When Kitchen By Mike left the space it once shared with Koskela in Rosebery, there was a quick re-shuffle. Now the canteen space has reopened as Koskela Kitchen.
“We decided the canteen concept had nearly run its course,” says Koskela’s Sasha Titchkosky. “With more food offerings in the area, we felt people were less likely to queue, so we wanted to slow it down a bit.”
The space is still the familiar open warehouse flowing through to the Koskela showroom and Megan Morton’s The School. The seating continues to be at welcoming, shared tables and you can still see the workings of the kitchen – complete with wood-fired oven. But there have been subtle changes. There’s been a shift away from the dark industrial look to a lighter, more earthy style. There’s a gabion wall (stones forming a wall in a metal, cage-like structure) at the pass and terracotta lights over the kitchen. But the most obvious change is the new menu and the inclusion of table service.
“We wanted to create something in keeping with Koskela – where local ingredients are the hero,” says Titchkosky. Chef Michael Box (ex-Nomad and Momofuku Sieobo) is behind the monthly changing menu. Lea Fenton (ex-Sake) is restaurant manager.
Breakfasts currently include duck-egg omelette with smoked eel; kedgeree with grilled spring onion and ginger; and spring quiche. The lunch menu offers live oysters with verbena and ginger; pork served with native muntries; and char-grilled chicken with house-made labne. The make-your-own lunch format lets you choose four components from a list including house-cured salmon, cultured slaw, caramelised figs and house-glazed pork, all served with a fat wedge of sourdough. There’s $10 paninis for quick takeaway and seasonal salads are on display at the counters along with mountains of fresh bread and Brickfields croissants. Coffee is by Five Senses, there’s kombucha, a handful of wines (with interesting back stories) and a couple of beers by Nomad.
The change is enough to make Koskela Kitchen its own, without losing what we’ve come to love about the spot.