Thursday, January 31, 2008

New post label: 'Recommended'

As I'm finding new places all the time, and I don't want to be changing the London Top 5 constantly, I thought I'd add the label 'Recommended' to all the good places or sausages I review. Just click on the tag to see all the good stuff.



Scotts, corner of Bedford Street and New Row

Straying from my normal Soho stamping ground, this is a great find in the Covent Garden area, heading towards the Strand.

Scott's is a fine little cafe that does breakfasts, jacket potatoes and the usual lunchtime sandwiches. It also does hot salt beef sandwiches complete with mustard and pickles which I haven't tried yet.

What makes it stand out is how fresh everything looks on the counter, how spotlessly clean the cafe is and - having been there a couple of times - how generous their portions are. They certainly don't scrimp on the amount of filling they put in their sandwiches and potatoes.

For the blog, I ordered a toasted sausage sandwich on brown bread, with brown sauce:

The sausages - two of them, halved - are straight up pork sausages, rather than a cumberland, but they're of good quality. Despite the lack of spice there is a definite fresh, satisfying porky flavour to them, and a good texture.

Scott's seem to make a point of only using very fresh, soft bread and this was no exception. Even after toasting you could tell the bread was very fresh. I think the real butter was on the toast. It certainly had a very nice buttery note to it. And finally, the brown sauce was fine and generously poured.

All in all this is a great sausage sandwich from a well run cafe and certainly gives Cafe Soho a run for it's money. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the best to be found in this part of town.

4.5 out of 5.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kurz and Lang, Cowcross Street

I was emailed a link to Kurz and Lang ages ago and it was also mentioned in Time Out's recent list of best sausages, so I thought I'd seek it out over the Christmas break.

On the day I went, the whole Smithfield's area was very quiet (being a non-working day) but I could tell straight away that Kurz and Lang was in a fantastic location - right across the street from the famous Smithfield meat market.

However, the sausages they sell are not made from the meat that's available on their doorstep but are flown in from Germany. This is obviously great for authenticity but it does seem like a waste of airmiles when the market is just a few metres away.

Never mind that, what are the sausages like? I tried two varieties, the classic Bratwurst pork sausage, and a Krakauer which is made from pork, beef and spices. Rindswurst, K√§sewurst and other varieties are on the menu.

The Bratwurst I had plain style, whilst I had the Krakauer 'currywurst style' which basically means it comes smothered in curry sauce. Fries and bread were on the side.

The sausages are cooked on a hot plate. They have the texture of a typical frankfurter or wiener i.e. tightly packed into the casing and obviously processed. There's nothing wrong with this style of sausage but for me it only works as part of a hot dog. On it's own, the texture is a bit dull and doesn't eat that well.

A bread roll was served but it was just plonked on the side which means you have to manually assemble your wurst-in-a-brotchen. I did my best but the roll wasn't fresh (again, probably due to this being a non-work day) and on the whole it wasn't a great eating experience. 

The currywurst sauce is a sweet, gloopy confection that is probably exactly what you would get from a Berlin street vendor but wasn't particularly tasty. It reminded me of a dipping sauce you used to get with McDonald's chicken nuggets.

I think Kurz and Lang offer a genuine taste of German street-style sausages but it could be so much better.

For example, they could try serving the sausages in bread to start with; perhaps a soft, yielding bun that properly sets off the flavour contained in the sausage. With several different sausages on offer, more varied condiments might help too (ketchup, mustards and sauerkraut are on offer). And it would be great to be able to try fresh sausages made on the premises, or at least ones that use produce from the nearby market.

In summary, the sausage and bread magic just wasn't there! They serve nice sausages and it's interesting to get an authentic taste of German street food, but it could potentially be much, much better. I will try go back there again, though, on a work day to see if things are any different.

3 out of 5. Worth going to satisfy your curiosity.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Homemade: Sainsburys pork sausages with honey and mustard

If you've seen my other 'homemade' posts, you've probably guessed which supermarket I go to by now. However, I thought these sausages from the Sainsburys Taste the Difference range deserved a mention.

They're generously seasoned with honey and mustard, both of which retain their flavours well - better than most other 'novelty' flavourings.

The honey creates a nice barbecue taste and aroma after grilling and the mustard manages to keep it's mild kick. These are sensible flavourings for cook at home, specialty sausage. They went really well wrapped in a toasted English muffin with a small dollop of tomato ketchup.

Probably the best I've tried from this range.