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|Address:||25 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS|
|Tel:||020 7240 2078|
|Price: £36.00||Wine: £17.00||Champagne: £66.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
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New York meets the East End by way of Finchley style all day Jew'ish' diner. Those who have been to other restaurants by creator Russell Norman will know the drill; small space squeezes maximum capacity with handsome bar seating, trendy and friendly staff sucked from design school by way of Diamond Jacks and a cocktail cum small sharing menu focused on comfortable classics. The only anomaly is that Mishkin's has a booking policy (finally, Norman, finally!).
The space is beautiful. Russell Norman truly is the Conran of the cozy cafe, though you need to be VERY good friends if you're getting more than two people round the postage stamp tables.
My guests went for salt beef mac ‘n’ cheese, a pleasant enough concept, unfortunately overdosed with English mustard and on the runny side, missing the nutty unctuousness of the thick fontina-based sauce in sister restaurant Spuntino.
I followed the crowds, who have been raving about the Reuben, toasted rye with layers of good pastrami, melted swiss cheese and sauerkraut. You know what though? It's just a sandwich. A messily enjoyable one with a little too much gunk for me and fundamentally – Just. A. Sandwich. After numerous reviews, outpourings on Twitter and a double page spread in the Metro, just on the sodding sandwich, it's hard to see how anywhere could live up to that level of hype.
I went again, for post-meeting cocktails (all gin-based and very acceptable) and bar snacks of battered Brussels sprout and battered cod cheeks. Both quirky and totally fine, though neither demanded return visits in the way of Spuntino's deep fried olives. You're not going to feel hard done by when you get the bill, the staff are superb (with the possible exception of that mustard handler in the kitchen) and if you had it on your doorstep you'd be crazy not to be there regularly. It's not the second coming though…