In search of London’s best sandwich since sliced bread
January’s dark, bleak, austere days are the perfect time to take a leaf, or should that be gill, out of the mushroom’s approach to life. They thrive and spore in these murky conditions and should be an inspiration to us all. So, feeling revved up by the positive example they set it only seems right to find the best fungal sandwich in London.
Our search took us to Broadway Market where Sporeboys specialise in the joys of wild mushrooms. They sell a mind expanding range of esoteric fungi as well as an umami rich vat of mushroomy risotto that’s so full of caps and stalks that you’ll struggle to find the rice that qualifies it as being a risotto. Which is a very good thing. But most excitingly they serve a mushroom sandwich that is bursting at the spores with slippery goodness.
A combination of portabella, chestnut, trompette de la mort, chanterelle, erynjii, shitake, blewitt and golden enoki mushrooms found their way into the sizzling hot frying pan where they sweated for 4 minutes with a lick of garlic before being seasoned, doused in grated Grana Padano, olive oil and parsley and squidged between two slices of sourdough. As Sporeboys, rather disarmingly, say on their website, it’s just a normal mushroom sandwich – but the mushrooms they use are anything but.
The sandwich itself was delicious. The complexity of the mushroom flavours and textures made the sandwich a true gourmet experience as they slipped and slopped from leaf mold to heady truffle. The parsley, olive oil and grated cheese added the touch of luxury that most sandwiches sorely lack.
There’s not much-room for improvement with our only gripe being with the choice of bread. As you can imagine, a filling of oozing mushrooms is about as well behaved as liquid mercury. The bread struggled to contain the unctuous goodness but, sadly, failed. We couldn’t help but wonder whether something thicker and firmer would have coped better such as a generous slab of toasted focaccia…
Aside from the bready quibble this is a rockstar of a sandwich that has a distinctly London feel to it, despite the range of continental ingredients. We also love the fact that the non-mushroom components of the sandwich are supplied by other stalls from the market which mirrors the symbiotic nature of mushrooms. And true to their enigmatic biology, they only pop up once a week on Saturdays at Broadway Market, so happy foraging.
Hungry? Browse the Sandwichist archives for lunch inspiration. Prepare to drool.