THE Voice’s search for the best continental roll in Perth took an unexpected meatball twist in Inglewood this week.
We had heard great reports about Deli’s Continental – situated beside Woolworths on Beaufort Street – so we jumpstarted the Voice jalopy and headed up there to investigate.
A small but stylish shop-front with a pavement alfresco, the Deli specialises in takeaway continental rolls and pizza.
It started out life as a pop-up in the Maylands pizzeria Rossonero, but it proved so popular the duo behind it, Stev Makhlouta and Aldo Putzu, decided to open their own gaff in Inglewood.
One of the big selling points of this deli is that it flash-bakes the rolls to order.
On walking inside, the first thing that hits you is the lovely aroma of freshly baked bread, sending your tastebuds into overdrive.
The place was buzzing on a hot Tuesday lunchtime with staffers doing a frantic but carefully choreographed dance between the till, pizza ovens and the sandwich-making station.
The small menu had three rolls – Classico, The Emperor and the vegetarian Kid Capree – as well as a meatball sub, toasties and shovel pizza (Margherita, vegetarian and meat). There were also daily specials, a cookie jar and a display cabinet with cakes including lemon, bluebery yoghurt and thyme.
I had intended to buy a continental roll for lunch, but on smelling the pizza, I couldn’t resist something hot and ordered the meatball sub ($16.5).
What a fortuitous decision that was.
Packaged in a small box, I slowly opened the lid and my expression was like Belloq in Indiana Jones when he opens the ark of the covenant for the first time and peers inside.
This was a glorious looking sub and the aroma of cheese, meat and freshly-baked bread was intoxicating.
It tasted even better: the just-out-the-oven roll had a deafening crunch and was super light and fluffy inside.
It was the perfect base for the hefty meatballs, which were soft and tasty, like the homemade ones nonna used to make.
Anchoring the whole sub was a delicious tomato sauce with cheese. A gooey and indulgent delight.
And let’s not forget about the vibrant green pesto drizzled over the top – an inspired touch that looked like the Hulk’s special sauce and kept your interest going until the lip-smacking end.
Quite simply the best meatball sub I’ve had in Perth and one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
I took a couple of continental rolls home to share for dinner and they didn’t disappoint either: the Classico ($13) was crammed with mortadella, Hungarian salami and fior di latte.
The meats were neatly layered and provided a salty punch and that classic blend of flavours.
Sometimes the toppings on continental rolls can be disappointing or non-existent, but this had a lovely assortment of tomato, olive tapenade, pickled chilli, red onion, lettuce and conserva. A hearty but rather sophisticated continental with the crunchy, light bread conjuring up images of French sticks as opposed to their denser Italian cousins.
My young kids Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles were tearing into their Emperor ($13) with poached chicken, pangrattato, caesar mayo, gran padano, bacon and lettuce.
I had a sneaky taste and it was another triumph with the super soft chicken providing the perfect contrast to the crunchy crusts on the bread.
The Voice’s quest to find the best continental roll in Perth found a strong contender at Deli’s Continental, but it also unearthed the best meatball sub in town, so it was a double win.
I’ll definitely be back to try their shovel pizza.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK
861 Beaufort Sreet, Inglewood
0422 968 167