The founder of Rollers Bakehouse – where the croissants attract serious queues – has opened a Greek-inspired food emporium on the Manly Corso.

Norma’s Deli – a “multi-layered food bazaar” according to owner James Sideris – is part sourdough bakery, part grocer, part diner and part coffee bar. “It’s designed to feed you while you’re sitting at a table and also at home – every night of the week,” he tells Broadsheet.

It’s open all day from brekkie to dinner and dedicated to simple Greek cooking. Start your day with toast lathered in house-made taramasalata (a traditional Greek dip based on fish roe) and piled with soft-boiled eggs, olives, lemon zest and bottarga (salted, cured fish roe). Return at lunch or dinner for a comforting moussaka, pork souvlaki or braised lamb shoulder.

Whatever your pick, count on “lots of lemon, oregano, good-quality proteins and large quantities”, Sideris says. “Mediterranean culture is all about sharing food, being comfortable and over-fed.”

The drinks menu is equally Mediterranean. For a classic post-beach beverage there’s Fix, a lager found all over Greece. Fancier tipples include the Bianco Oro (a white Negroni) and the Fortaleza Blanco cocktail (described as “a Paloma by the sea”).

For customers planning a Greek feast at home, there’s a cornucopia of takeaway goods. These range from bread baked on the spot to charcuterie and cheeses, salad, tinned fish and a variety of olive oils.

In planning the 550-square-metre space, which sits just below street level, Sideris says he aimed to “make patrons feel welcome, regardless of whether it’s their first visit or seventh day in a row sitting at the bar”. He worked with architect George Livissianis (The Apollo, Bec & Bridge, Cho Cho San) on a design inspired by the heritage cafes and brasseries of Europe and New York. Splashes of electric blue and a feature mosaic create a breezy feel, and the open kitchen and bakery means there’s never a shortage of culinary theatre.

Norma’s Deli takes its name from Sideris’s grandmother. “She’s the matriarch of the family,” he says. “We named it after her for this reason, but it also symbolises the head of the house and a love of bringing family together over good food.”

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Updated: December 15th, 2023

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