Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Shippo – Oyako Don

Hall of Slime

All aboard! All aboard the Shippo! Direct route to Japan!

The sheer amount of different stalls at the Sunday Up-Market in Brick Lane is outstanding. Pretty much every cuisine you can imagine is somehow represented, and it’s an attack on the senses worthy of a Moroccan market.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Tight! One move and it’ll expolode

But Shippo is different. From the bizarre menu (I had never heard of any of the dishes before), to the fresh cooked food in front of your very eyes (no “hours cooked” noodles here), it’s not hard to understand why it stands out.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Looks even yummier when you dig in

I ordered the Oyako Don. It’s one of those times when you order and have no clue what the meal will look like. Marinated chicken mixed with omelette, seaweed and onions, all over a bed of rice, make for one strange looking box. But a very satisfying box at that.

Shippo - Oyako Don rice donburi japanese market food east london brick lane

Sticky means easy for chopsticks

So come aboard. The Shippo is about to embark! The destination? Doesn’t matter. It’s the journey that does. And this is one delicious journey.

 

Slimy? This mixture of japanese delight sticks together like glue. Handy for chopsticks.

Satisfying? An oriental delight, and also a fairly hearty one. You won’t starve on this journey.

 

Shippo
Sunday Upmarket (at Truman Brewery)
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Cubanos London – Cubano Sandwich

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It’s no secret that I’m a film lover. I’ve been to the cinema about 50 times this year (and counting… The new Star Wars isn’t out… yet). So it’s no surprise that I’ve seen Jon Favreau’s little indie called Chef, about a struggling chef in looks of reinventing himself.

What does he do? He opens a food truck in Miami, specializing in Cubano sandwiches. I’ve been to Miami before, and before this, I had never heard of these beautiful bread compositions. And so, I watched the film, getting hungrier and hungrier, in despair for not being able to try this glorious looking sandwich in London.

Look how it reflects on the foil. Mirrored perfection. Cubanos London - Cubano Sandwich

Look how it reflects on the foil. Mirrored perfection.

Until now, that is. Cubanos London is serving Cubanos at Brick Lane market on Sundays, and they’ve been well worth the wait. Two long pieces of bread, with mojo roasted pork, cola cooked ham, cheese, pickles and mustard, which are grilled together, create one heck of a powerful sandwich punch.

With no trips to Miami in sight (or Cuba for that matter, but I have no idea if there’s anything remotely cuban about this sandwich), this is as good a reenactment of the film as we’re going to get in London. Bonus points for the fact that it’s a damn fine sandwich to start a Sunday.

 

Slimy? The bread is glazed with… emmmhh… “something” before grilling, so yeah, it’s dirty good

Satisfying? Each bite as powerful as the one before, it’s worthy of Hollywood stardom

 

Cubanos London
Brick Lane Market on Sunday
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Beigel Bake – Cheesecake

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Brick Lane is famous for two things: below average Indian restaurants (and it’s super annoying but “authentic” waiters trying to get you to enter them) and its two competing, 24-7 bagel shops.

But this isn’t about bagels. As delicious as that New York staple is, this is about that OTHER delicious and equally famous North American staple: the Cheesecake. For far too long have I tried and failed in my search of a good cheesecake in London. Not cheesy enough, not thick enough, o just a plain excuse of a cake that doesn’t deserve to have the word cheese on its name.

And then last Friday someone told me I should try the cheesecakes they sell at Beigel Bake (the one with the white sign). I knew they sold stuff other than bagels, but I thought it was just a marketing ploy to get people in. It never crossed my mind to purchase anything other than a salt beef bagel (which deserves its own, separate, future post).

How can something so tiny be so intense? Beigel Bake - Cheesecake

How can something so tiny be so intense?

So I went, queued up (crazy long queue! People just can’t get enough bagels), and got myself a very tiny and very cheap (at £0.70 a piece) slice of creamy goodness. And it was good. Very good in fact. Surprisingly excellent.

While not quite New York Style (it would need some strawberries and also be huge for that), it still has that special thickness so characteristic of the cakes from the Big Apple. It might be small, but it packs a punch, and it brought me back to my last US cheesecake experience. Oh, the memories.

Next time you go to fill your bagel needs at 3am on a Saturday, remember, there is more to bagels on a bagel shop. Get a slice of cheesy cheesiness, and go on your merry drunken way home.

Slimy? It does have cheese on its name, but it’s so tightly compressed that the only way this could fall apart is if you sat on it.

Satisfying? The search for the perfect NY Style Cheesecake continues, but this’ll o for now!

 

Beigel Bake
159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB
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The Rib Man – Rib Meat Roll

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Too many ingredients. That’s the sin of many sandwiches across the board. Too many veggies, too many strange and obscure additives, that makes them lose focus and what’s truly relevant in a good sandwich: the meat (sorry vegetarian readers, but it’s kind of true).

A burger is only as good as the patty on it’s center, and thus, a pork rib meat sandwich is only as remarkable as the quality of it’s sliced pork. This is the focus at The Rib Man, a fantastic stand in the middle of Brick Lane’s Sunday market. It takes London’s pork craze to it’s bare essentials: bread, pork, and bbq sauce. What else could you possibly need?

I tried to close it. I failed. The Rib Man - Rib Meat Roll

I tried to close it. I failed.

Say goodbye to the days where you needed a bit more spice, some sour aftertaste, or anything. The only extra thing you can get served by Mark Gevaux, AKA The Rib Man, is extra pork. Though trust me, I saw the small one, and it already has enough piggy goodness. I got the regular, and I’m not sure I can eat pork again for a while. I can’t even imagine how big a pig mountain the large one must have!

Served with a delicious BBQ sauce (I went for the traditional because I’m a chicken, but feel free to try the Holy Fuck Sauce and let me know how insanely spicy it is) and with some fine bread, this is a sandwich in it’s purest form. As such, I strongly recommend you go on a spiritual journey next Sunday, head towards this surely soon to be protected by UNESCO street food cart, and enjoy one of the purest and most delicious sandwiches known to man.

Slimy? You’ll need a fork. And good balance too, as the tower of pork on top of your sandwich is very wobbly. Good luck with using your hands for it!

Satisfying? Next time I go to one of those fancy hipster burger shops I’ll ask for a patty-only burger and see if it comes anywhere close to this masterpiece…

 

The Rib Man
Brick Lane Market (on Sunday, and other places on other days)
Website