Delish Kitchen have undergone a revamp both visually and on the menu. Ellen Manning went along to visit owner Tom, and see for herself the new chapter of his long-term plans.
Photographs by Jamie Gray
You may have noticed that one of Rugby’s popular cafes has had a bit of a revamp. While we were all eating, drinking and making merry over the festive period, Delish Deli & Kitchen’s owner Tom Adkins was busy giving the Bank Street venue a makeover to start 2017 with a new look and a new menu to go with it.
Hologram headed down for a sneak peek at what you can expect this year.
Inside Delish has been brightened up, with armchairs in the front windows where you can wile away a few hours, herbs growing in pots hanging on the walls, and one wall dedicated to local artists’ work – including Tom’s own creations.
“It was time to revitalise it,” said Tom. “We’ve made it a lot lighter with a slight hipster, vintage vibe.
“I wanted it to be relaxing, so people can come in and forget about whatever’s going on outside, either with friends or family or have some alone time if that’s what they need.”
It’s not just the look that’s changed. The menu has had an overhaul – burgers and cooked meals no longer make an appearance during the day, with the focus shifting firmly to the healthier options, including vegan and gluten-free dishes, all made using seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.
Tom explained: “A lot of people were complaining about the ‘delish smell’, which there’s nothing we can do about because of the lack of ventilation, but people don’t want to go back to work smelling of food so we’re taking the burgers and the cooked stuff off the weekday menu.”
There will still be plenty of choice on offer, including a few dishes Hologram checked out, like: bulgur wheat and quinoa with pomegranates, mint, parsley, pepper, onion; giant couscous with onion and olive and red pesto and mushroom and thyme frittata, as well as sausage rolls and a whole load of cakes whipped up by Tom’s own on-call Mary Berry – his mum.
Delish will also be offering a delivery service on Wednesday lunchtimes from 11am-2pm to places within walking distance of the cafe.
And for the hot food lovers among you – don’t worry, Delish is still offering an array of cooked breakfasts available all day at the weekends.
On top of this Tom, who started working in restaurants when he was just 16, is planning burger nights on the first Thursday of every month, starting in February, as well as Bistro Nights including a Burns Night celebration at the end of this month and a Vegan night in February.
“I feel there should be more events and at these events you should experience food – not just eat it. So everyone will sit down at the same time, and I want to pick themes.
“Something like vegan cuisine is out of my comfort zone and I want to push myself.”
From wine tasting to coffee tasting nights, as well as some slightly more wacky ideas like a ‘Hannibal night’, it’s clear than Tom – who is Rugby born and bred – has got big plans.
He’s already making his own pickles and is planning on producing his own Delish barbecue sauce. And on top of that, one day he hopes there will be a Delish cookbook.
“I decided at 25 that I wanted to have my own cafe,” he said. “And at 26 I took this place on. By the time I’m 30 I plan to have at least two businesses, whether that’s another shop or a van.”
And while he makes no secret of his ambition, one of the things he’s most looking forward to is getting to know his customers a bit better this year and becoming the real face of Delish Deli & Kitchen.
“I have run this place for about two years now and it finally feels like my place,” he said.
“The way we’ve changed the menu means I can cook everything in the morning then through the day I can be out the front, interacting with people.
“That way I can cook everything how I want it cooked but still meet people and get to know our customers.
“It’s going to be a great year.”
For Delish Kitchen’s website click here.
Ellen Manning (ellenmanning.co.uk) is a freelance writer with many years of experience in press and PR. She is a well-known food blogger in the Midlands and her reviews of nearby restaurants and eateries can be found here www.eatwithellen.com.