Restaurant review: Morty’s Delicatessen in Central – New York classics, and a full bar

Enthusiastic staff serve up some delicious surprises, and of course there is pastrami on rye

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 June, 2016, 6:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 June, 2016, 5:28pm

Cuisine: delicatessen

Price: about HK$140 without drinks or the service charge.

Ambience: it’s a small, attractive, sleek space with marble tables and a long counter with bar seats.

Pros: the servers were friendly and eager to please.

Cons: the rye bread doesn’t have much rye flavour. Smoked chicken with avocado on ciabatta (HK$98 for regular, HK$128 for large) was as dull as it sounds, and the meat was dry. The reuben (HK$118 for regular, HK$148 for large) was a double decker, which begged the question – why? Three layers of bread works for some sandwiches, but not this one – it ruins the meat-to-bread ratio. I ended up taking out the middle slice of bread. It also wasn’t nearly gloopy enough – a good reuben should be finger-licking, with enough cheese (which should be melted; this wasn’t), sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing that it drips out.

Recommended dishes: the classic pastrami (HK$108 for regular, HK$138 for large) was good in its simplicity – hand-sliced meat (be sure to order it fatty), mustard and rye bread. A surprising hit was the bagel and house lox (HK$98). The bagel (which we requested toasted, although it wasn’t) was spread with a thick layer of chive and dill cream cheese before being topped with mild, moist cold-smoked salmon. Delicious. We also liked the kitchen sink poutine (HK$108), which was as sloppy as the reuben should have been. It looked like a mess – fries, melted cheese curds, gravy and chopped house-smoked meats, but we couldn’t stop eating it. The fries that came with the sandwiches (you can choose salad instead) were crisp, hot and piled high.

What else? Unusually, for a deli, there’s a full bar. The beer selection is pretty good, but for soft drinks, they should also stock Dr Brown’s.

Morty’s Delicatessen, Shop 12-14, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central. Tel: 3665 0900

Open: Monday to Saturday 8am to 11pm. Closed Sundays