Going to a hot cafe can have it’s detractions. Do you head in, hoping you are hip enough even if you have forgotten your distance glasses and have to squint to see the end of the cue?. Or do you consult Urbanspoon ….or any other on line review forum, and encounter a lot of negative comments before you ever reach a table, making you a little more critical than you should be?.
Kepos Street Kitchen opened some months ago taking over from the much loved Strangers with Candy, on the corner of Kepos and Philip Sts, Redfern. This cafe was a trail blazer in many ways. It’s most astounding achievement was opening in this location, the far end of Redfern once the cafe equivalent of Siberia. Times have changed and Kepos has swung it’s doors open amongst apartments shops and services, this area is thriving. So too it appears is Kepos Kitchen. The owner chefs Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley are both previously from Bathers Pavilion in Balmoral.
I work in this area and each time I have driven past Kepos Street Kitchen. I’ve seen a horde of hungry looking peeps waiting out side. This has fuelled my desire, to see what I have been missing out on. A few lunches ago, we decided to have a lunch meeting here. Lucky for us they let us book at table for 5.
Its a very small cafe with some seating in the front and outside and another small dining area out the back past the kitchen. The back courtyard has been painted brightly and is completely enclosed . It feels a little back roomish but would probably be cosy at night.
The food hails from around the Middle East leaving lots of scope from big generous flavours. Coffee from The Grounds and bread from Brassiere Breads means they can concentrate on pumping out some pretty delicious fresh food. Breakfast and lunch include plates like..
“dad’s favorite breaky – falafel, hummus, labneh, dukkah, hardboiled egg, tomato salad,
schiacciata bread $16” or “woodsmoked salmon salad, olives, kipflers, soft boiled egg, za’atar $18”
Our lunch included the meltingly tender steak sandwich ($19)and a herby crunchy falafel sandwich ($16), and light refreshing Tuna Salad. The sandwiches came with sides of golden crunchy fries that no one seemed to want to share
There is a short but interesting selection of desserts that we didn’t have time to sample, like ….. “churros, salted caramel $14 & “potted chocolate mousse, halva brownie $14”. The front counter also had a selection of quick desserts to take away with coffee or eat in, along with a little produce.
The service was efficient and swift for us, and we were served pretty quickly.
Just a note:
Since we visited we have tried to book for another lunch meeting and were refused. They no longer take bookings. Whilst I understand this is due to people rudely not showing, we were a little disappointed as we had asked a client to join us. This is quite difficult when you are in the middle of a work day and know you will be in and out in an hour. Should they ask for credit card details and then take bookings from people who need to get back to work. What do you think?