Mishkin’s is not a new restaurant to Covent Garden and, in its current state, has been open since 2011. However, it was never a restaurant I was interested in visiting as the menu just never appealed. I finally decided to bite the bullet and venture down on a Monday evening.
The interior took me by surprise as I was expecting a traditional cosy environment. Instead, Mishkin’s is a more modern, casual restaurant with a separate bar area should you wish to socialise and drink cocktails.
It took me awhile to pick dishes from the menu. It wasn’t because I was being indecisive, I was confused by the portion sizes and the menu. At first glance the menu is something you’d find in an American deli with sections such as ‘Sandwiches’, ‘Hot Dogs’, ‘Sliders’ and apart from a few dishes, the menu didn’t scream ‘Jewish’.
My friend chose the chicken matzo ball soup which was the only Jewish dish we picked on the evening. The dish arrived with only one matzo ball which was disappointing.
I opted for one of the sliders on the menu; spicy fried chicken. The first niggle I had was the jalapenos in the mayonnaise. This didn’t add any additional flavour to the mayonnaise and would have been more suited inside the slider.
The bun was floury and on the dry side and felt and tasted like a cheap bun from the local supermarket which was a shame. The chicken was crispy and seasoned well however, the entire slider was ruined by the cold wet tomato inside. This ruined the overall texture and taste and as it wasn’t a burger, there wasn’t much else my palate could taste.
My friend opted for the beef, onion swiss cheese slider which looked and probably tasted a whole lot better than mine.
I picked the most un-Jewish (and un-kosher) item on the menu, not deliberately, it was just something I fancied; the pork and beef hot dog.
The hot dog bun was a pleasant surprise after the sliders as the bun was soft, light and had a buttery taste. Although not exactly beautiful in presentation, the toppings were tasty and went well with the hot dog. The dish as a whole however, was a little dry as there wasn’t any homemade sauce to go with the hot dog. The sausage itself tasted good but it wasn’t anything special and became a little lost under all the toppings.
I also ordered the ‘East End’ chips as a side. Seasoned well and crispy, although I have no idea what makes them ‘East End’.
After being disappointed with most of the dishes, we decided to order dessert. My friend ordered the chocolate ice cream and truth be told, the portion size was a little too big.
I on the other hand, ordered the blueberry and lemon cheesecake. This was by far the best dish on the menu that I’d tried. The cheesecake itself was soft, light, sweet, creamy and had a slight hint of lemon running through it and the acidity of the blueberry drizzled over the top, balanced the flavours perfectly.
My main problem with Mishkin’s is this:
“Mishkin’s is not Kosher (and neither, incidentally, is Katz’s Deli in New York – perhaps the most famous Jewish restaurant in the world) and the dishes are based very loosely on the sort of Jewish comfort food we all love eating.”
Although this explains the menu is loosely based on Jewish comfort food, its – if they did it so can we – attitude is no excuse. The restaurant is labelled as Jewish (although not obviously) and they serve un-kosher food and if I was Jewish I’d be insulted. What the restaurant fails to understand is, the food is more ‘inspired by Jewish comfort food and flavours’, rather than actually being Jewish.
The service was also a disappointment and although face-to-face our servers were pleasant, helpful and friendly when it came to later in the evening when the restaurant quietened down, all three of the waitresses stood at the bar talking with their backs turned away from their paying customers. We ended up waiting for 20 minutes before our desserts were cleared. I can safely say that I’ve never been to a restaurant where the priority for the staff was to have a good ol’ chat and I just found this downright rude.
I didn’t have a terrible evening and the food was okay but would be better suited as a casual lunch time option rather than for dinner but overall Mishkin’s, unfortunately, just doesn’t deliver in its service, authenticity and most of all its food.
- Mishkin’s, Covent Garden