On the menu Mishkin's 3oz Steamed Beef Patty is priced at £6. But when I was offered a supersized version for £9, I said "Hell yes!"
And this is how it arrived. Instead of one patty, you get two, and the buns are so soft and the cheesey blanket so thick that for reasons I can only assume were to do with public safety, the beast was served on its side as above...
OK, so I'm a little late to the Mishkin's party as every other London food blogger went there months ago. If you don't know anything about it, it's another small and hip restaurant set up by the guys that own Polpo, Polpetto, da Polpo, and Spuntino. Visit the website to find that it describes itself a "a kind-of Jewish deli with cocktails." It serves a selection of sandwiches and meatballs, a selection of all-day brunch plates as well as a host of all-day supper dishes. And they do malted milkshakes.
But, as you know, I was there on a mission to sample the 3oz steamed patty with onions & swiss cheese, priced at £6. But then got totally excited by the idea of "super-sizing" my choice for an additional £3. Basically, they throw in an extra 3oz patty...
I have to say, despite it being served on its side, I love the way this plate of food looks. Needless to say I was pretty excited to pick it up and get stuck in.
Now, as I feel sure you all know by now, I like to be able to pick up a burger in my hands and eat it. However this double patty number can't be eaten (in public) by hand. I gave it a good go but the sheer weight of steamed onions and melty Swiss cheese meant that there were strings of cheesy, oniony goo falling into the bowl, and the two ball-like patties made for an impossible to-hold food parcel. I removed a patty to make a single patty version - but by then the onions and cheese were in the bowl and impossible to lodge back in the soft bun in any kind of architecturally sound structure. In short, I had to eat this with my knife and fork. Sad face.
Eating any kind of burger and bread combo with a knife and fork annoys me. I just can't help feeling pissed off that I can't eat it the way I want to. That feeling crept in here too. The soft steamed buns had that sweet oniony flavour and were delicious - as were the onions themselves. But the serving of cheese was a little too generous. The gooey cheese just ended up pissing me off - stringy cheese everywhere!
The beef patties themselves, if I'm honest, also annoyed me. They were thick and quite dense. They needed some chewing and I'd rather they just fell apart to the bite. They were also underseasoned and a little bland. They certainly don't match the rich beefiness of the beef patties served at the Admiral Cordrington, Meat Liquor or at Lucky Chip.
However, it should be noted that this steamed patty isn't trying to be like a ML or an LC burger. It's a totally different approach and in this context a mellow (rather than intense) beefiness is no bad thing. This combo is all about being soft, gooey, sweet and oniony - and it really is all of those things. But a little more seasoning and less compacted patties would really help it approach potential super-stardom.
The chips looked great (£3 a bowl) but sadly tasted a little more of potato than they did of er, fried potato.
But here's the thing. I had a flippin' lovely time at Mishkin's - and I'll definitely go back. Next time I'll try the single patty option. And if I'm disappointed with that, well, the truth is I'll probably go back again. My dining buddy had a Half Rueben toasted sandwich (comprising pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese) that looked THE BOMB!
Despite my misgivings about seasoning, texture and structure, I'm still giving this bad boy four stars. There's nothing like it anywhere else in London so it really is a must-try burger. Just look at it for crying out loud! I'd definitely recommend keeping things simply and NOT super-sizing it though. Especially if you like to eat your beef-between-buns by hand.
25 Catherine Street
Tel: 020 7240 2078