There’s a current surge in street food vendors getting permanent restaurants at the moment which is a wonderful thing. Take The Cheese Bar and SMOKESTAK as examples – some of the best new openings I’ve been to in yonks.
Monty’s Deli is the next in line. Friends Mark Ogus and Owen Barratt successfully Crowdfunded the project, gone from a stall at Maltby Street Market to its own space in a former bakery on Hoxton Street. I make the 15 minute journey from Old Street station on foot; the route being 10% scary, 90% trendy.
Inside we’re seated up at the counter where we watch young chefs slice endless amounts of pastrami. It’s a large room packed full of original features – the battered tiles on the wall are what most restaurant designers dream of. You’ll like it.
The menu isn’t hugely dissimilar to their market days and the food is just as comforting. The reuben special (Â£13), that’s a mix of pastrami and salt beef, is mahoosive. It comes with a fat pickle which makes my mouth water as I reminisce.
Smoked turkey (Â£9) is an un expected gem. I always find turkey a bit dull and as dry as Jay Rayner’s sense of humour but here it’s moist and the accompanying coleslaw adds texture, both sloppy and crunchy.
Fries (Â£4) are the only weak link. Firstly they feel a bit out of place and then there’s the lack of seasoning. I eat the lot don’t get me wrong, there’s rarely ever a chip bad enough for me to leave, but they could be better. Or given a Jewish spin?
Chopped liver (Â£5), topped with diced egg, is a silky smooth, rich, unctuous, gorgeous thing. One forkful and we don’t stop till we’ve finished the lot. Cucumber salad (Â£4) is a tangy little number and it comes with yoghurt to sooth the twang.
We’re so stuffed we can’t even manage pud. And that is what’s so nice about Monty’s – it’s generous. It’s well priced, they make everything themselves, from the bagels to the rye bread to the mustard, and it’s a great space. This is an exciting new opening…
We dined as guests of the restaurant