Are you dreaming of mother England? Or maybe you just really crave some kedgeree and a full English of a bleary-eyed Sunday morning. Either way, The Little Kitchen in Coogee will provide. The latest addition to Arden Street – just minutes from the beach – comes from husband-and-wife team Neil and Amy Thompson. Both have previously worked at the Four in Hand Hotel and The Paddington Arms Hotel (him) and Aria Restaurant (her).
"I think most head chefs aspire to owning their own place," owner and chef Neil tells us. "I always saw a niche in Coogee. This was the fourth or fifth site we looked at – it’s a little off the beaten track."
The Little Kitchen has a hearty dose of Neil's British background in it, fused with Australian charm. The fit-out, inspired by classic London institutions such as the pie-and-mash shop, features shelving made of 200-year-old pine, whitewashed wooden panelling and handmade timber tables. Australian natives in jam jars add a touch of Coogee to the cafe.
The menu is similarly cross-cultural. "We're next to the beach!" Neil says, "so we have to lighten it up. We can't cook the same stuff we made in London. We've ‘Aussiefied’ it." There is house-made black pudding and smoked fish on the breakfast menu and some local classics such as the best-selling avocado on toast with buttermilk curd. Dinner has just started with a seasonal menu (for autumn expect Jerusalem artichokes and pine mushrooms). "We're using the same suppliers as some of the two-and-three-hatted restaurants," Neil says. "The emphasis is on the quality of the produce."
The Little Kitchen
275 Arden Street, Coogee
Mon to Thurs and Sun 7am–4pm
Fri & Sat 7am-10pm