And then there was…the Naanwich!
What is a Naanwich you may ask? It is of course a sandwich made using naan bread! More specifically, they are served at Imli, Soho’s new lunch concept in which Indian inspired fillings such as spicy lamb and mango relish are wrapped in a grilled naan, to eat in or take-away.
To celebrate National Sandwich Week (12th-19th May), they have put together an entire lunch menu of these Naanwiches, available between the hours of 12pm and 3pm. Ranesh Suri, owner of Imli and Mayfair’s Tamarind, had this to say:
“We want to prove that it is still possible to eat well for under a tenner, even in the heart of London, one of the most expensive cities in the world … After six years here in Soho, we know that the area’s style and value-conscious diners are always looking for new ways to pep up their lunch hour. The Naanwich fits the bill perfectly.”
It certainly delivers at that price, each Naanwich costing £5.50 and making a good-size lunch. I tried three of them: chargrilled chicken with avocado, tomato and mango chutney; paneer and baby spinach; and the spicy lamb and mango relish. All of them came nicely segmented, with a crispy little side salad and sweet yoghurt dip, suggesting you could eat them with your hands if you wanted, although it would been a slightly challenging, messy affair.
All the fillings were warm, moist and messy, as one would hope, and the naan bread was crisp, and thin enough that it didn’t overpower the fillings. Of the three I tried, the paneer (a fresh cheese, common in Asian cuisine) was my favourite. It had a salty chew, similar to halloumi, balanced with a hint of sweetness. The lamb was also very nice; minced and lightly spiced, also with a sweet edge to it. A mint lassi served as a cooling companion to the food and was a good counterpart to the foods sweetness. It was like the Indian version of a burger and milkshake, or as near to it as I can fathom.
Having eaten a horde of sandwiches in my time, the Naanwich is a nice change and well priced: costing about the same as most lunch options in the area. Service was also prompt, which is a necessity when you only have an hour for lunch. So, if you are traipsing around Soho looking for something a little different to eat, acquaint yourself with the Naanwich. You won’t be disappointed!
Book a table here or go to Imli, 167-169 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WR, Tel: 0207 2874243.