Dinner time baguettes, ciabattas and buns
Having a sandwich for dinner sounds like something only a slummy student might do, but having a steak sandwich from Mamita Que Chorizo is no second-best option. This small Shoreditch restaurant is only open in the evenings from Thursday to Saturday (perfect for chucking out time) and serves up South American-inspired sandwiches.
The bare caff-style surroundings are distinctly lacking in ambience, but the quality of the steak sandwich alone more than makes up for this. The tender and slightly chewy strips of bavette steak were cooked medium rare and had a woody, earthy and lightly smoky taste. I was afraid that the tangy, slightly chewy ciabatta would obscure the steak’s character, but I needn’t have worried – the beef’s flavour came through beautifully. The delicious qualities of the steak were enhanced by the tangy mayo and sweet roasted peppers, although I’d happily trade the peppery rocket for more steak. Superb.
There aren’t a huge number of sides or starters, but the empanadas are worth having. The thin, but hearty and oil-free pastry gave way to reveal a small dollop of meaty chorizo and hot, fluffy, creamy cheese.
The chorizo used in the chorizo baguette was mildly corase and surprisingly lean. I’m pretty sure it was made out of beef rather than pork which, combined with its lack of fat, made it resemble a mild Turkish sucuk more than the chorizo I’m familiar with. It wasn’t bad, especially when taken in combination with the same sweet roasted peppers and rocket as used in the steak ciabatta, but it wasn’t as satisfying as that sandwich.
Thin, moist, moderately flavoursome slices of pork were used in the pork bun. As with the chorizo, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t that remarkable either and was outshone by the exceedingly buttery brioche bun and the tartness of the pickled red cabbage. The raw spinach didn’t add much to the bun, but I’m never going to turn down an easy way of getting one of my five a day.
Surprisingly, the veggie option turned out to be far better than either the chorizo or pork sandwiches. A buttery brioche bun was filled with a large meaty portobello mushroom, but the real stars were the strong garlicky chimichurri sauce and the tang of goat’s cheese which melded together to form a tart, punchy, flavoursome combination.
Not all of the sandwiches at Mama Que Chorizo are winners, but both the steak and mushroom sandwiches are absolute corkers. They’re so good that I’m willing to travel to Shoreditch to eat them and you should too.
Name: Mamita Que Chorizo
Address: 22 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3DY
Phone: none listed
Kitchen Hours: Thursday-Saturday 18.00-23.00.
Reservations: not taken.
Average cost for one person including soft drinks: £8-9 approx.