Top 5 Steak Sandwiches in London
Why do so many places get steak sandwich so wrong? Anyone? Okay I’ll tell you. It’s lack of attention to detail. Everyone thinks they can make a good one, and so they crop up on every half-arsed pub and hotel menu.
At worst, we’re up against tough tongues of grey meat, slimy mayonnaise, and dusty old ciabatta. At best though, there’s properly aged steak, well cooked and rested, bursting with juices ready to mingle with whatever is doing the saucing. There’s some kind of bite, be it mustard, horseradish or pickle, and there’s bread that’s sturdy but not so chewy you wonder if the kitchen ran out and decided to use the bottom of the KP’s clogs.
So who has got it bang on? Here are five of London’s best.
Seven Year Steak Sandwich at Hawksmoor
Don't worry, the sandwich isn't seven years old; Hawksmoor have named it so because it took them seven years to come up with a satisfactory recipe. Slices of rib eye steak give up their scarlet juices to a bed of pristine white Graceburn cream cheese from Blackwoods cheese company in Brockley. There’s watercress too and a grating of spiky fresh horseradish. Available at Guildhall, Seven Dials and Air Street branches.
Philly Cheesesteak at Liberty Cheesesteak
This has to go on the list of top 5 steak sandwiches because frankly there isn't going to be a top 5 Philly cheesesteaks any time soon. The good ones are few and far between. Liberty Cheesesteak focus on being ‘authentic’ which means definitely NO peppers. Inside a soft Italian style sub is a pile of thinly sliced rib eye steak ‘n onions, chopped and fried on a hot plate, just like back in ‘Philly. It comes topped with either cheese Whiz, American cheese or provolone. For the authentic experience, go for the Whiz, it makes the most wonderful cheese goo. Eat it. Enjoy it. Don’t think about it.
Bife Ana at The Eagle
This London classic has been on the menu at the Eagle pub in Farringdon ever since they opened in 1991. It's a Portuguese steak sandwich and it’s seriously fine. Rump steak is marinated with onions, garlic, oregano, vinegar and chilli, then flash fried, dressed with the heated remaining marinade and flung into a carcaças bun with some crisp lettuce leaves. You’ll just about make it to the end before that juicy triumph collapses on itself. A masterpiece. Yes.
‘Philly Cheesesteak’ at Tongue ’n Cheek
Okay so this isn’t strictly a Philly cheesesteak. The dry aged chuck steak at Tounge 'n Cheek is fried up with onions and peppers, but then it’s then topped with chimichurri, an Argentinian steak sauce with parsley, oregano, chilli, garlic and vinegar, amongst other things. We say, put whatever you like in there as long as it tastes good and oh, does it ever. There’s cheese too. Did I mention there’s cheese? There’s cheese.
Braciole Sandwich at Capish?
Italian American street food traders Capish? have come up trumps with this hunk of beefcake, pronounced ‘bra-zhole’. Forty day aged rare breed steak is rolled up with garlic, pecorino, chilli and parsley, and then slow cooked in a bone marrow and onion sauce. It’s served up on a glazed buttermilk roll with Taleggio cheese and pickled red onion. It’s one of the London’s best subs. End of. Understood? Follow them on Twitter for locations.
*Cover Image Copyright Toby Allen
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Helen is a food and travel writer based in Peckham, South East London. She is the author of the book 101 Sandwiches and the blogs Food Stories, and The London Review of Sandwiches. She has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Evening Standard, Sainsbury’s Magazine and various other publications. Her writing and recipes are inspired by the diversity of London and her travels and she is a sandwich and jerk chicken addict. She spent six years perfecting her recipe for jerk marinade, which is available to buy via her blog and in various shops in London. She won the fresh faces in food writing award at the Young British Foodie Awards in 2013 where judge Ottolenghi praised her ‘jaw droppingly foul mouth’. She is also studying for a PhD in psychological medicine. Follow Helen on Twitter @FoodStories.'