Applehead Deli is a sandwich spot that takes its inspiration from New York City’s delicatessens. Husband-and-wife team Liz Garginian and Denis Arbatov wanted to open a shop that paid homage to the foods from Arbatov’s Jewish upbringing.
The menu here is succinct and designed to push nostalgia buttons. If you’re after the Big Apple experience, order the classic Reuben. It’s stuffed with corned beef, pastrami, gherkins, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.
There’s plenty for herbivores, too. An eggplant and onion jam roll, and a mushroom and pesto roll, are rightful bestsellers. Childhood favourites such as oozy tuna melts and chicken-and-cheese toasties are some of the other popular choices. In the mornings, go for one of the bagels. There’s a dill schmear, an egg salad, a chicken and – of course – a smoked salmon bagel.
There’s a different sandwich special on the menu every weekend, too. And everything that goes into your sanga is locally-sourced and made in-house. It's also worth trying something off the small sweets menu. The pick of the bunch is the apple cake – an old family recipe passed down from Arbatov’s grandmother.
The fit-out is simple and playful. Bright symphony red is used throughout the space as a nod to the colour palettes of some of New York's most iconic delis (such as Katz). Retro lettering also adds to the nostalgia. The pink-and-red granite benchtop that dominates the room is inspired by smoked salmon and deli meats. If you can't find Applehead, keep an eye out for a red Subaru Sherpa with a "hot sandwiches" decal. That'll tell you you're in the right place.