The theme to The Godfather is playing as we sit down at the red chequered tablecloth, but the only thing that's about to get murdered here is a sandwich or two. And, boy, what sandwiches they are; they're enough to make Vito Corleone — or Tony Soprano, who frequented Satriale's Pork Store in The Sopranos, after which this Kensington deli is named — proud.
Sink your teeth into a Satriale's Hero ($12) — with four types of meat, provolone and marinated capsicum it's amazing on fresh bread, but even better lightly toasted. They even add the cold salad at the end to keep everything crunchy. Ask for a smear of olive tapenade with it for more flavour punch. You can't go wrong with a New Yorker on rye ($10) either. Zingy American-style mustard and thin, tart pickles combine with freshly sliced pastrami and cheddar cheese. Toasties including the four-cheese or sopressa salami with cheese are all $8 or under.
All the meats here are sliced to order, many imported from Italy. You can come in and buy cold cuts, cheese and pickles (imported from New York) to DIY a sandwich at home — which is all very convenient, but then you'd miss out on the A-grade banter between co-owners Steve and Shehan. They're what makes this place really feel like an authentic New Jersey deli, loudly ribbing each other while proclaiming themselves the true sandwich champion.
The value of this place also can't be overstated. These are seriously excellent, giant sandwiches for around ten bucks.
Shehan's secret menu creation The G-Dog Special ($12) is worth asking for — on toasted rye bread with four types of cheese and spicy salami, it tastes like a pizza. Grab a bottle of Italian chinotto or a Segafredo espresso and maybe a ricotta cannoli (all cakes come fresh from Pasticceria Papa) for afterwards, and you're in for a perfect lunch. But if 'Don't Stop Believing' starts on the stereo, just remember to duck.
Images: Bodhi Liggett.