While it’s always sad to see a place close, it’s great news when the business that opens in its place is a significant upgrade. Such is the case with Tani Modi, the new occupants of the premises that previously were home to Paul’s Original Sandwich House.
The place is much more bright and airy, and has a relaxed feel to it. I’d originally planned to take my selections away, but opted to sit in and enjoy them at leisure, given the impressively welcoming surroundings.
The main attraction on their menu is piadas, a traditional Italian flatbread from the Romagna region. Made with white flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water, these are a street food staple, and much like a wrap case, but with a slightly firmer texture.
Served with sweet and savoury fillings (I imagine the Nutella variety will attract a cult following), I opted for the Parma ham, soft cheese and rocket one, which the counter man affirmed as a “good choice”.
But first, there was a bowl of homemade minestrone to sample. It proved to be really good. As you’ll know, minestrone is a catch-all term for many different types of soup, although in the British mind I think it has almost exclusively come to mean a tomato-based vegetable soup. This one was a green minestrone, packed with chunky vegetables, like whole button mushrooms and lovely potatoes. Beautifully seasoned, with a gutsy amount of pepper, it was very good, indeed.
The piada was impressive, too. Tani Modi is part café, part deli, which serves to ensure that the quality of the filling ingredients is impressively high. The prosciutto di Parma, in particularly, was lovely, and the cheese had just the right melty consistency.
Tani Modi is new, so it has the odd quirk or two to iron out. Firstly, it has some outstandingly charming spelling errors on the menu. I vastly prefer the term “mashrooms” to mushrooms, for example. Secondly, their pricing needs a little refining. £3 for a breakfast roll seems a little high, but then £1.50 for their excellent soup seems way too low. £4 for the piadas is probably just about right. These are minor niggles that will be resolved, in due course.
So overall, I was really impressed with Tani Modi. It starts its journey at a really high quality level, so I’m optimistic that it can develop into a real favourite. It has some competition, nearby, but I think it’s offering something a little different, so has a good chance to carve out its niche. I’d happily recommend it to you, as a great lunchtime stop.
Blythe scores Tani Modi
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: minestrone soup; parma ham, soft cheese and rocket piada
I drank: nowt
I wore: summer suit
Total bill: £5.50