I was invited to Monty’s Deli as part of a press event and my food was complimentary. I was not paid to attend and was not under contractual obligation to write this blog post or create content on any platform.
Someone once asked me, what would be my last meal on earth… my death row meal so to speak. I thought for all of about a second…
‘Chicken soup and smoked salmon bagels…’
Ok maybe seems a little basic, but that’s the kind of food I grew up eating. Though we didn’t live in a Jewish area with beigel bakery on the corner and a kosher butcher’s down the road… my mum never let us forget our roots, knocking up huge pots of chicken soup whenever we were ill, taking us to visit the famous Blooms restaurant in Golders Green, stuffing smoked salmon in our sandwiches. My dad has always claimed not to be religious but to be gastronomically Jewish with a penchant for chicken liver, salt beef sandwiches and latkes.
Not many restaurants outside the Jewish bubble cater to these specific tastes which is why I’m so excited to welcome Monty’s Deli to London. Formerly available as a street food stall, Monty’s Deli in Hoxton is the first permanent site for the Jewish Soul food restaurant. Though luckily for me, they now have a concession in Market Hall in Victoria, about a thirty second walk from where I live… fortunately this is one Jewish girl who will never tired of smoked salmon bagels. And why the name? Well owner Mark Ogus named the restaurant after his grandfather, Monty, keeping it all in the family.
The interior of Monty’s Deli has a sort of Soho House vibe, think shabby chic but still super cool with painted brick walls, a long central bar and American style diner booths.
Mr S’s mum is quite a keen cook, and most dinners at her house will start with a bowl of chicken soup (or in Mr S’s case he’ll have at least three bowls). The chicken soup at Monty’s Deli is fantastic and definitely the perfect cure to any ailment. The soup also includes home-made kneidlach which for those not au fait with Jewish cuisine these are dumplings made from matzah meal. Our starters also included a sandwich of chopped liver (my dad’s absolute favourite thing ever) and an egg mayonnaise, both served with challah bread.
These chicken wings are probably a more recognisable dish and were a delicious side to go with the starters.
The egg and cheese breakfast buns are a signature dish for Monty’s and our group were given a pastrami egg and cheese bun and a salmon bun to try. Meats are cured in-house and actually Monty’s Deli is one of the few places in the country to make the pastrami and salt beef from scratch. The sandwiches may look huge but I bet one will leave you wanting more!
Bagels are also homemade cooked on traditional cedar planks and wrapped in hessian, and coming in all different varieties. I also urge you to try the bagel boards, this one is great for vegetarians and includes smashed avocado, sauerkraut, rocket salad, pickles but there’s a few others to choose from including salt beef or smoked salmon.
Fellow fans of Jewish cuisine will be eying up the house cured salmon belly, latkes, sour cream and rocket salad. Latkes are a little like hash browns without the onion and served traditionally at Hanukkah but eaten all year round. The ones I’ve had are usually a little smaller than these but I wasn’t complaining! These were perfectly crisp and not at all greasy as they could have been.
The Monty’s Deli hot dogs are new to the menu, and again everything is made in-house, both the beef frankfurters and the bun. You can tell a lot of love has gone into creating this menu and the recipes. If you do happen to be religious (I’m not) bear in mind that the meat served at Monty’s is not kosher.
It would be against my dad’s religion to leave a Jewish restaurant without ordering a slice of cheese cake, so of course we did. Plus Monty’s chocolate babka with vanilla ice cream which is basically layers of chocolate and dough.
I left Monty’s Deli’s on a sunny February day, not only feeling happily full but with a huge smile on my face. My blog may be more known for Michelin-star reviews, but this is the kind of food that speaks to my soul. I’m keen to come back to try the Shabbat Dinner feasting menu which includes a whole roast chicken among other traditional accompaniments – my kind of Friday night.
Thank you Monty’s Deli for a fantastic afternoon.
227 -229 Hoxton Street
020 7729 5737