I had the most amazing Saturday last week, I got to hang out with one of my besties and head into the big smoke to review two Spanish venues and watch a movie. The venues in question were the ENCASA venues, the famous ENCASA restaurant and this one, the ENCASA DELI, a Spanish delicatessen located on Bathurst St, Sydney. I shall be reviewing their main restaurant in an upcoming article but they both respect, share and present the best in Spanish food. By the end of lunch Steve and myself could hardly walk back to the bus stop.
Encasa Deli looks like a smallish cafe from the street-front of Bathurst St, it appears quite dark on the inside and most people, especially the office workers, would frequent this venue for the open window onto the street to order and receive your spectacularly made coffees. Inside is a different world, it is still dark but truly has a Spanish deli feel in its decor and contents. From the above Woman with Meat tile mural on the wall to the dark wooden furniture to the wall of imported deli goods available to the counter that stocks an abundance of cured meats and cheeses and anything Spanish it’s a mini-Mecca of Spanish culinary joy. One of my friends swears you MUST eat the Anchovie Bocadillo and that Encasa Deli is the ONLY place in Sydney that sells Queso Fresco, a much loved Mexican cheese.
We started with a spectacular coffee, Steve loved his cappuccino and I thought I had just drank one of the best Decaf Mochas of all time. No dissing the decaf mocha, it is all I can drink after years of overdosing on coffees. After the coffee I spent about 15mins just sticky-beaking and photographing everything, loved the place! It did feel other-worldly.
Towards the rear is a fridge with some great cured meats and a wall of pantry/ dry goods/ jarred goods and all the stuff you want to whip up some Spanish joy at home. We sat up at a barrel and bar stools to eat, the venue also has a few tables to sit at, a bench under the Lady with Meat and a great bench and bar stools looking through a glass frontage so you can sit with friends and quietly judge passersby.
Then came the bocadillos. The bocadillo or bocata, in Spain, is a sandwich made with Spanish bread, not sliced, cut lengthwise. Traditionally seen as a humble food, its low cost has allowed it to evolve over time into an iconic piece of cuisine. I asked the venue to prepare for us what they wanted to serve us. So we received the Chorizo: Grilled Spanish sausage, roast capsicum, tomato, Spanish onion & alioli ($11-) and the Argentino: South American sausage & chimichurri ($9.50).
Now the first thing to point out about Encasa’s bocadillos; Encasa Deli is directly opposite SUBWAY on Bathurst St and the sandwiches from Encasa Deli are about 1000 times better than over the road. These deli sausages are just impeccable. And the venue bakes all their own bread so the freshness of it is mind blowing. And that chimichurri on the Argentino will blow your mind. If you attend the Subway after reading this article over going to Encasa I fear for your culinary salvation.
Love the sausages? Buy them from the deli, want bocadillos for yourself, your staff or large corporate catering? Then order them all online for collection! These would be epic for staff events, and if I was a CBD corporate worker, these would be my Friday lunches. Suss the full menu HERE. The corporate platters sound amazing.
Below is the Chorizo, and that flavour is mind blowing, the aioli is a perfect compliment to one of the best chorizos I have ever eaten.
If you work in the area or get into the city then hit them up for your morning coffee (and perhaps a sweet treat), the coffee is bloody impressive. And as for lunch pick your bocadillo poison, you will end up hooked. Now, mild warning, base your bocadillo on your sausage level of flatulence – if in the CEO’s office area the chorizo might not rock their socks off but the spiced grilled chicken might be perfect, or if visiting on a Saturday, like Steve and myself, and about to be sitting in a quiet cinema for two hours, then eat as many sausage bocadillos as you can handle :).
Huge thanks to the people of Encasa and to Deborah Dickson-Smith for arranging this venue visit invite, I cannot rave how much we loved the food and venue.
Please also appreciate Steve’s persuaded modelling in Encasa Deli.
DEETS FOR ENCASA DELI:
Monday to Friday
07:00am – 05:30pm
09:00am to 04:00pm
135 Bathurst Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9283 4277
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) ate as a guest of the venue but to be frank, if it was shit I would happily tell you as such.