Canal deli - lovely people - scrumptious food or the owners ooze loveliness and so does their food.
A few weeks back I was invited to review the offerings of the Canal Deli - the latest addition to the local food scene. It is the latest eatery to sit inside a lofty space in Canalot studios, Kensal Road and on first impressions delivers an airy relaxed vibe plus a small river side terrace to chill with a beer on a balmy summers night.
This is a local that really is, well local and delivers in spades - great big scrumptious heart-warming seasonal dishes in a relaxed airy environment.
The deli was set up and is run by residents Jo and Kate who have been friends for 45 years. They’re a good double act, working instinctively well together hand in glove.
Locally sourced ingredients are in Kate’s blood having been born and brought up by a family of Portobello market stallholders and shopkeepers, living if not above but opposite the stalls that she now visits daily to source the best seasonal produce for her tasty food.
As well as the daily local produce they choose, the pair support local bakers to ensure this really is a community affair and it shows in the clientele too who when we went, appeared to be designers and workers from the neighbouring studio’s and businesses as well as those who lunch but this is worth crossing London for.
Flexibility and being “can do” are a key part of their ethos combined with their belief that great food and service are inexorably linked and it shows….
We were greeted by a smiling Kate and a visually appealing and appetising array of dishes. For the purposes of this review we were treated to a smorgasbord of their offerings and whilst we couldn’t try everything on our first visit, we gave it a good go sampling several of the staples and a couple of the specials. There’s plenty of choice to keep you coming back for more.
The menu includes customer favourites like slabs of perfectly seasoned Moussaka, without the grease that can drown this dish, veggie lasagne - with layers of sweet caramelised carrots, cherry tomatoes and aubergine all making their presence felt in a generous wedge and oozy spanakopita. The quiche, salads and soup change daily plus there are some dishes of the day on top. We went for the Chicken and Broccoli pie - generous big chunks of plump juicy chicken clothed in a velvety sauce and set against perfectly al dente Broccoli topped with thin flaky pastry.
Mackerel, beetroot and red cabbage salad in a balsamic dressing felt much more substantial than your average salad; light yet earthy but could perhaps of benefitted from a more robust horse radish or mustard dressing. That said the balsamic cut through the oiliness of he mackerel and completed the sweetness of the beetroot.
However the real star of the day, at a crowded finish line, was the juicy salmon special. Light tasty, succulent and satisfying - worthy of a top restaurant.
The portions are generous for £6.95 and healthy snacks are available on the side (as well as dangerously delicious looking chocolate brownies for the indulgent!)
This is a place to hang out and unwind. Whether you’re there for coffee and Wi-Fi, want a pre-ordered catered business lunch or just to catch up with friends and hear some tunes the Canal Deli delivers.
Lovely people, lovely food and a community spirit that goes more than skin deep!
Canal Deli Key Facts:
The Canal Deli is open daily from 8a.m - 5pm.
If you’re in party mode then the Canal Deli is available for private hire, accommodating up to 200 people with a minimum spend of £1500 that includes staff and security and no entry fee. Late license until 3a.m on Friday and Saturday.