by the inch plus some tasty salads (spiced aubergine, butternut squash etc), but you don't want to skip the meaty treats.
The hot roasted chicken sandwich (£5.75) with baby gem and tarragon mayo is simply incredible - order two. It's reminiscent of their Battersea Hatch Foghorn Leghorn chicken burger, with delicious pickled red onions common to both.
Aside: My local rotisserie and deli Park Road Kitchen is also currently doing an awesome chicken sandwich with tarragon mayo lunch special (£5) on Wednesdays.
|Roasted Chicken Sandwich with Baby Gem, Tarragon Mayo and Pickled Red Onions - served hot|
We then devoured a Hot Smoked Salmon sandwich (£4.75) with pickled red cabbage and beetroot, and the Rare Roast Beef sandwich (£4.75 / 7 / 9.40 per inch) with caramelised onions, pickled cucumber, horseradish and watercress on focaccia. The latter perhaps needs a little more of that rare roast beef (or less focaccia...no let's stick with more beef) to show off the high-quality meat that Mark has gone to great lengths to source from the mysterious Farmer Tom.
The home cured and smoked salmon salad (£5.50) with potatoes, watercress, pickled vegetables and DIY dill vinaigrette is generous and really showcases the outstanding salmon. Hopefully the rare roast beef salad has an equally pleasing meat:veg ratio.
|Roasted Chicken, Roasted Broccoli and Hot Smoked Salmon Sandwiches|
|Rare Roast Beef & Horseradish sandwich sold by the inch - photo provided by Street Kitchen / Roche PR|
|Adding the Dill Vinaigrette to the Smoked Salmon Salad|
|Home-cured and smoked salmon with potatoes, watercress, pickled vegetables and dill vinaigrette|
I'll be back for the Salt Beef special, served on toasted challah bread with sweet mustard, pickled cucumber, pickled red cabbage and smokey mustard mayo. Sadly (and unsurprisingly), it was too popular to last through to the end of the day - perhaps I'll aim for 11am next time when the sandwiches are unveiled. If you get there really early (7.30-10am), you can sample their short breakfast menu - save me a sausage brioche.
Whatever time of day you go, you'll be well looked after by the Street Kitchen team. It's a simple space with bespoke wooden-crate style furniture, but there's some science to look out for inside, including a Roundup Vertical Toaster and a Roundup Egg Station which McDonald's fans might recognise. It only has three settings - Ready, Cooking and BACON. Can't go wrong.
|Street Kitchen's al fresco seating|
I'll definitely make the journey over to Broadgate Circle again soon for that chicken sandwich and some salt beef, but don't forget that Street Kitchen can also be found throughout the week in Battersea and Devonshire Square. They are quietly doing some of the best gourmet fast food in London. That's lunch.
Street Kitchen - www.streetkitchen.co.uk
The Shop Broadgate Circle, Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2BY
After Street Kitchen, we wandered over to Brewdog Shoreditch to check out their renovated basement Two-Bit Bar, an all-American whiskey & beer bar with a few pinball and arcade machines. It's early days, but it's a shadow of its former self, Underdog, which held a special place in my heart for being part of my first ever blog post. The new décor is incredibly lazy, the atmosphere has disappeared, and the beers (though interesting) are overpriced (even if they are American imports). Two-Bit by name, Two-Bit operation by nature. You are better off upstairs.
London hasn't really figured out how to do arcade / gaming bars yet - Peckham's Four Quarters ain't too shabby but it's a far cry from New York's Barcade and Chicago's Emporium. I expected a lot more from Brewdog - I'll be sticking to the Shepherd's Bush outpost for the time being. Let me know if Two-Bit improves.
Thursday 2nd July - A few days earlier we ventured to London Fields for the launch of Playground and Proof, a new weekend market (Playground) and all-year round rooftop bar (Proof) making use of the courtyard and roof terrace of the Hothouse building on Martello Street.
I haven't seen the Playground market in full swing yet, but you can expect fine food from The Cheese Truck and Milo & Hector's Ice Cream Sandwiches, and all sorts of treasures and treats from the likes of Grandirosa (flowers), Mini Mini Yeah Yeah (bits and bobs) and Kartel Music (vinyl). Read more on the traders here.
Be sure to visit Bolt - a permanent fixture in Arch 3 with custom bikes, motorcycle inspired products, in-house BBQ and Volcano coffee in an uber-cool space.
|Bolt - Photo by Mihail Jershov © - www.mjstudio.co.uk|
Up on the Hothouse rooftop, past the Coppa cabanas, Proof is a stylish little cocktail bar overlooking London Fields and Pub on the Park (another great local sun trap). The back bar is small but perfectly formed with the likes of Quiquiriqui Mezcal and Cocchi Di Torino doing the job.
Go for the Mezcal Tommy's Margarita slushie, or keep it simple with a Quiquiriqui Matatlan Mezcal & Fentiman's Tonic for boozy summer refreshment. Or a Negroni of course. Alternatively, you've got Five Points Pale on tap, and cheese & cider tastings from The Cider Box to keep you happy.
As it's in London Fields rather than say Trafalgar Square, this is one rooftop bar that will hopefully never be too rammed. It's well worth finding on a sunny day. Also, look out for Cineast Sunday movie nights coming soon on the roof.
Playground & Proof - playgroundandproof.com
Field Works, Martello Street, London Fields, E8 3QW
Rooftop Bar - Thu/Fri 6pm-11pm & Sat/Sun 12pm-11pm
Courtyard Market - Sat/Sun 10am-6pm
If you are in need of food nearby, you might want to check out Patty & Bun's new arch (brunch looks pretty awesome). Or make a day (and night) of it with the likes of Som Saa, E5 Bakery, Cock Tavern, Look Mum No Hands, Rita's and Kansas Smitty's nearby.
If you are in the market for ... more markets, Hackney Drinks Market (currently having a Summer break) and Druid Street Market are at the top of my to-do list, and early reports have been very positive. Netil Market is always fantastic, and handily just round the corner from Playground & Proof. Check out ºPlato Brewing & Supplies, one of London's smallest breweries, and the Netil 360 rooftop which is no longer requires membership.
Druid Street Market - Saturdays 9am-4pm - Druid Street, SE1 2HH - www.druid.st
Hackney Drinks Market - Hackney Downs Studios, E8 2BT - www.hackneydrinksmarket.com
Netil Market - Saturdays 11am-6pm, 13-23 Westgate street, E8 3RL - netilmarket.tumblr.com
Netil 360 Rooftop - Mon-Sun - 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL - netil360.com
As the sun set, we moved on for a couple more drinks at Peg + Patriot and Joyeux Bordel, two of our regular haunts. James Stevenson and Adrien Russotto looked after us as always in each establishment, showing off new creations alongside some classics.
Drinks are always stellar at Peg + Patriot, and some new additions to the menu are rather special:
- Flex Riiiite - Kamm & Sons, P+P Smoked "Lilt" on Draught
- No Sir'ee - Rye Whiskey, Pineapple, French Vermouth, Disarmed Tabasco
- Kill or Cure - Strong Rye Whiskey, Lemon, Egg White, Absinthe, Espresso Oil
- Old Man & The Sea - Mezcal, Aperol, Maraschino, Grapefruit, Seaweed, Samphire Salt
- P+P Seasonal G&T - Gin distilled on site with Lemon Verbena, Peashoots and Tarragon
|Vesgroni - P+P Campari Vodka, Gin, Vermouth, Konik's Tail - Peg + Patriot|
|Ella + Vesgroni at Peg + Patriot|
|Old Man & The Sea - Mezcal, Aperol, Maraschino, Grapefruit, Seaweed, Samphire Salt - at Peg + Patriot|
|Jolly Mess - Vulson White Rhino Rye, Eaux de vie de Poire, Antica Formula, Cardamom Syrup, Mozart Dark - Joyeux Bordel|
|A boozy Mezcal & chocolate creation from Adrien Russotto at Joyeux Bordel|
P+P's "Talented Mr Fox" Matt Whiley is keeping himself busy creating cocktail menus for some of the hottest restaurants in town including Story, Fera and The Marksman, and he'll soon be taking up residence at The Lockhart's new Showdown bar when it launches in August.
He's also got dibs on the drinks lists at Lockhart's upcoming BBQ joint Shotgun, and the Sethi's new Hoppers project, both of which are bound to be big hits. Hopefully I'll make it into some of those soon and report back on Matt's cocktails.
Last but not least, I've just been made aware of this awesome Yelp competition called Yelp's Big Night In which you are going to want to enter. Details are below.
It's a party at your place, and you're the only one invited!
On Friday, July 31st, Yelp will be running the first ever YELP'S BIG NIGHT IN! Who wouldn't want to be fed, pampered and taken care of, for free, all from your own home, in the comfort of your PJs!
THE NIGHT WILL INCLUDE:
- Free food delivered by Deliveroo!
- Free wine delivered by Mr. Vine!
- Free laundry picked up and delivered right to your door from Laundrapp!
- Your home beautifully cleaned by Hassle, for free!
- Anything you want, picked up and delivered by Quiqup!
- A service of your choice from Bizzby! We'd suggest free therapeutic massages, but if you need an errand run or want a personal trainer session before cracking into all that food, they can make that happen too!
To be in with a chance of winning, click on this link and follow the simple steps. Yelp will be choosing 30 winners next week to all participate on the same night.