Thursday, February 28, 2008

Canteen, St. Martin's Court

Venturing out of Soho again, I found this cafe tucked away in St. Martin's Court which is not far from Leicester Square, just off Charing Cross Road.

The area is something of a hidden gem: Nearby Cecil Court is filled with secondhand bookshops and shops selling old prints and pictures; a nice place to spend your lunch hour. And St. Martin's Court is home to J Sheekey, a famous seafood restaurant as well as this cafe, Canteen.

There's something quite appealing about the exterior of Canteen: The old shop front with its ornate door and the traditional painted sign (no neon-lit plastic here). If looks were anything to go by, you should be able to get a very good sausage sandwich here.

Sadly that isn't the case. As soon as I spotted the sausages I knew they would be rubbish but as the only customer and under the glare of the shopkeeper, I forgot to switch to Plan B (order a bacon butty) and instead went ahead and asked for a toasted sausage and egg sandwich with brown sauce.

The sausages were uniformly brown, like orangey leather, and the casings seemed to be peeling away. Very strange looking and unappetizing.

He seemed to forget, or misheard, that I wanted the sandwich toasted and instead started buttering the bread straight away. When I reminded him, he said 'No problem!' and slipped the buttered bread into a hot electric griddle. The egg, at least, was fried on the spot and not microwaved.

Not much to say about this. I'm not really sure what was in those sausages but it tasted salty. The bread ended up as something like a fried slice, which isn't a bad thing but the sausage aspect of the sandwich was pretty awful.

1 out of 5. A strange accident. Throw away the sausage and you might have a decent fried egg sandwich.