Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Katsouris Deli, Deansgate, Manchester
Regular blog readers will know that for me, eating out isn't just about the food, but it's a state of mind. The food and the ambience of an eaterie needs to take you on a little journey in your head and for one moment, it's nice to think you're someplace else. In my uni days, most of my friends were from more exotic shores and I was captivated by the way they lived life, their sunny, carefree Mediterranean personalities brought a ray of sunshine to my otherwise dismal life in drizzly Liverpool. Their beautiful sunny attitudes rubbed off on me and from that moment on, I decided to make every day a holiday- I listened to foreign chart music, immersed myself in languages and even found a Greek nightclub in the centre of Liverpool! (A hidden gem, sadly long defunct, but that's another blog post!)But most of all, foreign food made a big impact on my life. I sought out cheap lunch deals on my student budget and found where the local Continental delis were so I could recreate some holiday food at home. Fast forward 10 years later to 2011 and I am still sticking to these principles to make life that little bit sunnier.
Last Sunday, I had that horrid sinking feeling. You know the one I mean, the dread of Monday morning; but this was also combined with post-holiday depression. Always on a foodie mission, I dragged myself out of bed and headed for the foodie riot that is Manchester city centre. I was bound to find something here to put that smile on my face again and headed in hope to my beloved Armenian Taverna. Alas, it was closed until 5, a bit too late for lunch methinks. Then, like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I spotted Katsouris Deli. Ooh, a Greek name, I thought. They're bound to have something involving halloumi and olives for me.
Katsouris is cosy yet airy, a combination of deli and cafe. A good cross section of clientele- students, families, tourists and people on their own who just want to read the papers, this obviously translated as 'something for everyone'. And it certainly was. The prices were amazing, considering that over the road are the chainy rip-off merchants of Deansgate (Don't make me swear...)and best of all, the menu was eclectic with a firm Greek foundation of olives, feta and vine leaves. I ordered the veggie meze platter (pictured) which came in at an impressive £4.95- as you can see, it included huge chunks of lovely halloumi, dolmades, couscous, tzatziki and more. This was served with a generous basket of fresh bread. I washed this down with a vat of potent coffee which really hit the spot.
The deli offers a help-yourself meze bar too at varying prices, featuring faves like dolmades, dips, colourful salads and for the carnivores, a piping hot carvery of mixed meats awaits you. The sandwich selection is overwhelming and for those of you who aren't bothered about Greek food, there is a fab selection of German/Polish sausage and the ubiquitous British flavours. Canny Katsouris also tempts you further by displaying the products they serve on their deli counter to take away, so as you're draining your coffee cup, your eyes are drawn to the shelf display, almost as if they are screaming 'take me home'!
The only minus points are a lack of toilets and the early closing hours- I'd love to pop in for a coffee after work but they shut at 16:30! Be truly continental, Mr Katsouris, please, and extend your opening hours, European style!
All in all, a winning combination to spice up your lunch, and a further excuse not to go to chain cafes! Efcharisto Katsouri!