The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

February 10th, 2012  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  13 Comments

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

For me, Rosebery has always been a suburb defined by speed bumps and 40 kph limits. It’s where I learned to drive as a teenager and it was full of L-plated kids being overly sensitive with the accelerator pedal. Driving instructors loved Rosebery’s enforced slowness; even wildcard adolescents couldn’t help but keep their teacher’s car – and blood pressure – safe.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

Now this suburb has a far more thrilling attraction: today, Koskela opened its spectacular new design showroom and its charming inhouse cafe, Kitchen By Mike.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

The Mike in question is Michael McEnearney, formerly a head chef at Rockpool; more recently he’s spent Sundays running his Mike’s Table pop-up dinners. His new operation is a bit of a Rockpool reunion (his head chef is Jeffrey De Rome, who used to work there; and manager George also spent years at Neil Perry’s flagship restaurant). But it’s actually London’s Ottolenghi, with its hyperfocus on fresh, seasonal flavours and its hand-crafted approach, that has been a big influence on Kitchen By Mike.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

Accordingly, at Michael’s new eatery, there are salads so vibrant-looking and recently made that they’re full of pixel-bursting, high-resolution colour; there’s the snap and crunch of the Green Beans, Snow Peas, Hazelnuts and Orange ($3.50 per scoop) or the gorgeous Woodfired Vegetables ($3.50 per scoop), so thoroughly cooked through with lemon and marjoram that the taste of the roasted squash, capsicum and onion ends up ultra-sweet and concentrated (unless you love the full-squirm, tart-as-hell flavour of baked lemon though, watch out for those citrus wedges – otherwise experiencing this salad can be a game of Lemon-Eating Roulette). There’s also a summery Tomato, Watermelon and Mint dish ($5 per scoop), as well as Green Figs with Blue Cheese, Cured Ham and Honey ($7 per scoop) and Pulled Pork with Mango and Coconut Chutney. Simplicity is the no-brainer appeal of the Margarita Pizza ($8.50 per slice), with its classic tomato-basil topping and well-puffed crust.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

One of my favourite things at Kitchen By Mike is the Crunchie Banana Smoothie ($4.50), a liquid jackpot of full-cream milk, yogurt, honey, banana and roasted muesli – it’s so good that it’s worth the inevitable Smoothie Moustache you get from gulping it so quickly.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

This rustic eatery also serves fresh-baked sweets – Walnut Cookies with Apple Jam ($1), Rosewater & Pistachio Meringues ($2), Gluten-Free Jaffa Cakes – and sells Iggy’s bread, four-spice salt and a selection of jams, fruit and meat. The space itself is quite cool – tables are typographically branded with large numbers, oversized wicker lights dominate the room and the open kitchen is good for people/chef-watching. The rustic, farmhouse atmosphere is apt considering that Kitchen By Mike aims to eventually have a vegie plot and beehive outside.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

Kitchen By Mike reminds me a little of Bread & Circus, which recently opened in neighbouring Alexandria. Both places reclaim the idea of healthy eating from the Diet ‘n’ Detox Fun Police and reinstate a little wonder into plates of food that might actually be good for you. If these cafes prove to be trend-starters, I’ll be very happy. The upsides of eating well without trading off on flavour or enjoyment levels – Kitchen By Mike taps into this beautifully.

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

Kitchen By Mike, 85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery NSW (02) 9045 0910

Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery

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  1. Simon Leong says:

    looks like food heaven although how does that price per scoop work? do you scoop yourself or do they scoop it for you. hopefully with each scoop you get a bit of everything in the dish.

  2. leetranlam says:

    Hi Simon, they scoop it for you (otherwise I imagine it could get a little unhygenic?) and you can ask for as many/few scoops as you like. It’s probably about 3 scoops to a plate and it’s a nice way to try a few things.

  3. How fantastic do the figs look! I agree – I hope this fun approach to healthy eating is just the start of many more to come!

  4. wow I love the idea of price per scoop.
    Cant wait to try this place

  5. OK, I had to look up where Rosebery is. Actually really close (but sounds so far away).

    This place looks awesome. And I agree with Helen — those figs look incredible.

    Price per scoop sounds a bit inaccurate, but I guess you have to trust them.

  6. kewpie says:

    hello! i was so excited i went that weekend! i loved the whole space….i can spend hours just sitting there watching things go by….

  7. You know more people should do a price per scoop concept.

    Hopefully then they won’t bloody overcharge you for a wilted lettuce delight that barely resembles a salad.

    Sydney and Melbourne are notorious for it.

  8. Squeak says:

    We are moving to Rosebery towards the end of the year, so are really glad that the area is starting to take off. Can’t wait to visit Kitchen By Mike.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Went there yesterday after reading about it in SMH Good Living.
    The food was tasty and fresh. However, for the price that was charged the portions were very small. I had the wood fired chicken with za’atar & lemon (one very small piece of chicken for $12.00) and the nectarine, serrano ham & radicchio salad ($7.00 for 4 small slices of nectarine and 5 little pieces of radicchio and rocket).

  10. OMG!!! It looks so amazing, drooling at midnight :9

  11. Great place to dine 🙂 And pay per scoop that’s quite unique ~ I haven’t seen that many people charge that way ~ The cookies at $1.00? NICE!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I want to be Frank with Mike. It’s expensive. The value for money us way off. Readjust your pricing before word well and truly gets out.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Tried breakfast today…great flavours but tiny portions…$7 for a tiny roll(even if it is Iggys..yum) with 1 piece of bacon does not feel like good value. Will be back to try lunch ..

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

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This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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