After closing the doors on his Rosebery location, Kitchen By Mike, in August 2015, Mike McEnearney has returned with No 1 Bent St. It’s a restaurant with the same KBM ethos – and table service.

“It was really important to us that we have the core values and beliefs that Kitchen by Mike worked with,” says McEnearney. “When we were at Kitchen by Mike, there were many things we weren’t able to cook.”

He’s referring to the fish pie, which “looked beautiful” out of the oven, but, “after two spoons were in it” during canteen service, “looked horrible”.

“No 1 Bent St will serve food like Kitchen by Mike with one or two steps more, just to make the dishes more composed,” he says. “You’ll recognise some of the Kitchen by Mike classics.”

McEnearney says the menu approach will be, “cooking seasonally, with a less-is-more approach, very egalitarian and not too expensive”. As well as fish pie, McEnearney will serve chicken vinaigrette, and whole fish cooked on a terracotta roof tile, done in a wood-fired spit-roast oven. The team will bake bread daily, and it’ll be served with Pepe Saya butter.

“Here, you’ll sit down, so you’ll actually need to read from a list of things we’re cooking that day,” says McEnearney.

Matt Darwon’s fit-out is minimal, allowing the aesthetics of the 100-year-old building to speak for itself. Two six-metre-long tables, made from wood from an old bridge in Canberra, are the centrepieces of the space. And the kitchen is open: “We don’t believe in having ‘floor’ and ‘kitchen’; we believe in bringing everyone together.”

No. 1 Bent St by Mike
1 Bent Street, Sydney
(02) 9252 5550

Mon to Fri 11.30pm–3pm, 5.30pm–10pm
Sat 5.30pm–10pm