In a delightful and delicious expression of “putting your money where your mouth is’, Ella Woodward, known for her hugely popular blog Deliciously Ella, opened a deli in Marylebone in December 2015 serving her recipes to happy Londoners.
Opened by Ella & Matthew (her fiance), the name Mae Deli is an acronym of Ella & Matthew. Interesting to me that Mãe is the portuguese word for mother and the connection between nourishing food and the maternal power of care makes perfect sense to me. There is nothing so innately caring as the serving of healthy, nourishing yet comforting food.
Diners can pick four salad dishes in a ‘cold mae bowl’ (£9.25 takeaway, £11.10 eat in), chose one of two hot dishes with brown rice in a ‘hot mae bowl’ ($8.25) or thankfully as it’s difficult to chose, have a mixed bowl of four hot and cold dishes for $10.75. The menu changes often but is updated on the site.
We share a plate of charred kale & broccoli, Roasted red veg with paprika & black beans, Turmeric roasted cauliflower & lentils, Roasted red veg w paprika & black beans and Grilled courgette, aubergine & fennel with salsa verde salads and also sampled the sundried tomato falafel and basil & avocado houmous. The charred kale & broccoli won my vote by a mile. Garlic hit me like a sledgehammer (in a good way) before the subtle smoky broccoli melted in my mouth.
Be sure to save plenty of room for dessert, there is a great selection, from cake of the month (the month of May is a raw spin on the humble Victoria sponge) to brownies, bliss balls and more. The pecan brownie was moist and rich with a nutty crunch of sesame & chia seeds.
Lots of cute little finishing touches make the deli look stylish and nicely finished and signed copies of Ella’s new book are available for purchase if the menu so inspires. We ate in on a warm summery day and it was as hot as an oven. After satisfying my excitement to enjoy the venue, I’ll be taking my mae bowl takeaway to neighbouring Hyde Park if my second visit falls on a hot summers day.
Vegans be warned they also offer sides of Fish or Chicken in order to appeal to a wider audience, enticing them to the delights of plant based eating.
The Mae Deli is located at 21 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5BH
Open Monday – Friday: 8am-9pm, Saturday: 9am-9pm and Sunday: 9am-6pm.