There aren’t many food stores in Melbourne that can boast a history of 30+ years. But Laikon Deli, a continental delicatessan, has been going strong on Bridge Road since 1976 at a time when the area was full of Greek immigrants.
It no longer looks as it does 30 years ago and a new lick of paint and fresh tiles a few years ago from the third generation owners have turned it into an eye-catching and stomach-appealing store. The long refrigerated counter and wall to ceiling shelves sell a large range of cold cuts, cheeses, dips, gourmet pantry staples and ready-to-eat meals (not necessarily of Greek origin though the Spanitopika is a family recipe).
At lunch times there’s a long patient line for its sandwiches, pies and salads, all of which are made on premises and about $1 or $2 below you’d normally expect to pay for such items in inner city Melbourne these days. There’s always a bit of a scuffle for the few outdoor tables and the friendly staff do a busy run up and down the corridor serving coffees and food (and in this cold weather apparently their hot chocolates are delectable).
For an easy meal one night I took home a fresh salad of roasted pumpkin and fetta ($7 for a small box) and two pies – a beef and red wine and chicken and mushroom ($4 each). I also couldn’t go past their desserts and slices, settling on two slabs of raspberry almond and pear and almond ($4 each).
A few hours and a rocky bike ride home the food was still in fine form in their eco-friendly cardboard containers. I just popped the pies in the oven to reheat and tipped the salad onto the plates a small side and ten minutes later, beautifully flaky pie pastry paired with a fresh, flavoursome salad for dinner.
And the sweets make the wonder why I bother baking at home – the raspberry slice was especially mouthwatering with a crusty sugar crust akin to a crumble topping a moist concoction of berries and almond frangipane.
I highly recommend Laikon Deli as one-stop-shop if you’re in a dinner party emergency as you can source everything from an antipasto platter down to a hearty main meal, a cheese platter and some sweet treats. If you’re game you can even pass it all of as your own handmade goodness.
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