Mondo Sandwiches at The White Horse, 20-22 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR
Mondo Sandwiches: Sub-standard or merely a standard sub? Spoiler: it's neither
“Look at these” swoons my Editor, thrusting her phone into my eye-line. Razor-sharp cross sections of sub rolls, swole with their components; this is Mondo Sandwiches. Before I’ve even got the factor 50 on she reappears in the doorway, shades on and bringing double gun fingers to bear. “Let’s roll” she gruffs.
I like The White Horse in Peckham- all the aesthetics of a classic boozer, deceptively spacious, stocks Wray and Nephews and doesn’t give you the side-eye when you order a double. Now their kitchen is hosting Mondo Sandwiches, slinging their creations at a rate of knots- so much so that this is their second site as a result.
'The Fauxmoor 2.0’ is rammed with medium rare roast beef sliced thin, allowing an unimpeded bite. Perky and sweet semi-dried peppers run through the centre, a load of rocket is glued into place with gravy mayo and all topped off with shoestring fries. Max Halley would be proud. The gravy pot for dipping is an obligatory extra and more a jus, which is an ideal consistency for maximising absorption.
The brilliantly named ‘CTM Mate’ consists of succulent chargrilled chicken tikka thigh boasting a delicious char, bound with masala sauce. There's just enough room for the raita, onion salad, nigella seed, lettuce and naan chips. It pairs especially well with the ‘chilaquiles fries’ that come liberally doused in a not overly-limed lime mayo and a punchy Salsa Roja. I reserve a few to add to the sub itself, meaning a bit of surgery and the inevitable breaking of the hinge, but so be it. Destruction breeds creation.
Both subs exhibit a complete and considered profile, both in flavour and texture. They're harmonious experiences that will end up around your mouth as well as eventually in it. A special mention must go to the sub rolls as they proved able to rise to the occasion (sue me); the slightly crisp exterior assists the handling of the payload and contain a billowy squidge that gives in, just as the Lord intended.
I’m tempted to order the rest of the menu out of appreciation for their names alone:
‘5 Point Parm Exploding Heart Technique’ is almost an admission of guilt when it contains deep-fried aubergine, norma sauce, mozzarella and pecorino (plus rocket and basil for health, of course). ‘Larb, Actually’ is their vegan option of soy mince, Thai basil, mint, coriander, shallot & chilli, lime dressing, toasted rice powder, black bean mayo, pickled green beans and finally, somehow, some salad. The 'Burgeuz Merger' goes as heavy on the onions as it does the spoonerism: a lamb and beef patty, lamb fat onions, cheese, parsley & onion salad, pickles and sauce Algerienne.
I used to think these sorts of sandwiches were works of fiction, often appearing in American cop dramas of the 80s and 90s. They fuelled the stakeouts of spherical detectives using binoculars to observe perps less than 3ft away and delicious enough to warrant switching off the police radio as panicked calls for immediate backup came through. If you can't get there by train due to strikes, proceed on foot- you shouldn't be disappointed.