A strictly anonymous, definitely unpaid and totally independent food critic has revealed the simple but highly pleasurable lunch spot he has "jealously" been trying to hide from readers... until now.
Connect columnist Harry Smiles regularly visits local eateries to sample their menu, test their service and dish up his 100% honest feedback.
With very high standards, which he expects the people cooking his food to beat, Harry is not an easy man to please.
This month, he explains how The Deli, located at the corner of Bond Street and Mulcaster Street, has found favour in his eyes... and tastebuds...
"There is a usual haunt of mine I have jealously kept hidden from you. I hoped to keep it a secret to avoid dodging crowds on my coffee run, but it seems that word-of-mouth has already worked its magic, as it has become busier and busier recently.
Pictured: A sight for sore eyes... and empty stomachs!
I have therefore accepted my fate and decided to write about The Deli. Such a small name for a great place that has been a conveniently-placed lifesaver to me.
The Deli has rescued many of those mornings (you know which kind) when my daily cup of coffee wouldn’t have cut it, with an extra shot of caffeine. They have also saved many lunch hours.
You see, I try to be healthy and save pennies by preparing packed lunches every day, but sometimes when lunchtime strikes, I look at my greens and the thought of eating them does not really appeal to me anymore. I therefore take a walk down Bond Street to find a tastier replacement and The Deli never disappoints.
This also applies if the day has been hard and I need a treat, The Deli always has cakes, muffin or cornflake cakes to bring some comfort.
Pictured: Fish fingers in a sandwich? Genius.
I have sampled many of the items on the Deli’s menu: pulled pork, chicken wraps, the BLT, soups, pasta and Caesar salads, scotch eggs, salmon bagels, jacket potatoes, the afore-mentioned muffins and cornflakes cakes. You name it, I’ve had it!
And truth be told, I have never found one thing that wasn’t to my taste. (Maybe my taste buds are easy to please, maybe The Deli just makes great food, I’ll let you make up your own mind!)
One of my favourites is the chicken burger. Think about a sizeable chicken fillet in a crispy and tasty coating, stuffed in a Portuguese roll with salad... then comes some Cajun mayo that’s to die for, and, every so often, other tasty twists like cheese or Caesar sauce.
Pictured: Winner winner, chicken dinner.
If I could eat it every day, trust me I would, but I have a feeling my waistline, along with my bank account might have something to say about this.
The cornflake cake is another one of my favourites. As simple as its recipe may be – you simply mix chocolate, butter and cornflakes – it has brightened up many afternoons for me. I love the crunchiness of it and it brings a whole lot of childhood memories.
Cornflake cakes were a staple recipe at school and a bite of one brings me back to those glory days of getting my hands dirty with my schoolmates, much like Marcel Proust’s madeleine reminds him of Sunday mornings with his aunt Léonie.
Located just a stone’s throw from the office and away from the crowds of King Street, with an endless supply of warm coffee and tasty things to eat, The Deli ticks a lot of boxes for me.
Pictured: Friday is treat day!
It’s always a pleasant experience to visit The Deli and be greeted by its lovely staff who are always cheerful and happy to help. They also remember your coffee order which helps when I haven’t fully woken up yet and can’t remember it myself.
They also know their stuff: Friday is treat day at the Deli, because they know a sugar high is the only thing that can get you through the last day of the week!
Deli-cious? Yes! Deli-ghtful? Yes! What more do you need?"
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