Swill Magazine Issue 5 - Out Now

Behind the icon that is Max Halley's ham, egg and chip sandwich

Nicola Miller

Swill Mag Max's Sandwich Shop
Max Halley

Walk into most English pubs, diners and greasy spoons, and you will probably find ham, egg and chips on the menu. Probably, but not always. Which is heartbreaking. That’s why this sandwich is always on the menu. “My dad reviewed pubs for most of my childhood, and I would often go with him,” says sandwich boss, Max Halley. “He always had ham, egg and chips. It has a utilitarian appeal: as good at breakfast as it is for lunch and dinner.”

“We braise unsmoked ham hocks in the shop, fry eggs and shoestring fries, and use piccalilli because of its great acidity and mustardy deliciousness. Ham, fries and mayo are all richly fatty things,” Halley says, deploying both malt vinegar mayo to cut through them. These ingredients are layered between two slices of specially-made focaccia which essentially acts as a kind of plate, and an excellent bready carapace for his towering creations. Why shoestring fries and not a classic hot chip? “Before I opened, I did try using chips, but I found the whole experience a bit potatoey and soggy,” says Halley. “The French call shoestring fries allumettes because they have the same dimensions as a matchstick. Ordinary fries made the sandwich too big and unbalanced.”

“The decision to not season the fries was another part of the process for me because we need to think about sandwiches differently.” It’s an important note. When it comes to ham, egg and chips, the English tend to reach for the salt first and ask questions later.

 

MAX’S SANDWICH SHOP 19 CROUCH HILL, FINSBURY PARK, LONDON N4 4AU, UNITED KINGDOM. maxssandwichshop.com

 

This is an excerpt from issue 3 of Swill magazine. Grab your copy today to read the whole thing.

 

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Words

Nicola Miller

Photography

Phil Fisk

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