Cubao Street Food, by those who brought us Chippendale’s Something for Jess, props up the front entranceway of a large industrial hardware store where the Little Indi pop-up previously resided. While this warehouse-lined street might not otherwise lure in those seeking out thoughtful and interesting cafe fare, Cubao Street Food is a new treasure, hidden away from the queues and waiting lists of other chief Alexandria venues.
Something for Jess owner and chef Philip Ocampo has carried across his strict focus on organic, sustainable and seasonal produce from Chippendale to Cubao – a culinary emphasis he “simply doesn’t want to compromise.” The menu is small but brilliantly global – the seven items journey through the streets of the Middle East, Mexico, North Africa, Vietnam and Thailand. Try a house-made hummus with black olives, za’atar, truffle oil and bread to dip, or a Mexican-style hot dog with house-made guacamole, corn and pepper salsa, quesso, jalapeños and smoked black beans. The Thai som tum salad is perfectly fresh with shredded green papaya, rice noodles, roasted peanuts, carrot and cucumber.
To drink there’s a selection of teas, seasonal juices made from fruit and veg sourced from Ocampo’s mother-in-law’s veggie patch and a delicious house-made Malawi ginger beer. As with Something for Jess, coffee is sourced from Perth-based Five Senses, with a rotation of serious single origin roasts to try. All produce at Cubao is sourced from small-scale providers and sustainable farmers. Ocampo serves everything up in biodegradable and recyclable containers – and you can either take your goods away, or linger a while on Cubao’s sunny front deck.