Close your eyes for a second (or maybe not, since you’d have a hard time reading this with your eyes closed) and think of canned fish. What comes to mind? Is it chunked tuna in brine or maybe tightly packed anchovies in oil? Do you smell the fishiness of the ocean? Maybe, like me, you envision sardines in tomato sauce that gets stewed with onions and then piled on top of fresh, warm baguette slices. Whatever it is that you imagined, I can almost guarantee that you didn’t imagine sitting down at a fairly nice eating establishment or any sort of gourmet fine dining (unless you were imagining caviar served to you on a mother-of-pearl spoon… in that case, can we be friends?).
On a recent weekend down to London, Minh and I stopped into Tincan – a 6-month pop-up project in Soho. I originally heard about it through NPR, and I knew that I really wanted to try it out next time we were in London. The experience will completely change the way you view canned fish, of any sort. There is a lot to choose from, so I would suggest going with the tasting board and maybe a couple additional select tins to round out your meal. Everything is served with sliced bread, lettuce, and additional condiments (chopped shallots, red pepper, parsley, flaked sea salt and ground pepper, olive oil, lemon wedges) to adjust the seasoning to your tastes.
The menu is organized by ocean depth, which I think is a cute idea. Closer to the shore is a little cheaper, and the tins go up in price the further out to sea and deeper into the ocean you go. The ladies working here are seriously so fun and nice. Really helpful if you need suggestions, since the whole experience can be a bit overwhelming. And if you tried something you particularly like, the tins are also for sale. The London pop-up will be open thru December 23.. and then moving on to New York City sometime in 2015. That’s pretty exciting!
7 Upper James Street
London W1F 9DH
Mon-Thur: 12PM – 11PM
Fri – Sat: 11AM – 11PM