A Must-Visit Mediterranean Deli Has Hit Broadway Market With Daily Baked Pita • OREN Delicatessen
Walk along Broadway Market, turn down Ada Street, and a branded canopy welcomes you into an unassuming space that belies the incredible food and ingredients that await. You’ve found your way to OREN Delicatessen, the latest entry on to London’s deli scene – and definitely one of the most delicious.
OREN Delicatessen comes to East London courtesy of Oded Oren, the chef and mind behind the nearby MICHELIN Guide restaurant OREN and its lauded menu of Mediterranean inspired sharing plates from a charcoal grill. Demand for the restaurant’s deli products has resulted in a stand-alone brick-and-mortar store for just that. And if I had to pick just one thing that perked up my ears as soon as I caught wind of the opening, it was this: freshly baked pita. Yes. Please. Obviously, I had to go and try it out myself.
My visit to Oren Delicatessen
Living down the street from London Fields has its perks, not least of which is my proximity to the new OREN Deli. So on my lunch break on a Wednesday, less than a week after they’d opened their doors, I scampered down to try out some of their wares.
A quick glance around reveals an room with a wider breadth of produce than the space suggests. Jars of pickles and preserved lemons while away their time, waiting to be ready for sale, on shelves above the fridges, and dotted between the wine racks. A bakery racking trolley takes pride of place in the front of the store, with baked goods including challah bread, challah rolls, and pita. Open fridges proffer up tubs of hummus, house cured sardines/pollock, labneh, chopped liver, tirshi, egg salad, and much more.
A table in the centre of the room holds a smattering of fresh produce, while bottles of wine present themselves alluringly at the side of the room, alongside house za’atar, olive oils, tahini, and more. You can also grab signed copies of the OREN cookbook, and an OREN tote – which I’m fully expecting someone to gift me for my birthday. Please.
With so much to choose from, I went simple, figuring it would be akin to judging a pizzeria by their margherita. I grabbed a bag of five freshly baked pitas (of course), a large tub of hummus (naturally), and a tub of potato salad. It was only when I paid that my short-sighted self spied the modest lunch menu of filled pita behind the till. I returned the very next day (no, seriously) to purchase a beef and lamb kofte pita with tomato sauce and hummus. I had to. And I’m so glad I did.
In the mere days since I visited OREN Delicatessen, I have recommended it to everyone I can. I’ve never described a hummus as complex, but OREN’s is. It’s lightly sweet and nutty, with spikes of lemon and an intense tahini flavour that balances its bitterness on the line of confidence and overdoing it.
And the pita – that pita. Forget descriptors like pillowy or fluffy or lighter than air – these pitas are simply outrageous. They tear apart like cake, fluffy like actual clouds, but with enough sturdiness to their exterior to not be overly toothsome, and hold together when filled. And fill them you will want to – after demolishing one of them by scooping up half a jar of hummus that is.
The beef and lamb kofte pita with tomato sauce and heapings of hummus was a hearty and satisfying sub-£10 lunch. Coming in at just £8 for a full meal of a packed pita, the kofte was wonderfully lamb-y, but softened by the beef mix, and packed with herbs. I’ll frankly be rather disappointed if the kofte doesn’t become a stand-alone option to purchase and cook at home.
The potato salad too needs to be mentioned for being intensely bright, zesty, pickle-y, sharp, and wonderfully toothsome. It pops and crunches as you eat, without any of the cloying nature or stodginess of many a potato salad.
You must try OREN Delicatessen for yourself
If it feels like all I want to do is sing the praises of Oren Delicatessen, it’s because they have very much earned the acclaim. Not through their past, or the acclaim of their restaurant, but through the absolute delightfulness that is their produce. They know what they’re doing, they know they’re doing it exceptionally well, and they deserve high praise for that.
The word is clearly already out about OREN Delicatessen, and I’ll no doubt soon need to fight for the last bag of pita. Leaving, I spotted three people on a corner clustered around a phone looking lost. As I passed by, one of them clocked the writing on the paper bag holding my precious goods and hauled their friends down the street whence I came. OREN Delicatessen looks set for a very successful opening, and a long life on Broadway Market.