Fig Mediterranean Delicatessen
1551 Cedar Hill Cross Road
Just where Cedar Hill Cross Road, Shelbourne and Cedar Hill meet is a mecca for lunch, and every regional delight is represented here. There’s 1550’s, Kuma Noodle, Young Young and Fig Delicatessen. The latter is often missed because it’s a deli. Who would’ve thought this market has a huge kitchen inside and the scents is a delight when you’re hungry.
To miss out on this hidden gem will mean hungry students will miss out in the best of what Mediterranean food has to offer. There’s bins of candied fruits, plenty of nuts, a treasure trove of spices, and scented olives to feast upon visually. It doesn’t feel as crowded as Blair Mart Mediterranean Foods downtown, and with this place very close to where I live, I don’t have to travel far when the mood hits me. Nearly all the countries surrounding the Mediterranean are represented here, and yes they have homemade Turkish delights!
At their deli, there’s almond cookies, authentic wood fired pizzas, donairs, souvlakis and shawarmas that can be ordered. And they are made to order in record time to feed the students from at least two schools who come here after school or during lunch break.
Their manoushi is quite good and this is a share me item. I opted for their spicy meat version and found the dough to have a softer texture than what’s typically used in a pizza. It’s a very light bread and that works well to chow down this meal in one go. The beef is finely minced and mixed with a blend of hot spices for one heck of a kick. Yes, here at Fig, I can say that’s a very spicy pizza! But you have to eat it fast. When the natural heat is lost, this wood fired product loses its crisp.
On a different visit, I picked up the donair, a favourite of mine, and oh the flavours! The veggies are fresh and the sauce is a great pick me up on a typical rainy day here in Victoria. Instead of heavily loading this sandwich up with options, it’s made with the basics: red onions, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. For 50 cents more, their shawarma has a lot more ingredients piled on — lettuce, onions, cilantro, and more meat — and I’d say this has more value for the dollar.
In what I ate, the freshness from the onions is nice. The tzatziki sauce is what gives this sandwich its uniqueness and I savour this more than in what their shawarma offers. Out of all the places that claim authenticity, I’d say this one is more traditional over other places since there is no customization upon ordering, other than choosing what kind of meat you want. Typically, lamb is used and they braise it very nicely. A bit more fat left on the meat would’ve helped give it more of a proper lickety-split delicioso.
Just looking at their take-out menu, there’s plenty of dishes to salivate over. Maybe I should go all out and snag some Morroccan chicken and a falafel the next time.
4 Blokes out of 5