Kitchen by Mike

posted on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The cavernous, canteen-style Kitchen by Mike in Sydney

Cabbage and apple slaw with buttermilk

The roast chicken and aioli that almost made me cry

All the desserts come with house-made vanilla bean cream = trouble!

No reservations, no table service and no snobbery, Kitchen by Mike, a cavernous canteen in the Sydney suburb of Rosebery, is without question the best place I have eaten all year. It's a pretty winning proposition because for the chilled canteen vibe and canteen prices you get Mike McEnearney who has directed kitchens as diverse as Damien Hirst's 'nutraceutical' Notting Hill restaurant Pharmacy and Neil Perry's Rockpool overseeing your daily menu.

It's the often overlooked, small details of dining that really won me over here: the just-made sourdough with Pepe Saya butter, organic tea with fennel, sage and peppermint, and aioli that made a lifetime aioli-hater ('me') change their ways. While the menu changes daily, I had roast chicken cooked with a hint of dill, with roast carrots, that heavenly aioli and a salad of cabbage, apple slaw and buttermilk dressing, though I was tempted by a metre long magarita sourdough pizza fresh out of the wood oven. Desserts ranged from a Lemon Tea Cake, a Caramel Nut Pie and Date Brownies accompanied with vanilla-bean infused cream.

Mike says he created his Kitchen by Mike venture because he wanted to see cooking and dining get real. And from a year of my own eating which has stretched from Ireland to Paris to Istanbul to Hanoi, Kitchen by Mike is definitely the real deal. Get here!

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