In a nutshell
Monty’s Deli started as a market stall in Maltby Street market in 2012 before opening its bricks-and-mortar restaurant in 2017. There’s a low-key yet stylish vibe, with a focus on hearty Jewish classics.
Monty’s Deli review
Sandwiched between unassuming (read: yet to be gentrified) takeaways, corner shops and barbers, Monty’s Deli is a classic Jewish deli named after the owner’s grandfather.
Walking through the door feels like you’ve stepped back in time. The décor is stylish yet no frills. Low hanging lights with red numbers sit above dark leather booths; old-school brown tables are set with essentials only – water glasses, cutlery, napkins (you’ll need to ask for more) and a bottle of Tabasco sauce, of course.
We visited for Sunday brunch and also to try out the Shabbat dinner (a set four-course meal, every Friday). On a Sunday, the place is full with groups of friends, three generations of families and couples grabbing a post-gym bagel. Regulars are met with warm smiles and a knowing nod, while newbies are welcomed with the smell of salt beef and babka.
Start with a classic bloody Mary, the right balance of sweet and spicy with a strong kick. It’s easy to spend all day here so you might make your way through a few.
We ordered a meshuggener sandwich, a combination of salt beef, pastrami, chopped liver and coleslaw. Salt beef and pastrami are taken seriously at Monty’s Deli, it’s one of the only places making it in-house in Britain. It’s left for over a week to perfect and it’s worth it for the rich, juicy, peppery combination. The chopped liver is rich and creamy, with coleslaw adding a crisp freshness. It’s as satisfying and messy as it sounds (we told you you’d need more napkins).
Finish with a slice of babka – chocolate runs throughout layers of sweet, buttery dough with a crisp crust. Grab a slice of this to take home with you, too.
For the Shabbat dinners, each course is cooked for four people, sharing-style. To start, warm challah rolls, slightly sweet, are served with a plate of chopped liver. You’ll want more. A taster of Kiddush wine is served on the side – it’s sweet, fruity (think boozy Ribena) and a good balance to the iron-rich offal.
Next up is a pot of chicken broth filled with carrots and kneidlach (Jewish dumplings). The broth is cooked for two days and tastes like it would feed a cold – warm and nourishing. The carrot discs are fresh and have a pleasant bite to them, while kneidlach are dense, chewy and comforting.
A whole roast chicken takes centre stage for course three and is presented on a big wooden board ready for one strong diner to carve. Skin is crisp and salty while the meat is juicy. Fluffy roast potatoes could have done with being a little crunchier on our visit, though.
You’ll need to leave room for dessert, which is lokshen pudding – a dairy heavy dish traditionally made with eggs, cottage cheese and noodles. Doused in honey and served with raisins on top, it might not sound appealing, but think of it like a set rice pudding. A hearty dessert that won’t taste the same anywhere else.
Monty’s Deli is a casual restaurant serving up the wholesome flavours of Jewish cookery. With its relaxed, homely vibe, it has quickly established itself as part of the neighbourhood.
Monty’s blackboard is crammed full of bagel options, with a larger-than-life salt beef bagel hanging next to it, sadly for illustrative purposes only. Go for a sesame and salt beef bagel – doughy, slightly chewy and juicy. Order one to eat straight away and one for the journey home.
The Shabbat dinner consists of four courses and costs £24 per person each Friday. Sandwiches and bagels range from £6 – £12 but they’ll leave you full for the rest of the day.