The first thing you notice about Kepos Street Kitchen (KSK) is the vibe. Maybe it’s the sunlight that pours through the huge front window or the lime green cups from The Grounds that are carried away by a steady stream of locals. All we know is, people here are smiling. Not the clients (they’re positively beaming), but the staff. In a Sydney cafe that’s pumping on a Sunday morning, that’s got to be some kind of record.
We think the positive chi comes from Chef and owner, Michael Rantissi, who can be seen in the open kitchen assembling Israeli-inspired dishes like a machine as he banters with the clientele. Michael, formerly Sous Chef at Bathers’ Pavilion, makes the kind of food you didn’t realise you’d been craving until you see it on the menu. Middle Eastern flavours play a huge role in keeping things interesting at Kepos Street. While the rest of Sydney felt privileged to choose between having their eggs boiled or fried, we departed from cafe food altogether with “dad’s favourite breaky”: a dish which combines hunks of schiacciata bread, falafel, hummus, a hardboiled egg, labneh and a pretty tomato salad with mint, sesame and olive oil dressing.
From the falafel and hummus to the tabouleh and baharat tomato jam, everything here is lovingly made in house by Michael and his team. The rest of the menu is a showcase of inspired Israeli twists. Think za’atar with smoked salmon or a strawberry salad dressed with pomegranate pearls, mint and rosewater yoghurt. On a scale of one to delicious, I found myself texting friends between mouthfuls of falafel to say, “Get down to KSK for breakfast. Seriously. Now.”
Oh, and also, the coffee goes down a treat, but if you’re after a fruity pick-me-up, the kitchen makes lemonade from scratch and mocktails that arrive in cute jam jars with handles.
Cafes in Sydney, take note, this is how breakfast is done. We can’t wait to come back for dinner. What’s not to be happy about?
Read more about Kepos Street Kitchen here