Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the Kitchen by Mike

You'll be able to find Kitchen by Mike on a quiet (on the weekends anyway) industrial street in Rosebery by keeping an eye out for ironically-vintage-clothed hipsters heading through a large, gated driveway. While the south-east has been slowly stepping up in gourmet terms, Wayfarers are still a little foreign to the area.

The front 'porch' of Kitchen by Mike, Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Kitchen by Mike is the casual eatery adjoining the new Koskela furniture showroom, which has some stunning Australian-made pieces by Russel Koskela (like the sausage dog inspired sofa) dotted throughout a spacious warehouse.

Prices are at the upper end of my spectrum, so I stuck to the food which happens to be on the pricey side as well.

Kitchen by Mike indoor dining area
Run by an ex Rockpool head chef, Kitchen by Mike doesn't have a menu - rather, the day's breakfast and lunch selections are determined by what the kitchen sources at the markets each morning.

Some of this produce is made available for sale, in addition to meats by Feather and Bone, cultured butter by the one and only Pepe Saya, and house-branded chutneys, jams and sauces.

Freshly squeezed watermelon and ginger juice
A rare sunny day at a brunch hour brought us to the outdoor seats, clutching a number of enamel plates with the help of a staff member as the dishes are all served canteen-style at the counter. Self-serve cutlery is available in the terracotta flower pots on each table, while the inside tables utilise recycled food cans as cutlery holders.

There were no smoothies available when we were there, so I settled for a freshly squeezed, blushing pink watermelon juice with the slightest hint of ginger.

Roast pumpkin, feta cheese, basil, pine nuts tartine
We seemed to have arrived at that awkward time between breakfast and lunch, which meant there was not yet any meat dishes displayed on the colouful counter aside from the bacon butties.

Nonetheless, it was a good chance to give our inner vegetarians what they wanted, including a picturesque tartine featuring some of the crunchiest bread ever (not recommended for false teeth). The pumpkin and salty cheese were perfect toppers, smooshed onto the bread, while the overall combination was very pleasant.

Spinach and cheese quiche
The just-warm quiche was light and airy inside, and not overly cheesy with a tart flavour to the spinach. Most impressive was the golden flaking pastry which left a mess all over the table, and a memorable imprint on my mind.

Onion foccacia with fig and caramelised onion salad
This definitely wasn't your typical Italian style foccacia, but more a cross between flat bread and Turkish bread; meaning it was airy and chewy, rather than soft and fluffy. And some darn good foccacia it was.

With sliced onion baked into the dough and a healthy helping of oil and salt flakes on top, the warmed up bread was sensational in terms of texture and flavour, with just a hint of sweetness from the onion. It completely outshone the small side serve of fig salad, which had well cooked vegetables tossed through.

Peach, celery and radicchio salad
The radicchio salad featured a couple of segments of the best peach I've had this season and relatively unexciting celery and radicchio pieces.

Cabbage, apple, hazelnut slaw
The portion of cabbage salad was noticeably larger than the other scoops of salad, and quite the refreshing dish too. Crunchy slivers of raw cabbage, slices of Granny Smith apple and the impossible to pick up hazelnuts and currant grapes were all lightly dressed, making for a particularly healthy slaw.

The light meal was followed by a stroll through the Koskela showroom - as I think most diners did - where I resisted the urge to buy a giant, smooth, wooden wombat. Both the showroom and Kitchen by Mike will draw in a new crowd to Rosebery, and introduce a new style to the industrial streets of the south-east.

Kitchen By Mike on Urbanspoon


john@heneedsfood said...

A giant wooden wombat? Now that would be a feature in anyones home. I like the concept of this place. Pity you arrived on the cusp of breakfast and lunch.

joey@FoodiePop said...

That slaw looks refreshingly tasty ....

MissPiggy said...

I've seen so much about this new cafe that I'm thinking a trip to Roseberry (where is that anyway) might be in order.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

A sausage dog sofa? Be still my heart! I love sausage dogs! :D

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

It's definitely been a popular choice to eat as of late. Definitely need to get myself here, if I knew were Roseberry was..

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

It's definitely been a popular choice to eat as of late. Definitely need to get myself here, if I knew were Roseberry was..

Trish said...

So glad we're surrounded by such fantastic eateries! This is definitely in one of my go-to places!

JasmyneTea said...

The radicchio salad looks uninspiring, but everything else looks pretty nice, and it would be an amazing space to have lunch in!

julie said...

Great review tina! love the way they serve the drinks :D definitely need to visit this gem

Tina said...

Hi John - Yep, I'm a fan of the concept too, and there's a lot more happening in the area too (not so much the furniture side unless you count the new IKEA...)

Hi joey - Mmm, good healthy slaw too.

Hi MissPiggy - Near Mascot, Alexandria. There's not much else around in terms of food.

Hi Lorraine - Sausage dog inspired sofa ;) I love them too - too cute.

Hi Tina - Not far from the city at all; definitely worth a visit :)

Hi Trish - There's more coming. About time, I say!

Hi JasmyneTea - Actually, all the salads were pretty good ignoring prices.

Hi julie - Isn't it adorable? Freshly squeeze every morning too!


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