[London] Salt beef sandwich at the Brass Rail, Selfridges

I had my first taste of the salt beef sandwich at the Brass Rail in Selfridges more than 4 decades ago. I’ve never ever forgotten that first bite - and how wonderful I thought it tasted then. That first impression had always stayed with me ever since, and never changed through the years. I’ve come to regard the Brass Rail’s salt beef sandwich as the best in London, but often wondered if my palate was simply biased, being conditioned as such to the flavours & textures of this wonderful little culinary landmark’s offering.

I was back again at the Brass Rail a fortnight ago, after a nearly two-year absence - only to find the whole place changed. It looked more modern, somewhat more “international” (for want of a better word to describe it). You now order and pay to the cashier at the counter, and your order gets delivered to your table. And the Head Carver looked Mainland Chinese!

But what about the salt beef sandwich - well, I had a Brass Rail Reuben: salt beef with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, gherkin and Russian dressing on rye bread. One bite and I knew the Brass Rail was back - it was every bit as I remembered it through the years, ticking all the boxes in my taste memory of its salt beef sandwich. So good to know that some things never change :slight_smile:

Oops, forgot to mention that I also had a chicken soup with matzo ball. No, it’s not as good as I’d expected. The Brass Rail’s wonderful salt beef sandwich had somewhat lulled me into believing that it can do no wrong where purveying non-kosher Jewish food is concerned.

Just stick to what it does best and you won’t be disappointed, I guess. The rest is a matter of discovering for oneself of what is good, and what is a miss.

Address
Brass Rail - Salt Beef Bar, Selfridges & Co.
Ground Floor (Food Hall)
400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7812 3400
Opening hours: 9.30am-10pm Mon-Sat,
12 noon-6pm Sun.

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Our last Selfridges stop predates by a couple years your last one before this report, and it happened to include the same sandwich (rescued bad timing for Wallace Collection visit – too late to enjoy lunch after rushing through the galleries) ! Good on you more than once.

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Oh good, it’s nice to know that you also share my opinion of their sandwich :slight_smile:

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If I’m at Selfridge’s or close by, I often stop at the Brass Rail for a, ‘taste of home.’ I don’t particulary like how salt beef (still corned beef to me) is sliced in the UK, but that’s just a minor quibble when one is really craving this sort of sandwich. I’m glad you found the food as good as in previous trips. I hope you’ll be back in London before too long, Peter. I was so sorry we missed you this time.

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Hope to see you the next time, June. I caught up with Limster and dean again after a long absence - so good to see everyone still enjoying London’s ever-exciting culinary scene as always :slight_smile:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold