15 May Five Points Deli, Carlton
Taking over from the former site of Mutti’s and following on from their success at their Richmond taqueria Chingon, and Collingwood smokehouse and bar Le Bon Ton, brothers Will and Mick Balleau have created yet another restaurant. By day it’s 5 Points Deli, but come night time Longhorn Saloon offers drinks, bar snacks, mains and meat from the grill. The space has quite a character, with its wood panelling, pendant lights and pressed copper-lined walls. I really did feel like I’d been transported to another place.
The 5 Points Deli menu is unsurprisingly filled with sandwich-type options, pies, salads and daily soups. Containing meats that had been smoked at Le Bon Ton before being cooked on-site, Pastrami and Reuben sandwiches, smoked salmon bagels and Le Bon Ton burgers were flying off the counter.
I’d heard that their Reuben is a monster of a sandwich so I recruited A2 to come share the spoils. There was eager expectation as we watched the sandwich being assembled at the central sandwich bar, then toasted (literally) right in front of us in the sandwich press.
There was a sizeable handful of brisket in there, resting on a layer of naturally fermented sauerkraut and topped with an oozing layer of Swiss. To my delight, the toasted dark rye did not become soggy or greasy from its fillings and the Russian dressing was just enough to complement, but not drown out the other ingredients. The inclusion of a bit more sauerkraut would have balanced the amount of brisket better, but I loved how the corned brisket was not terribly salty, and there wasn’t so much of it that I felt like I was simply eating beef with a tiny bit of bread.
On the side were some house-made potato chips and a pickle. The crispy chips were lightly coated with a slightly sweet BBQ seasoning and a definite taste of potato rather than potato-flavoured oil.
I loved the atmosphere of the Balleau brother’s newest venture and it’s piqued my interest in their other venues. Hopefully there’ll be a time to pay a visit there soon!
Five Points Deli
118 Elgin St
Carlton, VIC, 3053
(03) 9348 4794