When you're not in the mood for Vietnamese

It's funny, lateness is a concept I don't think I'll ever get used to. For as long as I remember I've always made sure that I arrive somewhere on time and when something gets in the way and prevents me from making that mark it actually stresses me a little lot. One such instance was just last week when Mr K and I were meant to meet up for dinner in Marrickville at 7pm. When I get a call at work at 5pm from him saying "I've just been bombarded by emails from clients that need immediate addressing" I knew sitting down for dinner at 7 just ain't gonna happen.

As I'm sitting at home twiddling my thumbs waiting he walks in the door all flustered and persists on having a shower before going out. Hello!? It's ten to 7! Where's that wine, I need a drink to calm my nerves. Ten minutes later we're out the door and running to the station and miss the train thanks to it being three minutes early. Since when is CityRail early? At this point I'm feeling a few more greys growing from my scalp and decide to give in and just sit and wait for the next train to arrive. Looks like it's going to rain. Once we actually got to Marrickville there was another ten minute walk to Cafe New Deli, in the rain, and after all that we're just half an hour late. Phew! A whole lot of anxiety for nothing? Probably.

On arrival we were surprised to see a restaurant devoid of people, except for The Girls that were patiently waiting for us. Actually, even on the walk down I noticed many of the other restaurants were very quiet for a Friday night. It appears Cafe New Deli has only just recently opened its doors for dinner and knowing we've never been to the daytime cafe I was looking forward to it after hearing the good reports. The setting is quite nice and cosy with flickering red tea light candles here and there and the menu is made up of a generous bunch of delicious sounding mod-Australian dishes.

Heading straight for the mains, Ju dives in for the sautéed blue swimmer crab bisque (32) that comes topped with two claws, a dollop of crème fraiche and a tumbleweed of julienned spring onions. The rich yet delicate tomato based bisque has that distinct crustacean flavour and is generously flecked with crab meat.

The rack of lamb (32) comes roasted, cut and piled on baby beetroot, fennel, kipfler potatoes and cavalo nero and sits in a shallow pool of rosemary and red wine reduction. It's as rich as it sounds and the meat is cooked to perfection.

Mr K heads for the pan-fried blue eye cod (28) with dauphinoise potato. The sweet and slightly sour agridolce sauce of cherry tomatoes, capers and Ligurian olives give the dish a Mediterannean flavour and the flesh of the fish is as soft as satin.

I couldn't go past the twice baked pork belly (28) that comes out teetering on a raft of sautéed asparagus and wedge of potato and celeriac gratin. The size of the pork is impressive and the layers of fat were needed as some parts of the meat were a bit on the dry side. The white wine and pomegranate redution matched nicely.

Following our delicious meals we couldn't help but choose all three desserts on offer as they all sounded fantastic. The most elaborate of the three is the chocogasm (22) - a collection of dark chocolate mousse, chocolate panna cotta, chocolate cups filled with chocolate mascarpone, chocolate nemesis icecream and a glossy slick of chilli chocolate sauce. I think we were all satisfied in more ways than one with this ensemble.

The raspberry tower & reisling jelly (14) came towered within layers of tuille biscuits and vanilla bean cream and at the other end of the snake of reisling and berry reduction sits a firm Tamar Valley reisling and raspberry jelly, my favorite part.

Finally, the soft centred chocolate pudding (14) spills its innards once spooned, making a big old mess of the spiced raspberry coulis and chantilly cream. You can tell by the pic below that neither of us enjoyed the desserts. In fact our main course plates looked pretty much the same aside from a few bones, shells and olive pips.

Sensational food all 'round. If you're in Marrickville and you don't feel like Vietnamese food I'd say get your backside down here. You'll be surprised.

Cafe New Deli
181 Marrickville Road
Marrickville 2204
9572 7988
Breakfast & lunch 7 days
Dinner Thurs-Sat
BYO corkage $3 / person
Cafe New Deli on Urbanspoon