A Gentile Introduction to Jew–ish food

Issue Three
April 2012

Do you hate food blogs? If not, then you'll probably know by now that Mishkin's is a faux-Jewish deli in Covent Garden. It's another from messrs Norman and Beatty — aka the brainz behind Spuntino and the various Polpos. These two know how to garner cool credits and make their ventures the places to be seen checked in at on Foursquare.

Mercifully, you can book at Mishkin's. We arrived early for our Saturday dinner and ordered cocktails from the haircuts behind the bar — cucumber martini and elderflower bumcheek or something. Sorry, it was called Ezra's Green Rose. That was the nicer of the two - the cucumber martini was a bit too much like sipping ethanol from the school science lab.

The waitress was a kindly bundle of denim. She walked us through a menu that acts as a gentle intro to the linguistics of Jewish comfort fare. It's darker than a rabbi's kippah inside but we squinted hard, ordered and took in what we could of the decor.

Imagine a Vegas casino with a 70s New York deli theme. Unlikely, yes, but if it happened Mishkin's would be what you get, minus the slot machines and bright lights. In fact any light. It's a designer's considered take on down-at-heel. The restrain makes for a homely environment—perhaps best suited to a rainy, hungover Sunday.

Those sore heads would appreciate the stodge-packed menu. Ruebens, salt-beef bagels, knishes (pie), meat loaf and meat balls sit alongside all-day brunch options. Our lamb and pistachio 'balls weren't overly reminiscent of their constituents but were good nonetheless. The runny egg snuggled up in our meatloaf raised a smile and the matzo ball soup was a cute piece of nostalgia.

Charging £2 for a few slices of gherkin—or half sours—seemed churlish, and the aforementioned cocktails added £15 to our bill. There's a sense you're paying to experience this unfashionable cuisine in a 'safe' environment, when a trip to Golder's Green could give you authenticity for two–thirds less, but whaddyagonnado.

If you book Mishkin's for 4 or less, try asking for the booth - a cosy alcove decked out in wood that partitions you from your fellow hipsters.

Smashing cocktails

Mishkin's — smashing cocktails
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