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Khamsa Cafe

An inner west cafe serving up Middle Eastern-inspired vegan brunch fare, Arabic coffee and kombucha on tap.
By Marissa Ciampi
February 06, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
February 06, 2019

Sydney's inner west has welcomed an exciting new plant-based eatery into its fold. Khamsa Cafe fuses vegan eats with Middle Eastern flavours, courtesy of its Palestinian founder Sarah Shaweesh.

Shaweesh whose catering business has been supplying Sydney cafes with raw vegan cakes since 2015 was born in Sydney but raised in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Jordan, and brings these influences to Khamsa. Located on the Erskineville end of King Street, the corner cafe boasts bi-fold doors and floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing for a seamless indoor-outdoor feel to the space.

Open six days a week from 7am–3pm, the cafe offers both breakfast and lunch items, all infused with many Middle Eastern spices. All-day brekkie includes the Jerusalem bowl ($17), a combination of cauliflower and quinoa with fattoush salad, baba ghanoush and hummus; mushroom crepes ($18) with house-made 'cheese' sauce, pesto and sumac tomato salad; and a massive Bedouin breakfast roll ($14), which combines fried cauliflower, rocket and tomato, all topped with tahini, mint and coriander.

An assortment of sourdough toasts sees zaatar (Middle Eastern herb mix) and pomegranate added to the classic smashed avo ($15), and another piles high tomatoes, cashew cheese and olive tapenade ($15). From 11.30am, lunch plates offer more traditional Middle Eastern fare, like the Imam Fainted ($17) — eggplant boats filled with couscous and chickpea salad, then topped with tahini and chilli oil and the Bamiya Boo ($16), which is stewed tomato and spiced okra over vermicelli topped with roasted nuts.

For drinks, the highlight is the fragrant Arabic coffee with cardamom ($5), a rare find in Sydney's inner west. There's also Tonicka Kombucha on tap ($6) in vanilla cola and blueberry lime flavours — and brightly coloured beetroot and turmeric 'elixir' lattes ($6 each), made with coconut or soy milk. It's creative vegan fare that fits right in to its surrounds.

Images: Sam Ali, Commune Waterloo.

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