It’s sad when business get all liveried-up and ready to go then never seem to open their doors. One such case was Rita’s Deli on Leith Walk, which always looked on the cusp of opening, but I don’t think ever did.
In the premises it once occupied, Amati Deli has arrived. They’ve sensibly done some advertising on social media, particularly Facebook, and my eye was caught my one of their videos of them prepping lasagne and melanzane parmigiana. The latter is one of my all-time favourite dishes so I made a note to visit them soon.
It was a dreich Monday when I crossed the threshold and the slight bite to the breeze made the friendly owner ask if I wanted the door closed to keep things cosy. I wasn’t fussed but she was clearly keen.
Their offering focusses on a range of panini and sandwiches prepared using an impressive looking deli counter that features bresaola, mortadella and other Italian favourites.
There are also daily hot specials. Fortunately I had timed it so that the melanzane parmigiana was one of them, today. I ordered it and took a seat at one of their two or three tables.
The dish was soon with me radiating its usual volcanic heat. It’s rarely a bonnie dish but this looked smart enough.
It proved to be one of the best versions of this treasured dish I’ve been served. From a long-standing family recipe, it kept things pretty simple with layers of delicious tomato sauce, soft aubergine and mozzarella topped with a parmesan crust.
Each element was beautifully delivered making it a hearty and flavour-packed delight. I was very impressed.
So overall, get yourself along to Amati Deli. It may look like a run-of-the-mill sandwich shop but it’s as friendly a place as you’ll find and they are delivering their food with love and attention. It makes me very sad that I’m leaving the neighbourhood and won’t have this melanzane so close at hand anymore.
Blythe scores Amati Deli
4.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: melanzane parmigiana
I drank: water
I wore: raspberry trousers
Total bill: £5
Address: 81 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8LX