I am a playwright, poet and actor. I live in the Blue Mountains in NSW. Visit my blog at simonlenthen.wordpress.com
Published November 6th 2013
Sandwiches and coffee in a warm environment
My wife and I went out for her birthday and I decided to take her to the Yellow Deli in Katoomba. Formerly known as Common Ground, the cafe has been reinvented and parts of the cafe have been renovated to accommodate more people. As the Common Ground, it was very popular and there was usually a moderate wait before a table could be found. But since the renovation, there was no wait, however I did overhear one waiter say that it was a "Slow Day". It is not uncommon to drive by the deli to see it crowded with people.
The renovations are consistent with its original fit-out. Recycled timbers give the place a warm and cosy feel. The layout feels like the booths were grown to be there – very organic, lots of curves and textures. Unfortunately some of the booths can be a tight fit and it is possible to feel like you have to contort yourself to get in and out. There are lots of positive sayings painted on the wall, and a fun attention to detail. The deli is definitely a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.
The wait staff are efficient and attentive. When they are not overly busy, they are quick to take your order and deliver your meal. However, there can be delays if there are large numbers of patrons.
The menu is confined mainly to sandwiches, and like the cafe, has been recently changed. The sandwiches are freshly made and served warm. They contain a range of fresh ingredients and you can choose from a list of recommended sandwiches or construct your own. My wife chose the Deli Rose sandwich, which contained roast beef, hot pepper cheese, provolone and other condiments. She asked for it to come with potato crisps. She enjoyed the sandwich immensely.
The Deli Rose Sandwich with crisps.
There is also a small choice of burgers; I ordered the chicken burger with salad. The burger was lovely, the chicken, grilled but not dry, and the salad was fresh and crispy. Other warm dishes include nachos. In the past, I have not been pleased with their nachos as the cheese was not heated properly, but as I was lead to my table I noted a serve of nachos with the cheese draped invitingly over the beans.
My wife defaced my burger!
One of the things we like most about the Yellow Deli are the desserts. The table next to us received a very lovely smelling stack of fresh pancakes. Unfortunately our meal was very filling and we had to cancel our dessert order.
In its previous incarnation, the pricing was fantastic, very cheap with very large servings, but in its current mode, the pricing has increased to a reasonable level, (still good value, but more on par with other cafes) and the servings have decreased, which makes the meal more manageable to eat. The deli is committed to serving organic food and the menu contains nothing that is fried or overly greasy. There is also a range of organic sodas, coffees and teas. I had a skim latte which was very drinkable.
The cafe is run by a religious sect and they rely heavily on the Jewish calendar week for their operating hours, hence the cafe is always closed on Saturdays; your best bet is to come on a week day as I suspect that Sunday is their busiest day.
I recommend the Yellow Deli, its decor is unique and warm and the food is tasty and filling.