We were quite devastated when popular Japanese-Modern Australian fusion restaurant Café Ish shut up shop a couple of years ago which meant that we could no longer get our fix of their addictive Spicy Soft Shell Crab Omelette, so we were delighted to hear that they had been reincarnated in Redfern as “The Milk Bar by Café Ish”. As the name suggests, this eatery has a much more casual vibe than the previous restaurant did and the menu also reflects this with American diner style dishes, although we were glad to see that the Soft Shell Crab Omelette had made it back onto the menu!
The décor is simple and features hints of conventional American milk bar furnishings like neon lighting and a few arcade game machines thrown into the mix too. There’s a smorgasbord of interesting (and slightly greasy) sounding dishes on the menu, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs today and we ended up over ordering for the 4 of us.
Firstly, we tucked into the Spicy Soft Shell Crab Omelette with a side of fries with wasabi mayo first and the omelette is as good as we remember – all eggy goodness enveloping juicy morsels of soft shell crab with that moreish soy and shallot sauce drizzled on top. The fries were thick cut style and not particularly memorable on their own but the Wasabi Mayo which came with it was a great choice to add lashings of flavour, and luckily the Milk Bar managed to mellow out the overwhelming properties of wasabi with the creamy mayo.
Spicy Soft Shell Crab Omelette, $24 with side of fries $8
We have also ordered Ai’s Freaking Awesome Chicken Wings which are served up with a crispy batter that is slightly reminiscent of karaage but not quite the same. There’s also plenty of bright orange coloured spicy sauce and chopped shallots coating each chicken wing to pack quite a heavy punch of flavour and spiciness which is not for the faint hearted.
Ai’s Freaking Awesome Chicken Wings with Hot Sauce, $13
We wash the fiery burning on our tongues down with the soothing milkiness of a Peanut Butter and Jelly shake which is incredibly thick and contains chunks of peanuts throughout it. It’s so thick that it’s rather difficult to suck up much through the straw so we resort to drinking it straight from the glass but even then we struggle to finish it between the 4 of us because it was so rich and filling!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake, $7
There was also an attempt by us to balance our all the junk food with a Tofu Burger (no separate picture, but seen in the background of the Chicken Wings photo above), but that did not turn out well with the lightly battered tofu patty tasting a bit too “interesting” for our liking (we tasted hints of banana, which was unexpected!) and we headed back towards the guilty pleasure end of the food spectrum with a decadent Chocolate Mousse Tart, although the tart base and mousse filling were both firmer than we had expected it to be.
Chocolate Mousse Tart, $4
Although the Milk Bar can be a bit out of the way for people who are used to frequenting the CBD, Redfern is still conveniently located on the city fringe and if you’re around Central you might as well take a train to the next stop or walk down if you have the time. We’d be happy to trek out to Redfern to get our fix of the Crab Omelette and to try some of their other diner style offerings – perhaps their meat based burgers next time!
The Milk Bar by Cafe Ish
105 Regent Street
Redfern NSW 2016
Phone: (02) 9699 8828