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Nov 3, 2011 08:24 AM

New as in New York Style Deli (London)

Apparently, a New York-style deli has opened in Marylebone.

The Deli
51 Blandford Street, Marylebone

Has anyone been? Maybe they also do fried chicken.

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  1. I was there last week.

    It was pretty good. A bit disorganised (didn't know what the deal was with getting a table, where to order from, who worked there and who didn't; turns out you find your own seats and then order at the counter). It's not a big place and can therefore feel a bit cramped during the lunch rush, but I think it's worth a visit.

    We had salt beef (£8.50 for a sandwich, Brass Rail prices). Good beef, decent enough bread, very, very good pickle. Still doesn't beat BK Salt Beef Bar in Edgware for me (which does a bigger sandwich for half the price) but it's a promising sandwich for sure. Unfortunately didn't get to try the pastrami out but from the sounds of it that is the thing to get. Their chef has actually been brought over from NYC, so they're taking their curing and smoking very seriously.

    We also tried the hot dog. Decent enough, one of the better all-beef hot dogs I've had in London. Pretty similar to the hot dog at Katz's from what I can remember.

    Also had kugel. In all honesty I don't know if it was good or bad kugel because I've never tried it before but it was pretty tasty.

    No fried chicken on the menu from what I can remember. More cured meats and matzoh ball soup etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

      Thanks for the report back, Ibrahim. I'm glad this is a new place worthy of a try. Interesting that they imported a NY person to get things right. :-) I'll have to try the kugel. It's so many years since I've had any, but I remember what the good stuff tastes like. There are lots of varieties of that. My aunt used to make a potato kugel to die for but the standard is usually egg noodles mixed with eggs, raisins etc.

      I hope Father BIll catches your sentence about the hot dogs!

      1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

        Here's a food blog's take on the Deli.

        It's an interesting site... lists lots of Top 5 this or that.

      2. I went the other day and thought it was about a 3/10.

        I ordered pastrami on white (amateur mistake but I hate caraway and they didn't have caraway-free rye), and a matzah ball soup. Soup was a bit too light to be considered a soup rather than just a broth, and the matzah ball was fine -- definitely a mix (or a schmaltz free recipe), but whatever, it was fine.

        The pastrami was tough, dry, and waaaaaaaaaaay over spiced. I suspect they used brisket, not belly/navel as is required for good pastrami, and the brine must have been chock full of onion powder, and white pepper because my mouth was burning for about 20 minutes afterward. The white bread was absolutely trash from Grodzinski & Daughters bakery (which sucks as a bakery generally).

        The room is mini and feels like my storage vault. I waited about 15-20 minutes to order with only 3 or 4 people ahead of me, but the food came almost instantly so that sort of made up for the initial wait.

        I really wasn't aiming to be tough on this place because I love deli food more than is normal, but even without high expectations I was really disappointed. I hated sitting in there -- its a terrible layout for a 'restaurant' and seems sad that they went ahead with this location because they'll never make any money with a space that small and dismal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brokentelephone

          Ah, disappointed to hear that. I've actually read similar reports since it opened. Seems generally people who went in the first week or so had some decent food coming out, but since then it's gone a bit off the boil already?!

          Agree about the layout of the place. It's pretty uncomfortable. I think most people take out, which is what they were perhaps expecting.

          1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

            Yah, but even for take away its a terrible layout.

            I'm no deli maven, but I grew up in a quasi-kosher household where corned-beef (salt beef) was regularly pickled and cooked, and I can tell you definitively that it's no big task to get it right (and chicken soup w/knaidlach is even easier). My family also happened to own a few non-kosher BBQ restaurants which smoked 1000's of pounds of meat a week, and I can say definitively that smoking a brisket is not a monumental task, even at a very high volume.

            There is no excuse to screw up smoked meat because, really, the oven does all the work. Its a simple equation -- Pickle > Smoke > Steam > Slice. Their brine is awful, and they aren't giving the smoker the opportunity to do what it does best -- break down the collagen using low heat into gelatin leaving the meat soft.

            I just think these guys don't have a clue what they're doing -- the front staff aren't capable of dealing with the lunch rush, and the cooks don't know how to make good food at volume (if at all).