Belle: Kitchen by Mike is like the cafeteria for the cool kids that serves the most awesome lunch menu. Hidden in the industrial precinct of Rosebery, Kitchen by Mike is the extension to Koskela‘s furniture showroom. Ando, B and I visited Kitchen by Mike a few weeks ago on a weekday to beat the weekend crowds.
From the streets, it is hidden by the high brick walls of the old factory building. We entered through the side through a bright red door on Dunning Street which takes you straight to the kitchen. Or alternatively you can enter through the main rusted gate marked with a large ’85’ which will take you straight to the outdoor dining area.
Once you pass through the brick walls, you enter a whole new experience. Natural lights flood the open plan layout of the furniture showroom and kitchen/dining space and the exposed pitch roof heightens the volume of the space. The seemingly quiet street on the outside is contrasted by the buzz of chatter happening at the long communal tables.
On one end of the wall is the open kitchen, where a dozen busy staff are cooking and serving food to a cafeteria style bench. The range of food on offer is spread out nicely in large piles on plates. Their menu changes daily depending on what they have in stock and what is in season. They also update their menu daily on their Facebook page. A line is formed at the left hand side of the service area and moves quite quickly. And before you know it you are walking off with an enamel plate filled with piles of delicious food.
The first item on the service line is their large sourdough breads on offer, which are baked daily on site. I thought that $3.50 for a slice of bread was rather steep, but they do give a generous thick slice and is accompanied by a large slab of fresh butter. Delicious. Also on offer near the bread counter is soup, but I decided to give that a pass.
Next part of the service line is all the cooked food and salads. They all looked so fresh and tempting. I wanted everything they had on offer. And it is quite easy to get carried away picking all the small side dishes and ending up with a full plate.
Following the salads and mains are all their sweet and savory baked goods.
Towards the end of the counter is where all the drinks are located and the cashier.
The far right hand side of the counter is the barrister counter. We ordered our usual Large Soy Lattes ($3.50 + $0.50 soy + $0.50 large).
As for mains, we decided on two. The first main that we ended up getting was Glazed Ham with Champ (Irish Mash) and Cumberland Sauce ($11). Everything went well together in this dish. You had the balance of the sweet glaze, salty ham, buttery mash and tangy sauce. The other main was the Wood Roast Chicken with Young Carrots and Salsa Verde ($11). The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked and the salsa verde accompanied it nicely.
The Bacon and Gruyere Tart ($10.00) was quite disappointing. And for the price that we were paying, we were expecting a lot more. We were expecting a flaky and buttery pastry which it did not deliver. And there was no strong hint of Gruyere. It was basically just a quiche that has been renamed to sound a little bit more fancy.
The sides that we ordered were a hit and miss. I loved the Sweet Corn, Lime & Chili Salt ($3) and wanted seconds. The flavours were simple and work really well together. The Braised Fennel with Preserved Lemon and Dill Oil ($3) was refreshing and added the acidity to the rest of the plate. As for the Woodfired Pineapple with Cous Cous and Harrissa ($7.50), we found it really hard to finish. I found it overly acidic and the pineapple too overpowering.
And once you finish your meal don’t forget to check out the condiments they have on offer behind the dining area, as well as the little nick knacks and home furnishings they have on display at the Koskela showroom.
Overall I quite like the experience of coming to Kitchen by Mike. There is a nice ambiance and a relaxed environment. As I said previously, it is easy to get carried away with ordering the food and each dish really adds up. I will be definitively come back to try their breakfast menu and in a few months to see what other menus they have on offer.
85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, NSW 2018
(02) 9045 0910
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday 7am – 4pm; Sunday 8am – 4pm. Breakfast is served between 7am – 11.30am; Lunch is served between 12pm – 3pm; Coffee and sweets available all day until 4pm.