Your mother probably told you to stay away from odd men bearing lollies. Good advice. The owners of the now deceased Redfern cafe Strangers With Candy had some bad advice somewhere when choosing a name. But it did last a few successful years trading under a moniker that would have made Michael Jackson think twice about eating the desserts.
Now for some good advice. The new cafe that has arrived in its place has a rustic Mediterranean menu, a very sensible name and approachable sweets. The owners of Kepos Street Kitchen have painted over the previously claustrophobic maroon red interior and lightened the mood with a modish white look, keeping the sunlit backroom and outlay. Amazing what you can do with a fresh coat of paint.
Israeli chef Michael Rantissi has left his post as sous chef at the Bathers’ Pavilion and is ploughing a furrow through rural Italian by way of the Middle East. Open for brekkie, lunch and dinner, Rantissi said he wants to replicate a homely feel with the kind of food he would make in his own kitchen. There’s an appetising mound of tabouleh salad, falafel, or slow braised lamb shank off the bone (with a side order of rustic pilaf rice) to choose from the varied lunch menu.
Even making their own jam (with a spicy kick), which is available by the counter, Kepos Street is a home away from home.
Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos Street, Redfern
(02) 9319 3919
Tue–Sun 7:30am-3pm lunch
Wed – Sat 6pm – 10pm dinner