Rosebery: A suburb one rarely goes to and my only reference of it is from an ad in my childhood of a sleepy sounding man in a giant mattress suit telling me of the amazing mattress prices at Mr Yawn’s Matress Factory, 443 Gardener’s Road, Rosebery. So when I heard everyone was flocking to Rosebery to gorge themselves on amazing, hearty fare, I had a giggle and wondered if Mr Yawn would be there for lunch too? But there is nothing to yawn about here. A beautiful example of urban-industrial-chic, Kitchen by Mike takes residence in a converted warehouse and is easy to love from the moment you step in.
Mike McEnearney, former head chef of Rockpool in Sydney, has people queuing up, literally, at his latest venture. Much like a high school cafeteria, patrons line up and begin the painstaking task of choosing which dishes to have, but the pain here is not because there’s nothing you like, the pain is you want everything, but sadly know your limits… your feeble-bellied human limits. There are mounds of fresh salads, breads, pizza, tarts and bowls full of food that makes your eyes bulge. The menu changes daily and can be found on their facebook page, so after a quick check this morning, it was like meeting old friends as I stood in line, watching all of the dishes come out.
Mum and I both choose the pulled pork, chilli and cucumber roll… I chose it first, she just copied… It is delicious. A roaring combination of flavours, the chilli and the cucumber bring a heat and a freshness that dance trippingly across your palate and balance the crackly, porky goodness.
The Moroccan spiced sardines were also a winner. I know those oily little buggers aren’t for everyone, but they are certainly for me.
The homemade lemonades were so cute with their vintage glass bottles and 1950s drug store straws. Its this attention to detail that completes Kitchen by Mike. The aesthetics are shabby-chic, old tomato cans for cutlery and enameled tin plates that you almost want to start banging with your fork at about 11.55am as the queue builds and we wait for the food… the food!
Of course no trip out is complete without sweets. We grab a couple of coffees, yes, the coffee is great here too, and I grab a walnut cake and Mum gets the chocolate sponge. They are both as all cakes should be: moist, delicious and moist.
By the time we left at 12.45pm, the place was utterly packed. The crowd consisted mainly of the hip, self-made foodie types and even included two prominent tv food personalities who obviously were getting on the bandwagon as it is just that good. It really is.