UPDATE: 11/03/2018 See bottom of post
I do love being one the first people at a newly opened eating establishment. The Southsea Deli had been opened for half an hour and I was the first to sit down to have something to eat and drink. Bingo! “Little things please little minds” as the saying goes…
The Southsea Deli have taken over what was once Jam & Bowler (and then Scarlett’s which lasted for about a month I think).
As we entered everyone was very friendly, super excited and enthusiastic… and they still are.
They have daily salads available to eat in or take away, a meat, veggie and vegan option. There are Jake’s pork pies – who I spied at The Hampshire Farmers Market in Southsea at the weekend – croissants from local bakery Bread Addiction and cakes made by Dan’s mum who also helps with the serving.
The shelves are stocked with wonderful sounding items which you would find hard to find anywhere such as smoked sugar (or something similar), smoked rapeseed oil – which tasted delicious I must say, they had a sample of it – other items which were in tins with French wording so we had no idea what they were and with my school French (from many years ago!) I didn’t recognise any of it, I think they have labels beside them now explaining.
They have huge jars of Seville marmalade, fresh fruit and veg’, chocolate from the Chocolate Lounge, Corkers crisps, milk from Northney Farm on Hayling Island, British cheeses, sauces, oils, olives…I could go on.
On my first visit I had a sandwich made with sourdough. As a rule I don’t generally have sandwiches made with sourdough as it can sometimes be pretty tough and cuts the roof of my mouth. This thankfully wasn’t too bad (I was careful too) and didn’t do that on this occasion. I noticed someone a few days later who was having what looked like the same sandwich but with focaccia instead which is more up my street and softer on the palate. Inside the sandwich was roasted veg’ pesto & mozzerella and very tasty it was too. Geoff had a small Jake’s pork pie. He said that although he could see why some people would like it, he preferred the traditional taste of a pork pie. I didn’t have a bite of it so I can’t comment and I don’t like pork pies anyway. It didn’t stop him from ordering it on our next visit though, this time the pork pie was one large pie where they cut it themselves which I did have a corner of Geoff’s slice and it was packed with pork and I did like it.
The large cake (which hadn’t any slices taken out of it yet) looked and sounded delicious, orange, pistachio & cardomom which Dan’s mother made. Geoff and I shared it along with a salted chocolate brownie. The chocolate brownie was nice but the cake was amazing! It was moist and fairly syrupy, the polenta gave it a slight crunch, we both enjoyed it very much.
There is one large table in the window which Dan made himself! It seats eight with a beautiful large vase of flowers by Rose Clover in the centre, who are just five minutes walk away. I don’t generally like to sit with others but in my later years I’m getting used to not really caring so much what people think of me haha, like talking to myself etc., and sometimes you can be seated next to someone who’ll chat – which is hard to do these days as so many of us have their heads buried in their phones.
On my second visit of the week whilst I was waiting for my sister – she’s always late – someone was leaving so pushed a large book over towards me telling me it was very interesting. It was about people from all over the world and what they ate and it was listed in order of how many calories they consumed in a single day. He told me that it got even more interesting when it came to the lady who drank her own urine. Hmm, I’ll give that idea a miss I think. Actually it was quite a good book, they had lots of people from the USA who you’d think were the main consumers of calories but only one from the United Kingdom in the whole of the book, who just happened to be the very last listing. I find that hard to believe.
Anyway, I digress… back to Southsea Deli.
My sister and I shared a croissant with Coppa cured pork (prosciutto), Somerset ricotta, rocket & honey dressing which was very nice, along with a bag of Corkers crisps. For cake we had the same as I had last time along with an espresso served in a mini mason jar, which was very cute but I think I’d rather have a proper espresso cup. We each took home a box of salad, artichoke, walnut, Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, garlic dressing, cabbage, the other was sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, sourdough bread. I had them the next day for lunch along with my home-cooked beetroot and it was SO tasty.
For my third and final visit – so far, for I SHALL RETURN – I had a slice of slow roasted tomato & Westcombe ricotta quiche, the pastry contained mustard seeds. I had this served with another two excellent salads, roast artichokes, pear, cavolo nero, Dorset Blue Vinny cheese with a smoked garlic dressing and roasted squash, roasted red onion, slow roasted tomatoes, pearl barley, smoked chilli dressing. Wow! It was so good I decided to buy some to take home but alas, someone had bought the last few slices of quiche. D’oh! I did, however take home the two salads.
Geoff had Jake’s pork pie again mainly because there’s nothing else on the menu which he likes, he’s very fussy and doesn’t like salads or cheese. It doesn’t deter him going there and enjoying cake and coffee though. And he says if I’m happy then so is he 😉
We shared two cakes on this occasion, chocolate orange, bread & butter tart and toffee apple & cinnamon cake. Both very nice but not as good as the orange, pistachio & cardamom cake in our opinion and also they would have been tastier perhaps being warmed through with custard!
I have only one minor niggle, which may have been rectified since my last visit 5 days ago… their b****y front door! In my last post which was on Algarve’s Grill, I mentioned their door not closing properly and people in general not bothering to close doors behind them nowadays. I hate eating whilst I’m cold and if there’s a dodgy door I get fixated by the problem, almost like an obsession, I can’t think of anything else apart from the damned door. Anyway, because there’s a lot of coming and going of customers then of course, the door gets opened a lot. If it’s windy it pops open, if people don’t close it properly it pops open. And it’s not just me, I’ve noticed a few customers continuously turning around to shut the door. So be warned and take an extra layer of clothing. Don’t let it put you off though because it certainly hasn’t me.
By the way, there doesn’t appear to be any wooden boards or slates here, I’ve had my food served on plates so far. Eureka!
Ambience 8 – I would normally mark it down a point because of the door but I’m feeling generous as the food is so good 😉
Return? Yes, it’s my new favourite place to eat at!
Living life, loving The Southsea Deli!
UPDATE: 11/03/2018 – Well, we’ve been several times to The Southsea Deli since this blog post was published and thankfully the door seems to have been fixed, nothing you can do about the idiots who leave it open of course. There appears to be only two salads now, one vegan and one meat, still delicious although I’m probably less likely to buy one to take home (too much to go inside one box) whereas before I bought two every time I visited. The polenta cake is still as gorgeous as ever, they have variants on it sometimes such as elderflower but personally I think the orange is the best. Geoff had a focaccia sandwich yesterday with chicken, pesto and rocket and he said it was the best sandwich he’d had for a long time. Do ask what they have on the menu, they don’t seem to display it so it’s worth asking. Also, this seems to be the only place where I can find fartichokes.