I’ll start off straight away by awarding two friendly points here to account for the fact that I had the beginnings of a terrible bout of rhinovirus infection when this chapter of the search for the ultimate fishfinger sarnie began to unfold.
To set the scene, it was cold, it was Saturday and lunch was required before a scoot across London to an all afternoon drinking affair. Exit the train at Liverpool St and promptly enter The Merchant Of Bishopsgate– a surprisingly unassuming eat-and-drinkery in Liverpool St Station. I was initially thrilled to be out of the external climate, then further pleased to see that this establishment had taken a definite step out of unwritten rule of charging 20-50% over a
honest reasonable rate for anything just because you happen to be consuming it in central London. In fact before my lunching companions disembarked the 1-35 from Hatfield Peverel I was able to soothe my flu-like symptoms with a coffee and a cognac and get change from six quid. Imagine that!
Moving on, the others turned up, lunch was ordered, and this is what we got:
Fishfinger sandwich, chips, bit of salad, beverage. About a tenner, so a point there and another couple for presentation in this well executed example of modern pub grub.
The bread: A standard white farmhouse, probably at least a week old and toasted to an impressively powdery finish.
The fish: Good sized chunks, properly cooked in an unremarkable batter.
The chips: Woeful and, if prepared as to the advertised method, undercooked no less than three times before serving!
The garnish: Good round lettuce in the sandwich with a suitable crunch, ever so slightly sad side salad. Put a garnish on the plate (or chopping board) people! Why put hardly any salad in a little bowl that just makes it more obvious that it’s too small to be an actual side dish????
Again my friends, disappointment. Do I ask too much? Am I forever to find fault? Have I inadvertently already eaten the perfect fishfinger sandwich without knowledge and now have to live with the fact that it’s not ever going to get any better? I refuse to believe so!
Points to the venue though, it’s a really nice establishment and I will happily return there on the next occasion that time and geography allow it, though I am more likely to go for their Super Salad as demolished by my Mr who can now be smug about how his nice healthy lunch was better than my sinful carb heavy sandwich and triple under-fried chips. Good for him.
Overall, five out of ten.