Mishkin’s, 25 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS
Ah, another Russell Norman (and friend and business partner Richard Beatty) success, his fith London restaurant, after the mega-successful Polpo, Polpetto, da Polpo and Spuntino,. I saw a tweet from Norman fan @AdamHyman29 this week that read: ‘I wish I could bottle the atmosphere at Russell Norman’s restaurants and sell it. Be worth more than the f******recipe for Coca-Cola.’ I think he’s right, each one of his restaurants is doing amazingly well and are going down a storm.
Mishkin’s is a Jewish influenced restaurant (Russell Norman says a “kind-of Jewish deli with cocktails that mixes themes from New York’s Lower East Side”) although the food isn’t kosher and they have pork on the menu, it’s headed up by the brilliant Tom Oldroyd, group head chef for all the restaurants. The style has an industrial/homely feel (if that’s even possible!) with mismatched fine china, exposed bricks and polished concrete and dainty paper doilies! We loved the geometric wallpaper (from a shop called Speedies in Redchurch Street, in case you’re wondering).
We visited a while ago during the soft opening in November 2011. I had to call at 10am on a certain day to reserve a table entitling us to 50% off the food bill, I called back 100 times until I got through. I haven’t done that kind of thing since I booked tickets for Radiohead.
We were greeted by the man himself on the night which was a particular honour for me. You wouldn’t have known it was a soft opening, everything ran smoothly, but I guess they know what they’re doing by now.
Our table was squished right in the corner, the only thing that we disliked, we were far too close to the table next to us. As we looked around we noticed pretty much all the customers were snapping away at their food, it seemed to be full of bloggers and/or people that like to photograph what they eat.
We agonised over the menu for ages, finally deciding on the Brick Lane salt beef with Colman’s mustard & pickles, £9. All pork Big Apple dog, dragged through the garden £9, Lamb & pistachio, ground beef, green peppercorn and Chickpea and spinach & ricotta meatballs £6 for three, Chicken matzo ball soup £5, Half and half (onion rings and chips) £4, and Fried green tomatoes £4.
The soup really stood out for me, I think I’m alone on this one, it’s not the most talked about dish on the menu, I loved the huge spongy dumpling and how comforting it was to eat, the perfect thing if you’re unwell.
The dog was brilliant also, created in London’s East End, smothered in onions and peppers and sauerkraut. The messiest looking dog I’ve ever seen but also one of the most interesting. The ‘dragged through the garden’ bit refers to it’s many toppings.
It was the first time I’d had salt beef, it was never something that appealed, looks like I’ve been missing out! The waiter gives you the option of ordering with or without fat, we went for fat of course, I loved it, although the generous dollop of mustard made our noses burn and we couldn’t taste much else after that.
The fries and onion rings were good, the onion rings thin and crispy, but the fried green tomatoes (another first) were a winner also, I loved them so much that Ade let me eat them all.
Dessert was a Warm choc chip ice cookie with ice cream £5, simple but perfect, it’s not often that I don’t want a dessert to finish. Ade had the sweet and sticky Apple & honey blintz, tasted like autumn on a plate.
The things we also really wanted to try were the Reuben sandwich on rye (bit tricky for me not liking cheese though), the Cod cheek popcorn, malted milkshake and the entire gin-based cocktail menu. We did have a Last Word – Gin, lime, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur £7 (which comes in a tankard!), Diamond Fizz – Gin, Prosecco, lemon £6 . Bet you can’t guess which of us had which… And we ended the night sharing a London Cup Miller’s gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, mint, grapefruit £12, a bit like Pimms minus the Pimms, have one and you’ll know exactly what we mean!
‘Mishkin’s is about fun as much as it is about food and cocktails and music. We look forward to seeing you’ it says on the website. I loved it so much, I think about it at least several times a week.
25 Catherine Street
Monday to Saturday: 11am – 11.30pm
Sunday: Noon – 10.30pm
Mishkin’s takes bookings for
lunch and dinner.
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
Telephone: 020 7240 2078