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Delilah Delicatessen & Fine Foods

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by Jenny Scott (subscribe)
I'm an award-winning online writer and journalist.
Published September 30th 2012
Mouths will water at Delilah's deli in Nottingham
One of my friends found Delilah's name a little confusing and pronounced it "Deli-lah". Of course, Delilah is a deli, it's true, but it goes without saying it's pronounced as in "Why, why, why?"

Delilah in Nottingham

In fact, Delilah is far more than just a deli – it's one of the premier foodie destinations in the Midlands. There are many delis who try to do what Delilah does and don't manage it half so well. It's won a clutch of awards, including one from BBC Good Food for "best independent deli".

Delilah - the best deli in Nottingham
Delilah's secret? A breathtaking range of the very best ingredients, enthusiastic staff who can tell you how to use them and a "try before you buy" policy so you can sample some of them for yourself.

When you step into the store, you'll find a cavern stocked to the brim with cheeses, wines, cured meats and condiments. Beyond the gleaming rows of jars and pickles you'll find the Delilah food counter with a curving row of barstools and blackboards proclaiming the specials of the day. You can order breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack. There are glass stands hosting moist slathers of cakes, stacks of pastries and usually a smiling server waiting for your order.

Delilah deli: The menu
The only thing there often isn't is a spare seat. However, Delilah is shortly due to solve this problem by moving to spacious new premises on Victoria Street.

Delilah in Nottingham: New Victoria Street premises
Delilah in Nottingham's new premises

Peruse the menu and the prices are quite a bit steeper than you might pay at other neighbourhood cafes. Delilah is probably "treat territory" for many of us. However, the ingredients are superb and the sandwich ideas deliciously inventive. How does a duck rillette sandwich with tomme d'abondance cheese and plum chutney strike you? Or a hand-made "roo" burger with bacon, melted cheddar and bone-sucking sauce? It's £7.50 but you're unlikely to taste such offerings anywhere else. Or why not try my favourite sarnie – the croque marinara, an oozing blend of smoked salmon, pesto and grilled gruyere? For vegetarians, there are delicious red pepper pates and pestos. And if you fancy a treat, the Great British cheese platter, for £14.95, boasts names such as Scottish Old Smokey and English Wigmore.

In addition, there are detailed tea and coffee menus listing names like Temple of Heaven Gunpowder and a tea that's infused with coconut.

What's that like?" asked one of my fellow diners.
Do you want to smell it?" asked the girl behind the counter. "It smells incredible."

She leaned across the bar with a little caddy for us all to catch a whiff. It did smell delicious – toasted bounty bar. As my fellow bar stooler said: "If you just want a normal tea or coffee, go to Café Nero."

My own Delilah mission was to grab a lazy Saturday breakfast. I opted for cloudy apple juice and toast with a poached egg. When it arrived, the granary toast was nice and chunky with melted butter and a delicate fluff of an egg on top. My meal, including drink, came to just over £6 which seemed fair. Simple, but beautifully done. That philosophy just about sums up Delilah.
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Why? The best deli in the Midlands
When: Monday - Friday 8am - 7pm, Saturday 9am - 7pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm
Phone: 0115 948 4461
Where: Victoria Street, Nottingham
Cost: Lunch for two: £15-20
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