Giant sandwiches and hummus to die for: three great places to eat kosher in London


Get your chops round this (Picture: SOYO)

Kosher eating in London has come a very long way from the days when the only option for those observant of the Jewish dietary laws was some overpriced chicken soup and some stodgy salt beef on the side.

With the city’s Jewish community embracing Israeli and Middle Eastern-influenced cuisine and other kosher variations on decidedly non-kosher favourites, eateries have been springing up all over Golders Green and other Jewish parts of London in recent years – and while the quality can be variable, there is now enough out there to suit even the most discerning palate.

A kosher restaurant will differ from the norm in that in order to be certified as kosher they have to follow certain rules.

They can only serve meat which has been killed in accordance with the laws of kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws), keep milk and meat separate (hence kosher restaurants serving either a meat-based or fish/dairy menu, never both), and remain closed during the Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday night to sunset on Saturday night (apart from a few notable exceptions that do pre-ordered Friday night dinner).

While there is nothing to stop a restaurant from serving kosher meat, having kosher certification is key if you want to attract the clientele who will only eat in the supervised places – and of course you still want to dish up something good quality for them to tuck into.

Here are just some of the ones that have sprung up in recent years that you might want to check out – and that you don’t necessarily have to be Jewish to enjoy.

Hot Cut

Want. (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Anybody who ever thought that basing an entire menu around toasted sandwiches was an incredibly stupid idea has clearly never visited Hot Cut, a tiny, gaudily decorated little bolthole on Golders Green Road in the heart of a strip of kosher eateries.

Hot Cut only has a limited menu, and it consists almost solely of sandwiches – you can create your own from a choice of deli meats (turkey, pastrami, salt beef etc), add sauce and toppings of your choice, even vegan cheese if you fancy it, get it toasted and you’re sorted.

What you may not be prepared for is just how damned good these sandwiches are – think of it as kosher Subway, but a bloody tasty one, with fabulous fillings and bread so crumbly you’ll be wiping crumbs off your jacket for at least the next week. Oh, and if you don’t fancy sandwiches they also do the sort of hot dogs that’ll have you coming back for more. Be prepared to wait – there are only two tables in the whole place and the queue is frequently out of the door – but it’s well worth it.

(98 Golders Green Road, NW11 8HB)

Hummus Bar

Is it hummus you’re after? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Hummus Bar, which has been around in Golders Green since 2016 (and has since opened a second branch in neighbouring Hendon) pretty much does what it says on the restaurant sign – with a menu that offers a whole lot of hummus as well as burgers and other mains.

The key thing to remember here is that Hummus Bar favours middle eastern style hummus, which is a whole other ball game to the more commonly sold Greek/mediterranean variety – but you won’t regret trying it, and Hummus Bar serves some of the best you’re likely to taste, serving it with a range of different toppings from pulled salt beef through to mixed vegetables, all served with as much warm, fluffy pita bread as your cheeks will allow you to stuff.

If you still have room after that you can get your jaws round one of their many enormous burgers, sample a chicken pargiot salad or chicken schnitzel (a bit of a Jewish staple) – and while kosher restaurants haven’t in general quite caught up to the needs of vegans yet, Hummus Bar has enough meat-free variations on its signature dish as well as falafel and salad options (not to mention braised hearts of palm) to satisfy its non-meat-eating clientele.

(82 Golders Green Road/105 Brent Street, Hendon. The Golders Green Branch only takes bookings; Hendon is walk-ins only. Menus vary at each branch).

Soyo

A little light breakfast (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

One of the more prominent kosher chains (they also have another branch in Edgware as well as owning pizza place Pizaza and another Golders Green staple, Pita), dairy restaurant Soyo continues to pack ’em in with its huge portions and varied menu.

You won’t necessarily get anything specifically traditionally Jewish here (although if you don’t eat out in non-kosher restaurants it’s pretty much a must-visit) – but worth visiting to try a traditional Israeli-style breakfast – complete with eggs, side salad, muesli with yoghurt, little bowls of tuna and assorted spreads, to ensure you probably won’t need to eat again until dinner time. They also do a vegan version which substitutes the eggs for a chickpea omelette – and is every bit as tasty.

(94 Golders Green Road/307 Hale Lane, Edgware)

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