A former newspaper journo and editor, Monique Mulligan is the author of My Silly Mum, Fergus the Farting Dragon, and is a publisher with Serenity Press. Visit www.moniquemulligan.com
Published October 31st 2013
Put Kent Street Deli on the menu
Foodie alert! Rockingham may not be well-known foodie destination, but mark my words, that is set to change. Kent Street Deli, a small gourmet food shop/cafe, is fast making a name for itself as the food lover's go-to place for pantry treats, delectable fresh food, catering, breakfast, lunch and dessert.
Kent Street Deli was brought to Rockingham by Rustico Tapas chef Shannon Whitmore and general manager Vanessa Phillipson, who lead the team at what has evolved into a multi-award winning venture, and are now sharing their love for food on a wider scale.
Nestled between a tattoo parlour and a just-closed shop, the deli is a gem. One of the melt-in-the-mouth variety. It's a regular meet-up place for my food-loving friends and I - partly because of the food and coffee, and partly because of the feel of the place. Outside small, mismatched tables and chairs add colour and warmth - there's no sterile uniformity here.
Inside, it's small, but light and airy. Shelves line one wall, filled with gourmet products, cookbooks, quirky and beautiful kitchen items. Bench seats face the window and several small tables invite customers to sit and linger. It's not a place for big groups - it's too small, but perfect for couples.
If you're eating in, the deli has a tempting range of food to tickle your tastebuds. If you're hungry, try the all-day breakfast; the full option comes with a hefty serve (on a plank) including poached eggs, smoked bacon, Vienna sausage, field mushrooms with pesto and ricotta. I couldn't finish it. The vegetarian option, which I tried on another occasion, is a tad cheaper and replaces spinach for the meat. Also delicious! Today I had the eggs florentine - see below. The eggs were poached to perfection, but it was a little heavy on the sauce this time.
Lunch options are equally tempting. I've tried the arancini - one huge, tasty rice ball - and it filled me up. There are gourmet sandwiches and burgers to choose from, as well as pre-prepared deli options, but the deli on a board is a stand-out option (also comes as a gluten-free option).
Drinks-wise, patrons are spoilt for choice. The coffee's good, but I'd recommend the smoothies and health drinks (they come served in a mason jar). If they're busy, coffee and the freshly-made drinks can take a while, though. The friendly staff make it worth the wait though.
Not eating in, but want something to take away? Some treats to impress dinner guests? There is so much to choose from, and again, the owners have covered a number of options. Need a picnic basket for a beach picnic? No problem. Need a function catered? Imagine crab cakes with lime aioli, pumpkin and sage risotto balls with salsa, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, smoked salmon and cream cheese crepes, and more on the table. Need a gift for the foodie in your life (note, I will be sending this article to Blue Eyes as a friendly reminder), spend a few moments scanning the shelves.
Enough from me. I'm converted already ... I'm just wondering if I should have kept this Rockingham store secret a bit longer.