Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Full Monty

In its previous incarnation, Monty’s could be found in the railway arches on Southwark’s Druid Street. An auspicious location as it also heralded the end of the Bermondsey Beer Mile (or the beginning, if you like to mix it up a bit). Making it the perfect pit stop for pre-drinking ballast or post-drinking refuelling.

Although I was more than a little sad to see it move, a successful Kickstarter project funded the hop across the river to a much swisher - if less accessible from my endz - location on Hoxton Street earlier in the year. Happily meaning those Jewish deli staple cravings can now be satiated all-week round. 

Originally an East End bakery, interior-wise, it’s hard to fault. Everything just screams out joyful, in a lower East-side, preserved in aspic kind of way. From the pickle-shaped refreshment sign to the bagels strung up in edible necklaces. There’s a slick and shiny zinc counter, hedged by handsome leather stools; Victorian tiled booths with numbered globe lamps; and a black and white harlequin chequered floor.
While you may not be able to enjoy a locally brewed beer in the sunshine with your sandwich as you could at the old gaff, the drinks menu here goes someway to making up for it - offering beers from Wiper and True , Siren and Thornbridge, spirits including kosher scotch and Serbian plum brandy and even Kiddush sacramental wine. As does the bigger food menu including Friday Shabbat suppers of roast chicken and lokshen pudding and a range of home-baked babka, blintzes and bagels.

It wouldn't be a brunch without a bloody mary (as we were eating at 15.00, some people may argue it wasn't brunch anyway) and this was a pretty good one. Poky with horseradish and chilli and garnished with a huge celery stalk that made me feel a little less guilty for missing my green juice earlier that morning as I chomped my way through it.

Latkes are a hugely underrated potato preparation. Perhaps it's because they are normally served with apple sauce or sour cream - or, if you're lucky, like here, both - but to my mind they are far superior to the common garden hash brown. These were no different - light, crisp, greaseless and quickly dispatched.

Chicken soup with matzo balls and noodles - aka Jewish penicillin – was as soothing and restorative as the names suggests. There’s something supremely comforting about a well-made chicken soup; the slight crunch of the carrot discs; the fragrant fronds of dill; the bland matzo balls and noodles soaking up the shimmering broth.

And while on this particular Sunday afternoon, I was feeling mercifully hangover free (although the bloody marys were staring to take care of that), this would also have made the perfect panacea on those desperate occasions where only a T4 marathon on the sofa and several pints of Berocca are going to cut it.

The Rueben special dispenses for the need to choose between salt beef or pastrami, as you get a heap of both. This is a Very Good Thing, as you get the perfect balance between fatty salt beef and the leaner, peppery pastrami. Sauerkraut, mustard and Russian dressing add piquancy; all barely held together by toasted rye bread and accompanied by half a new green pickle.

Despite their being no blintzes on the brunch menu - and being out of chocolate babka when we arrived - Monty’s is still a Jewish gem. And if you’re still craving an after-brunch snifter, you could do a lot worse than the nearby Old Fointain pub, where a pint of strawberry wit beer from BBN, one of Bermondsey’s finest, made the perfect summer pudding.

No comments:

Post a Comment