Smith & Deli
As soon as you walk into Smith & Deli, you'll spy salami, ham, turkey, roast beef and fresh buffalo mozzarella. But it's all 100 per cent vegan. Owner Shannon Martinez (who also runs nearby vegan favourite, Smith & Daughters) is one of the country's foremost vegan chefs, specialising in creating plant-based meals that are note-perfect renditions of their meaty counterparts.
Everything’s made from scratch in the deli’s kitchen using labour-intensive recipes Martinez developed herself. Wheat protein and gluten form the basis of most of the meats, and coconut, soy, cashews, and cultured nut milks are the starting point for the cheeses.
Aside from meats and cheeses, Smith & Deli sells ready-made meals such as beef bourguignon, mapo tofu and scalloped potatoes. There are also jars of sauces, salad dressings, sauerkraut and kimchi; a butcher section with marinated chicken skewers and garlic prawns; and a freezer filled with party pies, family-size lasagnas and chicken schnitzels.
The deli has always been busy – many weekends there are lines out the door and around the corner – so the sales system has changed, too. There used to be only one register, but now any staff member can run purchases through the checkout, and the same person works on your order from start to finish. Just like a traditional deli counter, you take a number and wait to be called, so more customers are served at once.
The grab-and-go offering has stayed the same; the deli’s popular Vegemite-and-cheese scrolls, bagels, pastries, buttery croissants and cinnamon doughnuts all remain. The Ruebenstein, Egg & Sausage McMartinez, and other sandwiches are now also available all day.