Downing Street Deli

Downing Street Deli

Downing Street Deli

Last week, only a few days open, Downing Street Deli was more like a coffee shop cum tea shop in a parlour masquerading as a deli. Today more like a tea shop in a corner shop.

Guy on deli side, very knowledgeable on what he is serving. Coffee bloody awful.

It has taken them a long time to open, weeks if not months behind schedule.

Very much a labour of love. It is as though one has gone back in time to a vintage shop.

An old coffee machine, a very old meat slicer.

They make their own fresh pastas and sauces, buy in bread and cakes from a bakery.

The cappuccino, I am sorry to say was awful and undrinkable. Served scalding hot.

Young barista, very keen and enthusiastic, but cannot make coffee.

It proves once again, you cannot train a good barista. Training only takes so far. It is a  skill and an art. Only learnt by working alongside skilled baristas.

That is not to put the young guy down, far from it.

He would be well advised to go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or Surrey Hills Coffee in Guildford, then come back as an asset to the family business.

Barista only part of the problem, they need to buy in better quality beans. I sampled some of the beans bagged. No aroma. Try Horsham Coffee  or Surrey Hills Coffee. They can also then as a deli, sell the freshly roasted beans, with roast date. As Krema sell Horsham, to offer an alternative, go for Surrey Hills.

Outside tomatoes and other salads and fruit and vegetables. Not sure if for show or sale.

With the excellent greengrocer now closed, there is a market. Or take over his shop.

With three coffee shops one also a deli, selling coffee, tea, cakes and bread, I cannot see Loaf surviving.

Loaf serves very poor quality tea and coffee, overpriced  bread and they close early.

At the end of the day, if Downing Street Deli has cakes, bread, sauces or fresh pasta left, they ask customers if they would like it for free.

A nice gesture, food does not go to waste, and customers get to sample what they may not otherwise buy.

Loaf by contrast bins its unsold bread at the end of the day. Disgraceful behaviour.

Fresh pasta had gone when I looked in. I am looking forward to trying one day.

I did not see today, but a friendly cat is often to be found in the deli.

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12 Responses to “Downing Street Deli”

  1. Tim Hart Says:

    Hopefully, there will improve their drinks and dishes.

  2. Deira Cruise Says:

    They should have someone who has the expertise especially with coffee. Coz most people do love coffee.

  3. keithpp Says:

    I cannot comment on their dishes as did not try.

    The coffee undrinkable.

    Yes, they do need someone with expertise to make the coffee.

    A young lad full of enthusiasm and keen to learn. But he illustrates that it takes more than training to make a barsita. He needs to work with skilled baristas.

    They also need to buy in better quality beans.

    Most people sadly do not know what constitutes good coffee. If they did, they would not be drinking the disgusting coffee served in Caffe Nero, Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks.

    The deli side excellent, the man behind the counter knowledgeable.

    And contrast with Wairose, where on a Saturday, a girl with her hair hanging over the food.

    I cannot see Loaf surviving, closes early, overpriced bread, poor quality tea and coffee, when now have a deli and two coffee shops serving coffee, tea, bread, cakes and soups.

  4. Dan Eustace Says:

    A family run business which is just a few weeks into their launch. Two cheeky visits to browse a bloody excellent show of cheeses and their cured meats – WOW and one sitting for a lunch on Carnvial Day! This place is a true deli at heart. Menu targets quality produce served in the right way highlighted by their Black Pudding Sasuage rolls, fresh premise made pasta dishes and confit duck Italian flat bread – a particular highlight.

    Feels like they are still experimenting but this place has a real point of difference and I can’t wait to see how it flourishes! Added extra? They loved having the kids in!

    It’s not a coffee house first – we don’t need another in town, but over time I’m sure these guys will perfect it.

  5. keithpp Says:

    It is somewhat more than a few weeks into the launch, more like a few months, but I would agree slowly, slowly improving and no disagreement with the deli side.

    It also good to see indie food shops, not chains, all the more is the pity the greengrocer has closed.

    But the coffee is undrinkable.

    They need to buy in quality coffee beans, and the young lad needs experience.

    That is not to knock the young lad, he is keen to learn, but he needs to go and work with a top class barista to improve. He is never going to improve working on his own.

  6. San Says:

    Such a lovely place with amazing products.
    Food is gorgeous!!!!!

    I love spending time there.

  7. keithpp Says:

    On a trip to Farnham beeing chased into Robert Dyas and shouted at that do not like comments on their undrinkable coffee by the woman who owns the Downing Street Deli does little to enhance their reputation.

    If you serve undrinkable coffee, then deal with the problem, lack of skill, poor quality beans, ancient espresso machine, but do not blame the customer. Serving coffee scalding hot is such a basic mistake that no barista worthy of the name would make. If you cannot get your head around that something is very very wrong, then things will never improve.

    A skilled barista takes a pride in their work, always striving to improve, takes on board valid criticisms and tries to address them. Also engages with the customer.

    The young lad making the coffee needs to work in an indie coffee shop, alongside skilled baristas, then he will learn how to make coffee and what constitutes good coffee. Sadly he is never going to improve if he remains where he is.

    There is excellent coffee available in Downing Street, but not in the Deli.

    Try Krema or Barista Lounge. Both are run by people who know about coffee, both serve excellent coffee.

    Krema also has excellent coffee beans for sale. I am not sure of Barista Lounge.

    The deli side though of Downing Street Deli is excellent, simply not the place for a decent coffee.

  8. keithpp Says:

    I have learnt I am not the only customer to have an unpleasant experience from the woman running the Deli.

    If behave like this and with competition from Gail’s Artisan Bakery that has recently opened in Castle Street, it is difficult to see them surviving.

    The best thing that could happen, would be someone takes over the business and does a better job.

  9. Ruth Says:

    We paid a visit to this shop last night, it was supposed to be closed but the owner was there and he invited us in to have a look at what he makes. He was incredibly friendly. We bought some fantastic fresh mushrooms, girolles and death trumpet, and some fresh pasta that looks amazing. We had the mushrooms this evening in a risotto and they were so good. Sadly we live no where near Farnham but if we did I’d be in there every week, homemade pasta sauces and pesto looked excellent. We thought it was a splendid shop and loved the window display.

  10. keithpp Says:

    Agreed.

    The guy running the deli side at the rear of the shop, knowledgeable, helpful, and excellent food on his counter.

    A wonderful window display.

    Unfortunately, their hours are irregular, let down by the undrinkable coffee.

  11. Clair Says:

    I was just in Loaf on the Ridgeway today and the lady said there that they donate their left over bread to an old people’s home. I’m sure the branch in town will do something similar. Just for info.

  12. keithpp Says:

    If Loaf are no longer throwing their bread away at the end of the day, then that is an improvement.

    I am surprised they are still in business. They close early on a Saturday, serve poor quality tea and coffee. And there is now additional competition from Gail’s Bakery, also selling overpriced bread and serving poor quality coffee.

    I am equally surprised Downing Street Deli is still in business.

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