SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
July 28, 2016

Introducing The Flying Fig Deli

New York comes to North Adelaide.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Pictures: Jessica Clark

Paul Serafin has been in hospitality a long time, but after moving on from Stax – his multi-outlet lunch stops in the city – he wanted to look at doing something truly different.


Find The Flying Fig Deli at 161 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide. It seems the Wellington Square part of town is going through somewhat of a renaissance, with the café with no name also opening in the area recently.

One international trip later and he had his concept – a New York Jewish deli, but with a sophisticated edge.

“I had a few concepts going through my head,” says Paul. “I went overseas earlier this year and the Jewish Deli is making a comeback, a refined Jewish Deli compared to what it used to be.

“I thought – there’s a gap in the market. I think there aren’t many Jewish delis here in Adelaide… so I thought I’d go for it.”

At the heart of the concept for The Flying Fig Deli, as Paul has christened the café, is a traditional suite of cooking techniques directly inspired by the delis he visited in New York.

The menu features bagels, pastrami, pickles and 12-hour cold smoked salmon, alongside Adelaide standards like good coffee, juices, smoothies and shrubs served with or without vodka or gin.


“It’s along the lines also that people are wanting to get back to,” says Paul. “We’re pickling, we’re smoking, we’re doing all those sort of things as well. You know the market is wanting that as well nowadays where things are getting made in house, so that’s what we do.”

The location Paul chose for his little slice of New York in South Australia is an old stone building sitting on a corner just past Wellington Square in North Adelaide.

Nestled amongst the residential streets of the suburb, Paul says the building reminded him of those he saw overseas, but that he wanted to achieve a more contemporary feel with the interior, which was designed by Designthink.

“You get a lot of those old buildings in New York that are retro buildings, you know they’ve been around for 100-200 years, so they’ve got the same sort of feel,” says Paul.

“Then you’ve got this building that’s been around, and you walk inside and it’s just come up to 2016, it’s like time travel.”

While the idea of a Jewish deli has been strong in The Flying Fig’s development, an equally strong force has been consideration of what the local area needs.

Paul has thought long and hard about making the café useful to local residents and workers, and has developed an aesthetic with Designthink and graphic designer Sean Kane to match that.

“You know you’ve got this café, and it’s the local café and it just has a nice comfortable feel to it,” says Paul.

“I think that more refined mature look definitely came into it, rather than going anything following too much part of a trend,” says Sean of the graphic design. “I wanted something that had a bit of shelf life and looked like it was a solid brand that had maybe been around buy maybe not.. and that was kind of welcoming.”

Having been open for two days now, The Flying Fig is already making locals feel welcome and given Paul’s genuine commitment to feeding people and keeping them happy, it seems likely that will continue for a long time to come.

Share —