At Cafe Mish, they have a sign proudly proclaiming the Earl of Sandwich didn’t “invent” the sandwich, it was created many centuries ago in the Middle East. For a food lover, this was akin to telling me Santa Claus isn’t real. I thought the sandwich was the British people’s greatest contribution to gastronomy. With such a bold statement in a historic location in Mayfair, expectations were high on what type of gourmet sandwiches Cafe Mish might be offering.
If you’ve never been to Shepherd Market in Mayfair, locating Cafe Mish might take some map searching, as it is off tiny side streets from Piccadilly. It is an area worth discovering with its quaint collection of traditional independent shops and restaurants. The cafe is right in the heart of the square. Their business is more catered towards takeaways rather than a seated meal as they only have seating for a maximum of 6 people.
They are so proud of the top quality ingredients they use, there are signs on the walls explaining where certain ingredients are sourced from: such as smoked salmon from H. Forman & Son, corn fed chicken from Johnson & Swarbrick and artisan bread from the bread factory in north London.
The most popular choices are the menu are the mish pastrami, salt beef and roast lamb sandwiches. From the very first bite, you could sense the freshness of the ingredients used, the lamb I tried was beautifully slow cooked, the meatiness of the lamb joint felt genuine and complemented well with the red onion confit. My only slight gripe would be they had forgotten to put in the mint, so it did feel like the creation wasn’t complete.
By contrast, the slow braised salted beef, sweet pickle gherkins and dijonnaise was the complete package. The salt beef was moist and juicy and the accompaniments added variety to the sandwich. The caraway bloomer was as fresh as if they had baked it on site that morning. The mish chips with a selection of hand cut sweet potato and standard chips were pipping hot with an ideal amount of spiced salt added onto it. It did make the sandwiches feel rather lukewarm in comparison.
This isn’t just your average corner takeaway shop selling soft drinks to accompany your meal. They also offer items like Peroni, cider and Harry Bromptons for those who prefer a more adult beverage to accompany their lunch. The site is also popular for breakfast options such as their eggs benedict and florentine choices.
The Earl of Sandwich could easily have frequented this exclusive area of Mayfair in his heyday and if he saw an establishment such as Cafe Mish offering fine gourmet sandwiches, I have no doubt he would have been a regular customer as well.