At Londonist we'll always be a fan of bagel institutions such as Camelli's in Golders Green, and Beigel Bake on Brick Lane (even if the latter does come under fire for the quality of its salt beef). These places have served us well. Recently however, we've been feeling the love for the newcomers in town. Here's our top three new filled bagels.
Deep fills and a blow torch at Bel and Brisket
Street food long timers Bel and Brisket are in residency at The Barley Mow pub for the foreseeable. The bagels are classic New York style and come from Spence Bakery, while the salt beef is made in north London by a secret supplier, apparently one who supplies only to Bel and Brisket. This is interesting since much of London's salt beef all comes from the same place. It's nice and fatty and perfect with the pickles from Vadazs deli — some of London's finest — and a layer of perky house-made pickled cabbage. The cheese is Cheddar or Monterey Jack, given a lick of the blow torch to bubble it into place. We can recommend the kimchi fries with hot roots on the side, too, because why the hell not. The bagels are available to eat in, take away and also for delivery via Deliveroo.
Bel and Brisket at The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AU
Squid ink at Little Ghost Bagels
The chef behind Little Ghost, Adam Andrews, has made an Asian inspired bagel. He didn't think the flavours would work with a regular white bagel, which is usually quite sweet, so he developed a recipe with squid ink, which is currently being sold at his Maltby Street Market stall. The bagel is filled with brisket, brined for six days with lots of spices then simmered at a very low temperature for 16 hours until super juicy. It's topped with pak choi which has been braised with gochujang (Korean chilli paste), plus pickled cucumbers, chilli and Kewpie mayo (sweetened Japanese mayo). Adam will definitely be at Maltby Street for the next three weeks, and hopes to continue serving his bagels on a more permanent basis.
Little Ghost Bagels, Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
London's first Montreal bagels at The Good Egg
The Good Egg had opened its first site making London's first Montreal style bagels. What are they? Well, they're different from the regular New York style in that they're skinnier and have a slightly sweeter flavour, which is down to the addition of honey. Ex-Ottolenghi pastry chef Oded Mizrachi makes just two styles at the moment — white or black — the former being coated with sesame seeds and the latter with poppy. The bagels are boiled briefly with malt barley syrup, then baked with a heavy coating of the aforementioned seeds to make a crunchy crust.
Bagels come filled with The Good Egg's take on the New York white fish salad, a mix of herring for a smoky flavour plus sea trout, chives and other seasonings to make a spread. They also pride themselves on the quality of their ingredients, with eggs from Clarence Court, and meat from Turner and George. We're also keen on the flavour of their pastrami, particularly when served with house-made pickles. Oded is from Tel Aviv, and it shows in the style of his pickles which are spiced in typical Israeli style. Soon, they'll be making their own cream cheese too.
The Good Egg, 93 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0AS.