Queues. I strongly dislike queues. I am impatient and want to get where I want to go as quickly as possible.
However, the only time I don’t mind queues, is when queueing up for food. Why? Because it means it’s well-worth the wait. And Kepos St Kitchen in Redfern, was more than worth the five minute wait. For the feed I received, I would have waited half an hour. And for those who know me, that’s really saying something.
With simple decor in a rather cramped space, plate-glass windows, plain white walls and bare wooden tables, you’d be fooled into thinking it was ‘just another cafe trying to make its own in Redfern.’ But you’d be wrong. Very wrong. One look at the food and you’ll know this is no Plain Jane cafe.
The atmosphere is buzzing with excited customers marveling at their scrumptious looking food being presented in front of them. Your nose and senses are awakened as you smell the exotic Middle-Eastern spices wafting in from the kitchen.
The lunch-time menu is filled with Middle-Eastern classics such as falafel, hummus (pronounced hoom-us and nothum-us. Trust me, I know these things), tabouleh salads, tahini, dukkah, shakshuka and so many more novel dishes that will rouse your palate and soothe your roaring stomach.
I opted for the falafel, hummus, tabouleh, mint and schiacciata bread sandwich ($16) and I am forever grateful for that decision. The schiacciata bread was almost sweet, with an appealing toasty crunch. The fresh mint and crunchy tabouleh salad mixed with the exceptional hummus and big crisp falafel balls was just a phenomenal taste explosion in my mouth.
Ever since returning from Tel Aviv in Israel last year I have been hard pressed to find falafel and hummus as perfect as it is over in the mother-land. I can finally say, this is as damn close as you’re ever going to get to the Israeli-perfected falafel and hummus combo (unless you go to Israel, which you should, because it is an incredibly cultural and spiritual country).
As I looked around and saw other customers feasting on deliciously fat, golden and crunchy-looking chips I was immediately envious and angry I hadn’t ordered any. However, I was immediately happy again when my order came with chips. Channelling my inner Charlie Sheen as I say that’s definitely Winning!
My friend chose the tabouleh salad with parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, shallots, eggplant, crushed wheat and pomegranate pearls ($14) but added chicken ($4). Such a light, crunchy salad with a gorgeous mint tinge throughout. The inclusion of eggplant and pomegranate was an interesting one but a wholly tasty one at that.
As we left I was extremely tempted to buy one of their drool-inducing looking pastries but my stomach had the final word, I was too full for dessert. The serving sizes are well worth the price. I did manage to fit in a takeaway latte which was hands down one of the best coffees I’ve ever had.
Walking out the door, I stuck my head into the kitchen, spotted the Israeli chef and owner and shouted “mamash tov!” (very good) to which he graciously smiled, a little stunned to hear this pale-skinned, red-haired girl speaking Hebrew to him, and replied “bevakasha” (you’re welcome).
So if you’re not scrambling out the door on your way to Kepos St Kitchen now, you really need to think about your food choices and question why you’re not trying new things all day everyday. This is one place you have to try.
p: 02 9319 3919
a: 96 Kepos St, Redfern, Sydney