It had been about 5 months since we saw each other last and it was time for me and Jeanne of Cook sister! to meet and catch up – a great excuse then to try a new restaurant. We both hadn’t been to Mishkin’s, Russell Norman’s kind-of Jewish deli near Covent Garden. I had assumed that it didn’t take bookings like his other restaurants and so had pushed it to the back of my mind as a place for an early dinner, the place in my mind for all those no-reservations places that seem to be popping up (see also Pitt Cue Co). It turned out I was wrong – Mishkin’s takes bookings up to a week in advance and that’s how we got a table last week.
The restaurant certainly looks the part inside – a zinc bar, retro booths, glasses of tap water brought over when you sit down. They have a great cocktail list but I do wish they’d have more actual American soft drinks. I’ve not tried Dr Brown’s before but I’d love to see it or the like being stocked here!
Their menu was filled with lots of things I desperately wanted to eat. We first split a 1/2 Reuben on rye with pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing & Swiss cheese & cauliflower slaw (£7). The cheese stretched between our sandwich halves and was the first hint that this was going to be good. And it was. The accompanying slaw wasn’t too bad either with a peppy dressing and I’m not normally a slaw kind of person. The half sandwich was itself pretty big making the whole sandwich at £9 a good deal – we saw a lot of diners come in for just one of these sandwiches.
As soon as I saw the All beef corn dog, green tomato ketchup (£7) on the menu, I had to have it; luckily for me, Jeanne agreed. I’ve missed corn dogs. Hot dogs covered in cornbread, deep fried. These were excellent and the green tomato ketchup served with it was just the right balance of sweet and sour. Why is this not served more in the UK?
Our side of Baby gem & walnut salad (£4) was surprisingly fabulous! The lettuce and walnuts were dressed with a savoury dressing with lots of shaved hard cheese and we shovelled this into our mouths.
Our Meat loaf (£8) came a little after as our waitress had warned us. This little individual loaf was indeed very meaty and held a little soft boiled treasure inside – it’s certainly not diet food. I welcomed the side of boiled spring greens on the side.
That should have been the end of the savouries but we greedy guts had to have another and that’s how the Gin cured salmon, beetroot, apple (£5) off the specials board came to be at our table. The salmon and salad were served with a generous side of rye bread and butter but while it was all pleasant enough, I thought it was our weakest dish.
There’s always room for dessert, right? The Mango, lime & passion fruit pavlova, pistachio (£6) came looking like a winner but sadly was not. The meringue was dry all the way through and while there was plenty of cream and fruit, these could not save it. The pistachios had been candied but were horribly chewy in a way no pistachio should be.
Nancy Newman’s soggy lemon drizzle cake (£6) made up for it though. It was very moist and lemony and came with a big dollop of lemony whipped cream on top. It wasn’t light though and we didn’t manage to finish this either (we definitely could have done without the salmon after all the meaty dishes).
We forgot to ask who Nancy Newman was but I’ve since read online that Nancy Newman was either the executive chef’s grandmother or mother. I love that they’re sharing the cake made to a family recipe.
I really liked Mishkin’s – the food is generally very good and the price is about right (it was £29 each for the food and a drink but we definitely over-ordered). Not everything is great but I’m willing to overlook that to get to those corn dogs! It’s very likely that I’m also totally biased as I do love this kind of pseudo-Jewish-American style diner food that Mishkin’s serves; c’mon, it’s North American comfort food! (Not sure about the schmaltzed radish on the menu though…is it really just radish with chicken fat?!)
Totally not about the food but something about this place and this post is causing me to think as if I were back in high school. Like, yeah!
25 Catherine Street
London WC2B 5JS