The lowly sandwich. Much maligned and underused by the modern cook. It is often prepared by an apathetic home cook or restaurant chef, thoughtlessly slapping mismatched and tasteless ingredients between two slices of bread. However, preparing an elegant and well-balanced sandwich is a lost skill for many chefs and cooks. A well-made sandwich is actually a very challenging and complex food item to prepare. A good sandwich is layers of flavour and texture assembled in such a way that each ingredient complements each other. Tomasz Kowalski, Co-founder of the Social Board in Kemptown appreciates this more than anyone and has been creating Brighton’s sexiest sandwiches utilising recipes inspired by fine dining restaurants since he and is friend Atilla Juhasz, opened in 2018. As you can probably tell already, I revere a well-made sandwich, so we popped in to grab a lockdown takeaway to check out whether they really live up to the hype. Spoiler alert… they absolutely do.
We arrive mid-afternoon in what you might think would be a between meals quiet period to find a pretty impressive socially distanced queue of hungry locals and delivery drivers Once it dissipates, we are welcomed by Tomasz who takes some time out to chat with me about the Social Board concept and their plans for the future.
After a highly successful stint as head chefs at Brighton’s favourite vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends Polish born Tomasz and Hungarian born Atilla decided to branch out and open an eatery where the ethos is about making dining a social experience, where the atmosphere is inviting, energetic and fun. Tomasz tells me that they want to engage with their customers as well as provide sexiest sandwiches in town. He is incredibly proud of what they have created. Their goal, to serve Brighton healthy and locally sourced food, catering for all dietary needs with recipes that originate from fine dining restaurants. They have a huge focus on quality, meats are slow-cooked, and vegetables marinated for hours before finding their way into your sandwich. Tomasz will not be satisfied until he is crowned the “Sandwich King of Brighton.”
Of course, it is not all about sandwiches, they have perfected some incredibly filthy sides such fries that come fully loaded with various toppings and sauces, and a range of burgers that have recently been added to the ever-changing menu, as well as this, he and Atilla are always working on the next weekly special. The last one, a Swedish meatball sandwich, sold out within a couple of days, and whenever the specials are released their regulars are usually quick to phone up and reserve, so you need to keep an eye on their social media and get in quick when specials are added to the menu. They have also just been granted a drinks license so you will be able to enjoy a craft beer or Polish style “whisky in a jar” with your sandwich when they are able to welcome diners back into the premises, which they have been busily redecorating ready for opening.
Indubitably, the proof is in the eating. We ordered enough food to give the Social Board a proper taste test and after seeing it all prepared, could not wait to get home and stuff our faces. I plumped for their most popular sandwich, Beef (PHILLY), Sourdough cob from Flourpot Bakery, generously filled with locally sourced juicy grass-fed beef rump, slow-cooked to perfection, with a tangy honey mustard mayo, sweet red onion marmalade, gherkins and watercress. I have to say this is THE tastiest sandwich that has ever passed my lips, jam packed with exciting flavours and textures that danced a merry dance on my tongue with every bite.
My wife was equally impressed with her vegan Tempeh (B-right-ON). Organic pan-fried tempeh, marinated in Szechuan pepper and mirim, served with daikon, pink pickled ginger, wild mushrooms and their home-made gochujang sauce. I was allowed a couple of bites of this exotic delight and was bowled over by the thrilling mix of spicy, sweet and sour flavours that pulled my senses in all sorts of directions with each mouthful.
As if the sandwiches were not enough, we shared a side of lovely crisp, light and fluffy and incredibly tasty arancini balls, and a bowl of loaded chilli cheese fries. Let me tell you these guys give the term “fully loaded” a whole new meaning, the chilli had a lovely kick that did well not to overpower the flavour of the beef, the mild stringy cheese was fun to eat and further cooled down the proceedings, and the best bit, there was mountains of both piled on top of perfectly crisp fries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been to sandwich heaven, and cannot wait to pay Social Board a visit as soon as they can reopen to get the full experience. In the meantime, my Deliveroo and Uber eats expenditure is about to increase dramatically as I will not be able to wait to get my fix. Click and collect also available on the website below. Connect to Social Board Facebook and Instragram as the Sandwich King of Brighton tells me there may be some exciting announcements soon about a Social Board opening in Hove and potentially a seafood focused eatery in Kemptown coming soon.