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Nov 27, 2011 03:42 AM

Mishkins [London]

I tried the new Jewish/NY restaurant from the guys behind Polpo, Sputino, etc., on Friday (their opening day).

Began with a matzoh ball soup which contained one of the finest matzoh balls I've ever eaten (freshly made, probably w/schmaltz, with thyme and other fresh herbs) but unfortunately served in a very bland broth. Shared a half&half of fries and onion rings which were good, the onion rings better than the fries, but both quite nice.

I had a reuben sandwich (pastrami, sauerkraut, russian dressing) which was ok, but seriously in need of a bit of work. The pastrami itself was the best I've tried in London (which isn't saying much but still) as it had a great soft texture and was quite flavourful, but there was far too little of it on the sandwich and WAY WAY WAY too much sauerkraut. If you envision an American reuben you'd imagine a few inches of pastrami with a little sprinkling of sauerkraut over the cheese and dressing, but this was the opposite. The bread itself was fine, but the sauerkraut turned it into a soggy mess (and to nit-pick, I'd have sliced it a bit thinner). I presume making pastrami is hard work and expensive for a new place, but a more generous helping would have really improved this sandwich.

Fiancee had the steamed burger which was very good -- thinly sliced onions fried crispy on the top of a good patty on a chewy bun.

All in all, I'd definitely go back. It was the first day and it ran as if it had been in business for 10 years. Excellent service, food came out on time, and overall a great atmosphere.

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  1. Thanks for the report. It's nice to hear about a new restaurant that is well run from the get go. It strikes me funny sometimes that Jewish=NY. There are Jewish restaurants in a lot of U.S. cities. :-) Now if they only could produce a seven layer cake like the Madison Deli used to have......

    7 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      I agree, re: Jewish/NYC, but I think in this case it makes sense because its also a cocktail bar and looks a lot like a recreation of an old NYC speakeasy or something with Jewish food.

      Apparently the best Jewish deli in NYC at the moment is called Mile End in Brooklyn and actually features Montreal style Jewish food (Montreal Smoked Meat is a sort of pastrami but quite different than something like they serve at Katz's as its softer and not as sweet).

      1. re: brokentelephone

        Mile End sounds worth the trip. I'll have to ask some of my NYC buddies if they've been. One lives in Brooklyn and he's in the food business, so it's quite possible he's the one to quiz. I keep telling Frank (a Mexican young guy from L.A.) to come open a great restaurant here, but he doesn't listen. :-) All I need to do is find the time to get to NY again.

        1. re: zuriga1

          I profess to knowing absolutely nothing about Jewish/NYC deli food, but I know I really liked Mishkin's when I went last Friday.

          Regardless of how ubiquitous he is becoming, I can't help but love Russell Norman's way with a dining space. They are places I definitely enjoy spending my time, anyway.

          Particularly loved the chopped iiver, the fried green tomatoes and the latkes with eel. And the gin cocktails are good. Very good.

          I actually can't stop thinking about some of the dishes I ate, which is a bit weird for me. Now need to go back and try the steamed patty.

          1. re: Sharmila

            As long as you liked the food, that's all that counts. Fried green tomatoes are not a particularly 'Jewish' dish at all and I think are a Southern thing more than anything. Latkes with eels is sure something I've never heard of! It sounds like the chef is more than a little creative.

            1. re: zuriga1

              Love fried green tomatoes - make my own, but you are right, they aren't really Jewish or NY at all. I am looking forward to trying Mishkins.

              1. re: cathodetube

                I almost got there yesterday but we had a change of plans and stayed closer to Trafalgar Square. Maybe one of these days.... long holiday ahead! In fact, it's already started for us. :-)

                1. re: zuriga1

                  nor are latkes with eel! latkes yes- but eel?!no! i love russel norman's restaurants but think in this case might stick with what i get at home..