This is an archive review. Goodmans Deli is now closed
Matt and Cat have often bemoaned the fact that their home town of Ryde has not a single delicatessen to its name.
Eating-out places jostle for attention, but if you want to buy artisan cheeses or gawp at the trotter of a Serrano ham you’re out of luck.
Not so in Ventnor, where the little High Street boasts not one but two charmingly bourgeois delis. Having visited the Island Deli not that long ago, M&C thought it best to redress the balance, and made a foray southwards to see what Goodman’s Deli had to offer.
It was a busy Saturday afternoon in Ventnor, and having expended plenty of ring-browsing energy in Barber’s jewellers, Cat felt the need for nourishment. Nearby Goodman’s had just what was required: a handful of little tables on one side of the shop with just enough room for Matt and Cat to take a seat and consider what was on offer. The deli itself takes up much of the venue, and presents an impressive array of meats and cheeses. Clearly the place offered food, as others were dining but, with no conspicuous menu, it took deli novices M&C a while to work out what was to be had. They did actually find a menu, only to be told that it was the menu for the deli’s sister establishment, Goodman’s Bistro. But it wasn’t really very difficult: toasted panini is the order of the day, and you can choose your own filling from the many possibilities on display or choose from the board giving suggestions.
Matt went for toasted Brie de Meaux with Neapolitan salami and mixed leaves; Cat had to ask the helpful staff for advice, before finally going for Fourme d’Ambert with ham and mixed leaves. It was nice to see all the ingredients laid out on display, and as M & C went to sit down and await their meals they could see the staff selecting the cheese and meats from the deli counter – so clearly it’s all fresh ingredients, even the bread was taken from a big basket on top of the counter.
The sandwiches arrived on cute square plates, and your reviewers set to work. Cat soon pointed out that her mixed leaves were leaves indeed, but not mixed (see picture). Now this is a surprisingly common phenomenon, and not just at Goodman’s either. ‘Mixed leaves’ on any menu seems to be a euphemism for ‘leaves, probably rocket’. That’s not to say that rocket is a bad thing – far from it. Along with butternut squash and sweet potatoes, rocket is these days a staple ingredient that only a few years ago was exotic to the point of unobtainability – well, on the Isle of Wight it was anyway. Nowadays you can buy it by the pound in Somerfield. The point here, though, is not the ‘leaves’ but the ‘mixed’. These leaves were not mixed. They were all the same.
Panini x 2 £7.90
In this case, however, rocket was the perfect thing for both Matt and Cat: flavoured with a dash of balsamic dressing and just starting to wilt in the hot bread, the peppery leaves provided an excellent foil for the gooey cheeses and salty meats. Cat’s Fourme d’Ambert turned out to be a mild but distinctive-tasting blue cheese that she liked very much – so much so, she bought a thick disc of it for later.
Matt knew he was on safe ground with the ‘King of Cheeses’, and his Brie de Meaux did not disappoint. He’d ordered a cup of tea to go with it, and was very slightly disappointed not to get a pot. Still, there was a dear little miniature ceramic saucer to put the teabag on, and a neat jug of milk that might have come from a doll’s tea party, it was so weeny. Cat had a bottle of chilled pink grapefruit juice; very tasty.
Soon enough it was time to set off around Ventnor’s little shops again, and so Matt and Cat left Goodman’s Deli behind, fortified by a very enjoyable light lunch in a cheerful and stylish location. They decided that they liked the deli lunch experience. If only Ryde could learn a lesson from its southerly sibling!
NB Goodmans Deli is now closed
Goodman’s Deli, Ventnor