LDNReview

Secret Sandwich Shop review image
8.1

Secret Sandwich Shop

££££

103 Talbot Rd, London
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

We have a great deal of respect for the sandwich. It’s a reliable, practical, eat with one hand so you can scroll through Twitter kind of lunch. But the longest we’d expect to travel for one is the distance from our bedroom to the kitchen. It’s not something we’d typically tap our Oyster cards for. But in the case of the hench, perfectly formed, fill-you-up-for-12-hours sandwiches at this casual, Japanese-inspired lunch spot in Notting Hill—we’d even be willing to get on the District line. Because at Secret Sandwich Shop, you won’t have a spare hand to quickly send a work email, or have any interest in your phone for that matter. Except to snap a picture, because a gooey Burford Brown egg salad sandwich this good-looking should be documented. 

Secret Sandwich Shop review image

We would’ve mistaken the entrance to this low-key spot for the back door of an underground club. But you’ll know you’ve found the right place when you spot the sign slagging off Pret sandwiches out front. It’s a little dark and dingy inside, but in the kind of hidden, cosy way that means a casual Sunday, or a cheeky Ferris Bueller moment, would be wholly improved by planning the day around this quirky, squishy booth-filled spot. The nonchalant, kewpie mayo-yielding staff all add to the charm of this effortlessly cool, if-you-know-you-know sandwich destination.

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The menu is strictly sarnie-related. Honey chicken-filled, stuffed with three different sliced meats, or layered with crispy greens and fried shallots—all of the sandwiches are beautifully layered. We’ve never felt inclined to write a love letter, but if we did it would be addressed to the thick slices of sesame Tokyo milk bread that are equal parts fluffy and sturdy. The sandwiches are so aesthetically pleasing that it feels almost impossible that they’d live up to their looks. But they do. Whether that’s layers of creamy tuna mayo and crisp lettuce that look like they’ve been meticulously measured out, or a classic ham and cheese number that's 10 notches above the ones you’re used to.

Tweaks and additions are no problem either: add a layer of salt and vinegar McCoy’s crisps tucked between the avocado and turkey slices, load it up with pickles, Swiss cheese, or a fried egg. Just try not to dislocate your jaw trying to get a bite. Yes, the menu’s focus is technically things between bread, but they’re more than just sandwiches. They’re a lunch worth putting your phone down, taking a seat, and going out of your way for.

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Food Rundown

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Tuna Mayo

We suspect that half a bottle of kewpie mayo is used in this sandwich, and we’re not mad about it. A creamy, tangy, satisfying sandwich, generously filled with tuna, and lined with refreshing tomato and velvety avocado slices. Add some salt and vinegar McCoys for extra crunch.

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Egg Salad

To this day we don’t understand the sorcery behind keeping the egg perfectly placed in the middle. The egg salad filling is something we’d want to have in our fridge at all times, and the watercress gives it a fresh, earthy flavour.

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7th Avenue

A harmonious combination that hits all our favourite notes. Sweet rye bread bookends densely packed, wafer-thin slices of tender pastrami, tangy pickles and sauerkraut, crisp lettuce, and a thick layer of crunchy, crispy fried shallots. Creamy kewpie mayo and piquant mustard rounds it all out.

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The Secret Sandwich

The fact that their signature sandwich is vegetarian should tell you that the veggie options are not an afterthought. This fresh tasting number is filled with crunchy sweet pepper, carrots, cucumbers, pickled red cabbage, avocado, tomato, and lettuce. It also comes with kewpie mayo, but we like to ask for a little extra. As well as some crispy shallots when we’re feeling a little extra.

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