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Kepos Street Kitchen

All-day Israeli dining, where you can have falafel for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
By Monique Lane
December 03, 2012
By Monique Lane
December 03, 2012

Cafe food is usually an underwhelming experience here in Sydney. It's a shame really, with our excellent and expanding coffee culture that more cafes don't pay as much attention to the food. There are however, a few places starting to change this and Kepos Street Kitchen is one of them.

Let's start with the coffee. Like everything here, there's attention to detail. The coffee is from standout cafe The Grounds in Alexandria and the beans are done justice at Kepos Street.

There's also an organic tea selection from The Rabbit Hole and some refreshing mocktails. Yes, mocktails are cool, in case you haven't heard. Places like Chiswick and Rockpool Bar & Grill are making their own flavoured sodas and Kepos Street Kitchen is mixing some delicious booze-free drinks like a crisp pomegranate virgin mojito ($9) served in a cute handled jam jar. Yes, lovely well executed drinks that don't contain caffeine or alcohol. How considerate.

The cafe's interior is simple and clean. It's mostly white- and honey-coloured wood; we love the creamy tones and big windows. It is right by a main road, but Kepos Street itself is a surprisingly leafy, quiet and charming little spot.

Owner Michael Rantissi's Israeli heritage is dotted through the menu with the likes of Tel Aviv falafel and homemade hummus. He appears quite regularly on the floor saying Shalom to friends old and new while the rest of the staff are similarly welcoming.

There's a good mix of salads, things wrapped in bread and more substantial dishes like gnocchi with braised veal shoulder and Persian eggplant ($26) which is beautifully balanced in flavour. The slowly braised meat and handmade gnocchi are soft and delicate. A traditional tabouleh salad ($12) is lifted by bursts of fresh pomegranate seeds and shreds of mint.

Having previously worked at Pier and Vue de Monde, it's great to see chefs of Rantissi's caliber step into more casual dining, serving thoughtful and simple food with quality ingredients. Kepos Street Kitchen proves that cafe fare deserves consideration and when done well, can be a very rewarding experience.

Oh and did we mention the freshly baked cinnamon, pecan, caramel buns? Yep, we're already big fans of Kepos Street Kitchen, and we hope it's a sign of good things to come in our cafe culture.

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