Situated in a lovely furniture warehouse at Rosebery, my second attempt at visiting this café was a fruitful one (first attempt was the day K arrived in Sydney in July – I picked her up, headed to Kitchen by Mike, put her off with the long queue and made it up by bring her straight to Danks Street Depot).
Kitchen by Mike is located in Koskela furniture warehouse which sells functional, durable and pretty funky Made-in-OZ furniture (at not so funky prices). Although the furniture warehouse has been around for some time, it was only less than a year ago that former Rockpool Head Chef Michael MacEnearney rooted himself here at the front of the warehouse which has now been converted into a sizable and airy café with tall ceilings.
Open kitchen concept,
chalkboard steelboard menu – typical of the warehouse/industrial concept. I appreciate such a concept for:
1) The freedom to gaze at the menu till the cows come home – without having to worry that the waiters are getting impatient to get your order
2) The transparency of knowing how my food is prepared and by whom – food prepared by a cute-looking chef always tastes better?
3) The whole theatrics of hearing, smelling, seeing what is going on in the kitchen – can even pick up a trick or two
EGGS ROYALE ($12) – Very Awesome sourdough, perfectly poached egg and a good hollandaise sauce. Down side is that serving size is extremely small with just 1 egg and zero accompaniment (not even a salad leaf). However, this dish was so nicely executed it left us wanting more. We decided to wait for lunch service to begin….
BUFFET-STYLE LUNCH SPREAD – take our pick on the dishes we like and they will plate it up on an enamel plate (who would have guessed we are back to using enamel again and paying 10 times the price of what it used to cost us?). The spread itself looks highly appealing but upon trying a few of the dishes, it proved rather disappointing. The roast chicken with brocollini ($11) we ordered was rather dry and the sides ($7.50 ea) – although well seasoned and with good flavours, were nothing impressive. Nevertheless, the lunch queue was consistently long throughout the whole time I was there (mainly takeaways by working professionals in that industrial area).
GRAND MARNIER CHOCOLATE CAKE – a very small slice of cake served with a messy heap of whipped cream. Could NOT taste a single trace of grand marnier and texture of the cake was simply not pleasing…my palette tells me they don’t use chocolate couverture …hmm.
Overall, an interesting setting for a café – very kids-friendly with its open spaces. They also have long communal tables for big groups or people who want to meet someone new. Will gladly come back to indulge in their breakfast menu but not so sure about the lunch. Oh yes, parking was a pain.
KITCHEN BY MIKE
Mon to Sat, 7am – 6pm
Sun, 8am – 5pm
Spend: $30 per pax