It’s time to wake up and smell the cheese, as they might say in the US. Melt Room has brought the ‘grilled’ (read ‘fried in butter’) cheese-stuffed sandwich to London’s Soho. Bustling Noel Street provides the perfect fast-paced setting for this grab-and-go cheese-fiend’s paradise, with a suitably cheesy-dairy feel to the décor – white and yellow tiles, yellow-aproned staff, and 10 chairs with buttery-yellow leather for those with multiple sandwiches to tackle. There are even cheesy portraits – Scotty from Star Trek, Michael Bolton in full mullet and Jane Fonda lolling energetically in gym garb, her lycra-d legs aiming heavenward, and a soundtrack of 80’s cheese.
There’s a lot to like about their actual cheese, farmhouse and artisan as it is, ensconced in pillowy sourdough, fried to a golden-brown sheen on the outside. The Classic (£4.50) is a secret mixture of cheeses (with good reason – anyone with tastebuds would want the recipe) – try getting one of their sauces (50p) to dip it in – Melt Room relish is a perfect, fruity, vinegary chutney, and Friend of Cheese sauce is a lot like ramped-up HP (warning: getting both may cause a condimental breakdown, leaving you manipulating your sarnie as if it were a canoe paddle).
That sandwich alone would be enough to bring you waddling back for more, but here be cheese for all hours – breakfast, for instance, may involve the full works melt – scrambled eggs, Old Spot patty, Keen’s cheddar, smoked bacon and HP relish on sourdough for £6.50, or a benedict melt – york ham, scrambled egg, vintage cheddar and hollandaise sauce (£6). There are soups and salads for people who’ve become too confused by the variety of sandwiches – vine tomato soup with gruyere croutons, for instance (£3), or chopped salad (£5.50), of Norfolk turkey, avocado, roast carrots, baby Gem, egg and blue cheese.
But for the confident, there are sandwiches aplenty: the slow & low lamb shoulder (£7), is of Romaine lettuce, pommery mustard and melted swiss cheese. Dessert? You heard it here first, the Nutella and mascarpone melt on milk bread, pictured above (£3.50).
BULLSEYE: Pulled pork, pommery mustard, real ale and apple chutney and sharp cheddar (£7).
By Gregor Shepherd
26 Noel Street, Soho, London W1F 8GY
Opening hours: 7am–9:30pm (Monday-Friday), 10am-9:30pm (Weekend)
Twitter / Instagram: @melt_room
All images by Charlie McKay
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