No mat­ter what time of day or night, this eatery de­liv­ers

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS -

Fed Deli

SET UP & SITE: Ad­ja­cent to the Sky Tower, the Fed Deli is right in the heart of Auck­land’s CBD. A small se­lec­tion of wooden ta­bles out­side of­fer per­fect view­ing of those mad enough to jump from the top of the South­ern Hemi­sphere’s tallest tower. In­side, there’s a deep row of booths, small ta­bles, high ta­bles or a counter seat, cater­ing for solo din­ers up to groups of four, or six at a real squeeze. The fit- out is cosy in a way that is fa­mil­iar while be­ing tech­ni­cally for­eign — the food and the vibe of the place is based on what you’d find on of­fer at a New York diner. Next door is sis­ter store De­pot, also owned by celebrity chef Al Brown — the two are so close they share a set of toi­lets.

SUSTENANCE & SWILL: If you’ve heard of Fed Deli, you know about its pou­tine. A plate piled high with gravy and stringy cheese curds, the dish is a mas­ter­class in in­dul­gent com­fort food. Most of my trips to the Fed are made alone af­ter a late shift, and I’m sur­prised to see such a heavy side is on of­fer for break­fast. Af­ter briefly toy­ing with the idea of or­der­ing a serve at 10am, we de­cide do­ing so would be a dis­ser­vice to Can­vas’ readers, who are more likely to have al­ready tried the pou­tine than any­thing else on the menu. So my friend and I share a plate of potato hash with smoked fish, peas and a squeeze of lemon ($ 21); a rich and de­li­cious plate of carbs soak­ing in fat, the peas of­fer­ing bursts of sweet flavour and the fish fall­ing apart on our forks. In a snap de­ci­sion I later re­gret, we also or­der a side of latkes with creme fraiche ($ 7), two oily discs of shred­ded potato that are de­li­ciously crispy on the edges but by the mid­dle, and with the hash on the ta­ble as well, en­tirely too much potato for two peo­ple. The star of the show was for me the chicken salad sand­wich with crispy chicken skin and a side of gravy ($ 16). De­spite the gravy dip­ping sauce, the sand­wich is lighter than our other dishes. A clas­sic chicken salad fill­ing of meat mixed with mayo and chopped veges be­tween two slices of a seeded loaf, it’s sim­ple but per­fect. I may have re­turned the next day to or­der an­other one. We each or­der a cup of Fed Deli’s bot­tom­less fil­ter cof­fees ($ 4), with cream on the side — be­cause why not? We leave very full and slightly over- caf­feinated.

SER­VICE & OTHER STUFF: Fed Deli does what it does very well and staff are friendly and ef­fi­cient. There was a slightly longer wait than I might have ex­pected on our food, but I sus­pect we or­dered just as the brunch rush hit. You’ve got to be rea­son­able about that. Tess Ni­chol

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