I was long overdue for a visit to my ex-work colleagues and we decided to meet for a bite to eat at my favourite haunt back when I used to work near Bathurst Street – Encasa Deli.
Encasa Deli is a branch of the Encasa Spanish Restaurant, but instead operates predominantly, as the name suggests, as a deli. There’s bocadillos (sandwiches), freshly baked bread, a few small sweet Spanish pastries and Spanish olives, chorizo and cheeses that you can eat in-store or takeaway. They also make the best damn skinny hazelnut latte ($3.50) I’ve ever had in my life.
My friend Viv is Spanish and loves it here – the people know her by name (and used to remember me as well) and she thinks the food is as authentic as you can get. They also have a day of the week where the paella is available, but unfortunately I never got the opportunity to give it a go.
We settled on a bocadillo each. They’re all made with a delicious baguette that’s crusty on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, and priced around $10 each. We made our order at the counter and then had a seat at the bar along the side wall. There’s also some funny large barrels that you can sit at, but it makes things a tad awkward when you’re in a skirt as you have to sit sideways.
Our bocadillos arrived quickly. I had ordered an old favourite of mine, the Chorizo, which had grilled Spanish sausage, roast capsicum, fresh tomato, Spanish onion and aioli. Om nom nom.
Viv was fine with whatever I wanted her to get and while we thought about what might look the most photogenic, we decided to just go with what was tastier. So she selected the Canario, which had shredded roast pork leg, queso fresco, roast capsicum, mojo and tomato.
The pork is a little on the garlic-ky side but it is so, so good. The pork is always melt-in-the-mouth tender and with the soft white cheese, it’s simply one of the most amazing combinations I’ve ever had sandwiched together.
A quaint, charming little cheerful cafe that I wish I worked close to again! I’ll definitely consider this place if I’m ever around the city and looking to pick up a few deli items.
135 Bathurst Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9283 4277