Last weekend, I had to go to Oxford Street to pick up a new toy (an Asus EEE – perfect for blogging on the go) and decided to combine the short trip with lunch. I took the chance to drop into Selfridges and try their classic salt beef sandwich with mustard on rye bread (£6.50).

Salt Beef Sandwich Innards

The beef was extremely tender. No, tender isn’t the right word for it; the meat was extremely soft and required almost no chewing at all. The meat disintegrates on the tongue and you can feel the muscle fibres separating in your mouth. Is this what salt beef is supposed to be like? Anyone reading this with great salt beef experience? I expected something with a bit more of a bite and with a more beefy flavour, if that’s possible. The flavour was quite mild and well, it was a bit difficult to link this soft sponge to the meat that you find in a juicy beefsteak. The mustard on top, which was like a mild English mustard, gave enough of a bite that went well with the soft beef.

The rye bread had caraway seeds scattered throughout and was thinly sliced. It was soft and perhaps a thicker slice would have been more appropriate here. The proferred gherkin costs extra (50p) – but I didn’t know this until after I’d agreed and it was on my plate. The sign for this is on the other side from where you order your salt beef sandwich.

A Hot Salt Beef Sandwich, a Gherkin and a Coke

I had this all with a Coke and the total came to £8.10. Not too bad for what felt was a filling lunch at Selfridges but not ok for everyday. I liked my sandwich but I’m not sure it’s my kind of thing. I’m a little jaded by sandwiches in general and only very spectacular ones (like bánh mì!) get me excited – perhaps I should try their pastrami next time. Or does anyone have another recommendation in London? Like the salt beef beigel at the Brick Lane Beigel Bake?

The Brass Rail – Salt Beef Bar
400 Oxford St
London W1A 1AB