I met Roxanne in Golders Green one weekend and we spent the day exploring the Jewish bakeries and shops along Golders Green Road and Finchley Road. My particular favourites were the Kosher Kingdom supermarket (where I stocked up on hummus and uh…pickle relish) and Carmelli Bakery where I bought a fantastic chocolate yeast bread to take home to Blai. It wasn’t all about buying groceries though – when we meet, we also dine and this time, we were going to sit down to lunch. Roxanne had done her salt beef research beforehand and from her list, we selected the closest to us – Salt Beef Bar on Finchley Road.
We didn’t refer much to the menu, preferring to look at what was available in their counter and, of course, ordering their namesake sandwich. Our chopped liver sandwich (£3.90) was rich and unctuous and pretty darn tasty. I enjoyed the caraway seeds in the sandwich bread.
A side of pickle was necessary to cut the richness of the chopped liver. These had a good sweet-sour flavour and a good crunch too.
The salt beef sandwich (£5.80) was very good – all soft slices of salt beef and optional nasal-clearing mustard and again, that caraway seed bread. Again, I’d recommend a pickle alongside.
To eat with our sandwiches, fantastically hot, fat, and crispy potato latkes…
…and cold, fried gefilte fish. The fish was fine but I can never get over the fact that it’s cold and I would choose the latke over it any day. Big fan of latkes, I am, and this was the fattest variant I’ve seen.
We were the only customers there for a while as a downpour started just when we sat down. The old couple who ran the place were a hoot while we were there, cracking jokes and revealing that they’d been together for 40 years before finally settling down to a meal of omelettes and chips! After the rain, there was a steady stream of customers coming in to buy sliced salt beef by the kilo, always a good sign. Others came in just for a salt beef sandwich. Whatever you’re ordering, the tiny place is absolutely charming and well worth a trip!
Salt Beef Bar
2 Finchley Rd
London NW11 0AL