Kitchen by Mike is one of those eateries which has been on my hitlist for awhile but somehow I hadn’t found the time to try it until now. It didn’t help that its location is a bit off the beaten track in the mostly industrial suburb of Rosebery, but it was worth the trek to try out this trendy cafe hidden inside a converted warehouse run by Mike McEnearney who was a former executive chef at Rockpool. We dropped in for a late lunch at 3pm on a Sunday arvo and were hopeful that there would be some food left…but we were left disappointed to find that the kitchen had closed and that only the food left on display was still available to order.
Luckily, the food that was leftover after the lunch rush at Kitchen by Mike was still fairly decent – we got their Crispy Pork Belly and Tomato Jam, Rocket and Smoked Mozzarella Tartine to share between two. The Pork Belly had looked absolutely scrumptious on display and thankfully it tasted just as glorious as I had thought it would. It contained a beautiful crunchy layer of skin with melt in your mouth layers of chewy pork underneath it. The only downside to it being on display was that the meat was only lukewarm at best and it would’ve tasted even better fresh out of the oven!
Crispy Pork Belly, $15 and Tomato Jam, Rocket and Smoked Mozzarella Tartine, $9.50
The Tartine was also quite crunchy due to the dry bread base, but the generous smear of flavoursome tomato jam helped combat the dryness and the smoked mozzarella balls added a kick of salty, creamy flavour too which was complemented by the fresh rocket scattered on top. Although it tasted fine, this was the weaker of the two dishes we tried and I found it was a bit overpriced for what it was. In terms of drinks, I washed the food down with a refreshing summery juice which combined the tropical flavour of fresh Pineapple juice with a dash of lime and the unconventional ingredient of vanilla for some added sweetness. Loved the old school red and white striped paper straw they gave with it too.
Pineapple, Lime and Vanilla juice, $4.50
I really liked the decor of the cafe, it played up the whole warehouse set up and had funky tables which looked like huge wooden spools that may have been used for big rolls of fabric or yarn. There was a bit of canteen vibe going on too, with communal seating as well as some standalone tables for smaller groups and a buzz of chatter which was amplified due to the cavernous high ceilings in the warehouse. Next time I’ll be back to try Kitchen by Mike when their kitchen is in full swing either during breakfast or lunch, as I think we missed out on their best by coming by too late in the day.
Kitchen by Mike
1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery NSW 2018
Phone: (02) 9045 0910