Monday, June 29, 2015

Smith & Deli II

Edit 02/01/2022: S+D has had a revamp and is now located at 107 Cambridge St, Collingwood.

June 23, 25 & 26, 2015

After the excitement of Smith & Deli's launch, Cindy and I decamped to the Sunshine Coast for a week, missing the madness of the Deli's first week of proper trading. On our return, I got busy making up for lost time.

My first visit on Tuesday morning was intended as a quick stop to grab a sandwich for lunch. On discovering that the sandwiches aren't an option first thing in the morning I decided I'd have to come back later in the day. Still, no point walking out empty-handed. I grabbed a soy flat white and an Egg McMartinez ($7) to tide me over.

The coffee (by Wide Open Road) was excellent, but the Egg McMartinez was the real star - a deliciously eggy muffin sandwich with a slice of melty cheese and some crispyish bacon. It's a snack rather than a meal, but an incredibly delicious one.

I was back at lunchtime, in the rather long sandwich queue. I'd been hanging for a Godfather (hot chilli salami, pepperonci, mozzarella, roasted peppers and fresh basil, $13).

Is this the best vegan sandwich in Melbourne? The Reuben at True North is a contender, and there are another dozen or so to sample at Smith & Deli, but it's hard to see anything topping this - it doesn't hold back on the spice levels, has a pretty convincingly melty cheese undertone and has bursts of basil to accompany the thick salami chunks. Incredible.

I couldn't walk out without some lunch-dessert, adding a maple-bacon doughnut for afters (I've forgotten the price - maybe $5).

The crispy, salty coconut flakes took a good doughnut and made it great. Vegans now have a challenger in the fancy doughnut trend sweeping Melbourne.

Amazingly, I somehow found myself without a packed lunch just a couple of days later and in need of another visit to the deli. This time I started with the Temple of Doom (turkey, jalapenos, roasted corn, pickled cabbage, cheese and chipotle aioli, $13).

This was a bit of a messier eat than the Godfather, but was similarly great - the combinations on the S & D sangas have clearly had plenty of thought put into them - in this case the pickled cabbage, jalapenos and aioli worked some pretty great flavour magic around the turkey and cheese slices.

I almost ordered another doughnut for dessert, but branched out to sample a challah sticky bun ($7), a rich bun, gooey with some sort of caramel glaze.

After such a successful run of daytime dining, we finished the week sampling some of the pre-prepared meals for sale in the fridges at Smith & Deli, splitting a pepperoni pizza ($17) and a small serve of mapo tofu ($10).

The pepperoni pizza was a simple affair - an excellent thin base, topped with tomato sauce, a few big chunks of salami (possibly the same product that featured on the Godfather sandwich), some mozzarella rectangles and fresh basil leaves. It's a classy step up from the vegan pizzas we recently had delivered from Eat Pizza. In general, pizzas suffer from a vegan premium price-wise, and $17 is a bit of a stretch for this, but mock meats and cheeses don't come cheap.

The mapo tofu was gratifyingly similar to the version that I love making, right down to the over-enthusiasm with the chilli, which left Cindy gasping. I can well imagine grabbing a serve of this next time's Cindy's out of town and I'm too lazy to cook - it's really excellent.

The Melbourne veg*n community is losing their collective mind about Smith & Deli and with good reason. It's serving up a stunning array of vegan food, from pastries, sweets and sandwiches, to spices, staples and mock meat, plus a range of pre-made meals for home. Having an office within 500m is going to be an expensive, delicious privilege.


quinces and kale, Little Vegan Bear and Veganopolous all munched their way through Smith & Deli's menu during the first week it was open, while style melbourne, Eat And Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die(t), table to paper, Veggie Mama and MEL: HOT OR NOT were all at the same freebie launch that we were.

Smith & Deli
111 Moor St, Fitzroy
9042 4117
sandwich menu 1, 2
facebook page

Accessibility: There's a lip on the door and the interior is flat. All foods are easily visible, but some of the groceries are easier to reach than others. Ordering and payment is at a low counter.


  1. Some of those sandwiches on the menu are really messing with me. See, I don't really like corn kernels or cabbage but that sandwich looks fab. Same with the parmageddon, I don't like tempeh but Smith & Deli. You know? I decided to have the meatball sandwich the next time I visit but now I'm thinking godfather. Or the axis of evil one. Plus a donut.

    1. Hey Veganopoulous - I totally get ya. Tempeh seems like a weird parma base but if anyone call pull it off I reckon it's these guys.

    2. You realise they make them on the spot and can totally customise the choice of ingredients?

  2. I hope those doughnuts are there some time when I am in - loved the home alone sandwich but I really don't know which one I want to try next - so much choice! Possibly that eggy muffin will be high on my to eat list. Lucky you to have them near to you at work!

    1. Hi Johanna - I think the doughnuts are quick to disappear each day! I've only managed to snag one sticky bun myself, and the breakfast muffin's definitely on my wishlist.

  3. I thought $17 sounded a little steep for a pizza too. I still haven't physically been in there yet - I didn't realise they had things like mapo tofu - how cool! I really want that brekkie muffin and the spicy godfather sammich sounds great too.

    1. Hi littleveganbear - yeah, I bet you make fantastic vegan pizzas yourself for a fraction of the price. We're definitely paying for the convenience here.

  4. I had the wiggum, if I remembered the name right. The star should be the salt and pepper tofu but it was lost and also low in quantity, overpowered by the sweetness of the maple slaw.

    I think this is a place where hits and misses will occur and only if you are willing to go back again and again, that you will eventually find the decent ones.

    1. Hi tytty - thanks for your report! It's a shame your wiggum didn't measure up.

      You might be able to shortcut past those misses with help from quinceandkale's review of all the S&D sandwiches she ate during veganmofo in 2015.