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Review: Breakfast at White’s Deli

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

White's Deli, Headingley

It’s become one of the most popular haunts in Headingley but can the breakfast offering at White’s Deli live up to their billing?

Now, I’ve frequented White’s Deli on numerous occasions in the past, whether for a coffee, a light bite at lunch and a little haven to hide away in to do some work – they have good wifi and plenty of plugs.

Breakfast, however, is a different proposition, and on a sunny Thursday morning, I was particularly ravenous when I arrived at just after 9 o’clock. Luckily, grabbing a table was easy, even though there were plenty in use, and we settled into a spot in the back corner of the cafe.

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The first thing I noticed is that things had been moved around since my last visit. They’ve sacked off the comfy sofas at the front, moving forward the high tables that were formerly at the back. It felt a bit more uniform in its layout, and while it may have made it possible to fit more people in, I have to admit, I missed those cosy seats.

It wasn’t long however before my attentions turned to food and a waitress came over quickly to provide us with some menus. It’s hard to know where to look when handed a White’s menu – they serve appetising food morning, noon and night, as well as drinks of an evening, so there’s a lot to take in.

I dragged myself away from their cheeseboard and set about perusing the breakfast menu. While there are plenty of options – they do eggs in three different ways, as well as offering granola, porridge, toast, and a hot breakfast – myself and my breakfast partner were in the mood for something, how should I put it? Avocado-y.

White's Deli, Headingley

She plumped for the smashed avocado with tomato and balsamic on sourdough, while I went for the the brilliantly titled Belta, which saw bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato and avocado whacked together in between some bread.

We also needed to quench our thirst. I went safe with an English breakfast tea and a fresh orange juice, while my friend went for just a smoothie – a Pash and Shoot one, which sees passion fruit mixed with pineapple and mango, and it was ruddy good, providing a fresh and fruity start to the day.

I should note here that the service was consistantly excellent. There was no shortage of customers to be dealt with, but we didn’t have to waited long for anything. Our drinks were over in just a few minutes, and before I could turn my laptop on to make it a working breakfast, our food was coming from behind the counter.

White's Deli, Headingley

I have to say that I was slightly surprised by the Belta. It was a gigantic proposition with the lettuce providing a base for a mountain of bacon, egg, tomato and avocado between two huge chunks of bread. In fact, I tried and failed miserably to eat it like a sandwich, leaving me, quite literally, with egg on my face.

The thing is, when you order a sandwich breakfast, you want to eat it like a sandwich – and that wasn’t possible here. With all its ingredients stacked between two of the biggest pieces of bread I’ve ever come across, there was no way I could eat it without a knife and fork, and that seemed to defy the point.

Regardless of the way I had to eat it, the main ingredients of the Belta were, in fact, belting. The bacon was lovely and crispy, but not too greasy, while the egg, which had split by this point, was cooked to perfection and runny enough to add some moisture. The lettuce and tomato provided a welcome base for it all, while the avocado was smooth and subtle, helping to make the dish what it was – a fine breakfast.

White's Deli, Headingley

On the other side of the table, the smashed avocado arrived and it was impressive indeed. Presented on a fashionable black tile, the avocado and tomato topped sourdough was split from a salad garnish by a little bucket of balsamic vinegar – top marks for presentation.

Better still, it did just as well in the taste department. The avocado, again, was at the heart of everything that was good about it, subtle on its own, but with a dabble of that balsamic vinegar it came to life, binding together the large slices of tomato and crunchy sourdough bread. The garnish was neither here nor there, but when is it anything else?

White’s Deli, perhaps isn’t the breakfast to go to when you’re saving pennies, mind you. Two dishes with three drinks came to a total of £18.30 – but they certainly proved that they can put together a cracking plate of food, and offer the kind of friendly, punctual service that makes a meal out run smoothly. I just hope next time, I won’t be the one with egg on my face.

White’s Deli, 9 Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AA.