Fellow foodie hailing from the Hunter, now based in Sydney's east side.
Published April 12th 2020
With big-name restaurants like Franca, Monopole, & Cho Cho San seemingly dominating the dining scene in Potts Point and surrounds, it's easy to feel like quality food in the area can really only be attained with some serious dinner plans. Rest assured, there are plenty of smaller and more casual daytime eateries without all the big names and publication that are still making waves. This week, Small's Deli gets a visit after four months on my radar as a potential new neighbourhood secret that I can now let you in on.
It's a moment's walk from Kings Cross station, past the new location for Chaco Bar and just slightly shy of Ms G's - taking up the old space that french institution Mere Catherine held quietly since 1974. With high rents in the city, small space coffee and food is nothing new locally, and frankly seems to work, with Room10, Jeremy & Sons, and Bayswater Kitchenette thriving in the area.
Small's somewhat embodies a portion of the local demographic. Short and sharp. Simple, classy and big on quality, acknowledging there is little room for complex thinking nor should their be. It's refined, yet casual, and not too grown-up or pretentious.
In short, Small's sell sandwiches made to order. Panini's, Sourdough, and baguette, all from Iggy's Bread. There's a plate full of daily pastries, and a wall full of jars, drops and delights - some even house made. Their coffee is Reuben Hills, and whilst it doesn't seem like a specialty coffee shop, the skill from their barista's is nothing short of impressive.
Like the size of Small's, it's a compact menu of around 7-8 options that can be made into salads. Sides are available to top your salad or join your sammie, ranging from pickles to olives, to labne and more. There's no anxiety from choice here - it's simple and concise, and there's variation in their daily special if you happen to become a regular.
The Florence and the Aubergine is their most popular to date - as a panini layered with creamed pecorino cheese, fennel salami known as 'Finochiona', soft & gooey roasted eggplant, fresh rocket leaves a savoury walnut paste. It's big on herbs, and the sandwich filling is moist from the roast eggplant. Its a wildly large panini, completely packing out the sandwhich box it comes in - which is about the same size as the sandwich boxes from Bread and Circus Wholefoods Cafe miles away in Alexandria.
If you're visiting from another suburb take note that whilst there's a couple of small seating options inside, plan ahead and dot out some local green spaces to enjoy the delights. Take the McElhone stairs down to Woolloomoolloo wharf, or go east via the Macleay-Challis Walkway down to Elizabeth Bay House or the marina.
Editors note: In light of regulatory restrictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Small's remains open for takeaway, accepting orders phoned ahead, including those for pantry items, fresh eggs, coffee, and of course their delicious sandwiches.