Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli will charm you. Her name is grand and even though she squeezes into a petite beachside cafe, be prepared to be dazzled.
Set up by the fabulous team behind Maranui Cafe, Queen Sally’s rose to provide Lyall Bay with a tasty bite and a caffeine dose after Maranui was ravaged by fire. Although the plan behind her was to comfort the locals during Maranui’s absence, Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli decided she would become a permanent member of the Lyall Bay cafe community, and we are grateful she has.
Set just of the beachfront along Queens Drive you will first spot a pony waiting for a coin and ride, and fairy lights twinkling through the windows. If the southerly isn’t blowing full gale there will most likely be pooches tied out the front while their owners nip in for a coffee before a beach stroll. Tables and stools invite you to sit and read the paper or to enjoy a chat with a friend or two.
Like a traditional delicatessen Queen Sally’s walls are lined with homemade jams, chutneys and preserves to take home. Her counters hold old-fashioned lollies, fortune cookies and ice-cream scoops ready for those summer days. Floral bunting dangles from the ceiling and there are always new surprises added to the shelves. There are plenty of dairy-free, gluten-free options as well as fresh pastries and cakes. Well known for flavoursome salads, a bowl of Soba noodle, shitake mushroom, roasted tofu and fresh coriander salad is ultimate ($9.50). You have to catch the cakes before afternoon tea because they vanish fast. My lemon cream sponge with homemade jam ($5.50) went down perfectly with my Havana mocha topped off with a chocolate heart ($4.50).
All beachside communities could do with a deli like this, bursting with fresh wholesome foods, sweet treats, great coffee and a bit of pizzazz.