When you visit Roomie Cafe, take a seat at Big Foot, a huge, sanded communal table named for its cylindrical wood legs that are almost as wide around as a baby elephant’s.
The small space on the ground floor of an apartment building was built by Eva Kryazheva and her husband, co-owner Alexander Kashin, who is a furniture designer.
The design is pared back and modern. Oak tripod stools with brass hardware sit around Big Foot; cabinetry is graceful, functional and minimal; a mountainscape painting by 2009 Archibald Prize-winning artist Guy Maestri (whose Marrickville studio neighbours Kashin’s) hangs on the wall.
Originally from Siberia, Kryazheva and Kashin have put some classic recipes from their childhoods next to the usual Australian cafe fare.
Syrniki (hot cakes) made with ricotta and fried, served with berries, are a childhood favourite. There’s also a roast-duck baguette with red cabbage and manchego.
The camembert toastie is made with Brickfields bread; it also supplies its trademark black-sesame cookies, which sit like dark, icing-sugar-dusted snowballs in the pastry display.
Coffee is by Mecca(link). Espresso is available, as well as filter coffee and batch brews. During summer Roomie serves iced brews and cold filters, as well as a fruity, herbal iced tea with fruits and mint.