Continental Deli, brings the essence of an iconic neighbourhood bar

A new eatery has opened in Sydney, located in Australia Street, Newtown, not far from Black Star Pastry and Oscillate Wildly. This place is packed with charm and character, it’s bound to maintain the essence of an iconic neighbourhood bar. Continental Deli Bar is a place where you can pop in any time of the day, sit by the bar and slowly ponder over the menu. It was opened by Porteño and Bodega’s Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore.

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A Mar-Tinny

Sitting by the bar feels like a tapas bar in Spain and the choice of conserved seafood reminds me of the iconic bar El Xampanyet in El Born district, Barcelona, where they generously serve Cava in coupe champagne glasses. At Continental Deli they do it their own way, instead of chamapgne, Mar-Tinnies are poured in coupe champagne glasses out of a can, served with jumbo size green olives on the side. They also have a good variety of wines from Italy, France and lots of Australian vinatges.

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Mikey Nicolian displays a tray of canned sardines

We start by asking about the sardines, out comes a tray of canned sardines to choose from. The cans are colourful with playful pretty images, almost like paintings on shiny little canvases. Spain and France have a long tradition of preserving seafood in cans, especially shellfish. In fact the canned version can be more exquisite than freshly cooked seafood. Continetal Deli has a good amount of canned seafood for you to enjoy at the bar or take back home.

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French canned sardines with chilli

We go for a tin of French sardines with chilli, perfect with our choice of beverage, two Estrellas please! Estrella is Spanish for star and it’s pronounced Es-Tray-Uh in spanish. It is one of Spain’s most sought after largers, and from one of my favourite cities and regions, A Coruña in Galicia. The deli also offers cured meats, impressive sandwiches, cheeses and canned vegies. They use delicious crusty ciabatta roles from Brickfields that have a super soft interior.

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The assorted plate of seafood

We listen to our tastebuds and quickly order the assorted plate of seafood, it comes with navajas (razor clams), pulpo (octopus), mejillones en escabeche (mussels in a marinade), verdel ahumado (smoked mackerel fillets), chipirones rellenos (stuffed squid) and a couple of gildas (a skewer of olive, chilli and an achovy fillet). The  famous gilda was the first pintxo (pincho) created by a bar in San Sebastian, Spain. Like many foods in Spain it has a purpose, its acidic bite purposely balances the seafood flavours and entices you to drink more wine, in our case the Estrella was just fine.

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The house prosciutto crudo

We soon get tempted for more and order the house prosciutto crudo, it comes thinly sliced with reddish pink tonalities and just the right amount of fat around the edges, the essential part of prosciutto. It’s aromatic and like the Italians would say, more on the dolce (sweet) side.

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Shelves full of preserved goodies at the deli

They are opening a bistro upstairs soon and all the food served at the bistro will be available from 6pm at the deli. This place is sure heading towards becoming an iconic neighbourhood bar in Newtown, I just now wish there was one closer to me.

Continental Deli Bar and Bistro
210 Australia Street, Newtown, Sydney

Hrs: Daily 10am–10pm

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