Test Driving Mamma Pastrama - Jay Morjaria makes a damned good sandwich


What can you tell us about Mamma Pastrama? 

It comes from Jay Morjaria, who first came to fame on the TV show Million Pound Menu and then created Jae which sits within Untitled in Dalston (and is well worth a visit too). Mamma Pastrama is a big departure from Jae - here it's really all about pastrami, as you can guess from the name (although it does cater for vegetarians too). Jay has crated his own special rub for the pastrami, and it's not just about sandwiches either. 

Where is it? 

You'll find it on Ganton Street, about halfway down Carnaby Street (it's taken over what used to be Sacred Cafe). 

So what's on the menu?

Primarily it's a sandwich restaurant, with classic pastrami on rye, a Reuben (see below) and a kimchi Reuben too (which adds a cheese and kimchi mix and comes on sourdough). Steering away from the traditional, you can also find a pastrami salmon on rye (with cream cheese) and a smoked chicken BLT which comes with a smoked chicken gravy.

On our visit we decided to try the Reuben - both meat and vegetable versions...

roomBefore we get to the Reuben, we had the loaded fries, which were pretty phenomenal. These are topped with pastrami, cheese bechamel, smoked gravy, pickled cucumbers and onions (£9). Highly recommended, and really these should be offered as an upgrade option to the standard sandwich meal.

roomSo here's an overview of what you're getting with your sandwich - everything comes with fries and pickles. Really great fries, too. 

roomHere's the classic Reuben - pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, mustard, swiss cheese all in marble rye (£14 inc chips and pickle). There was a hefty concentration of mustard which certainly wakes you up, but all in all a top sandwich. 

roomBut if you're not about meat - there is a vegetarian option available. This is the beet Reuben - beetroot smoked with an in house pastrami rub, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, served on rye (£10)

roomDesserts are the ever-excellent ice cream sandwiches from Happy Endings. This is a vegan salted caramel and miso in a corn cookie (£5). 

In addition to the above, there's a lunch deal of a half sandwich and fries for £7. 

How about drinks?

There are a handful of cocktails (Paloma, Bloody Mary, Rye Old Fashioned, G&T (£8-9) a good few beers on offer and house red, white and rosé (glasses £6/£7, bottles £22/£25). 

Overall thoughts?

Mamma Pastrama sets its stall out to do one main thing, and it achieves that very well indeed. The beef is pretty fantastic, either in the fries or the sandwich and it's well worth stopping by if you're in the area (or getting a delivery if you work nearby).  

Hot Dinners ate as guests of Mamma Pastrama. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


More about Mamma Pastrama

Where is it? 13 Ganton St, London W1F 9PP

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @mammapastrama


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