Thursday, 7 April 2011
A ridiculous desk-load of (paid!) work has meant that I haven't been able to add to this blog for a week or so but I simply have to break off and tell you about Sam's Kitchen Deli, although it's one of those culinary discoveries that I'm almost reluctant to share for fear of not getting a table next time.
And it's not as if Sam's Kitchen Deli has many tables in the first place. In fact, it only has seating for about a dozen people at any one time - most of them squeezed around the farmhouse table in the middle of this former antiques shop close to Bath's main shopping area.
It's the first venture for Sam Wylde and Steve Wesley, whose impressive joint CV includes stints at Babington House hotel, The Archangel in Frome and At The Chapel in Bruton.
Sam's Kitchen Deli is a modest affair with a tiny open kitchen behind the counter, a fabulous flagstone floor, one sofa and an upright piano beneath shelves of wine (to buy and takeaway - the place doesn't have a licence) and deli items.
Everything but the bread and pastries are made on the premises and the menu changes every day, including the daily 'roast', which on the day I visited was a fabulous pork belly, which I ate with a bowl of room temperature purple sprouting broccoli and homemade sweet chilli jam served in a dinky little Kilner jar.
To accompany it, an Ottolenghi-style pearl barley and pomegranate salad scooped from one of the ceramic bowls on the counter, and a portion of the roasted aubergine, fennel and pesto.
Other savoury options on offer included a croissant filled with Westcombe Cheddar and prosciutto, and warm slices of goats' cheese and roasted red pepper tart boasting crisp, short pastry.
To finish, an exemplary slice of River Cafe-inspired flourless chocolate Nemesis still warm from the oven and as molten as a chocolate fondant. The orange and polenta cake and the white chocolate and macadamia nut brownies were also going down well with others around the farmhouse table, as was carefully-made coffee dispensed from the bright yellow La Marzocco.
Apparently, I was the first food hack to sniff out Sam's Kitchen Deli but judging from this experience I certainly won't be the last.
In a city that desperately needs more high quality eating places, Sam's Kitchen Deli is a genuine breath of fresh air and Bath's best-kept secret. Until now, of course.
Sam's Kitchen, 61 Walcot Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 481159.