Next to a smash-repairs workshop in the heart of Rockdale, you'll find a canteen-style window home to Kosta’s Takeaway – a “no bullshit” sandwich deli by a crew of Sydney hospitality veterans.
The crew – which includes chefs Lachlan Copeland (ex-Hubert, Russo & Russo), Cameron Harris (ex-Cornersmith), recipe writer and chef Helena Moursellas (Delicious magazine), and cafe veteran Terkalas – have all done time in Sydney’s hospitality trenches together. Copeland and Harris worked together at The Old Fitz in Woolloomooloo, while Moursellas and Terkalas collaborated on refined Greek pop-up diner, Mazi.
The space is, indeed, no bullshit. It’s little more than a hole-in-the-wall, like a school canteen, with an awning, a roller shutter, and a fresh lick of white and blue paint on the facade. A smattering of stools are the only places to sit, and the adjacent smash-repairs workshop belongs to Terkalas’ father.
Kosta’s evolving menu of “classic, not basic” sangas, made with bread by Thoroughbread bakery in Kirrawee, might include the Super Deli panini stacked with LP’s mortadella, ham, sopressa, marinated peppers and eggplant, spinach, graviera (a firm Greek cheese), fennel butter and salsa verde; a salad schiacciata (a crisp focaccia-style slice) loaded with a jumble of fresh veg (including the mandatory beetroot), leaves and salsa verde; and a panko-crumbed chicken schnitty number served on a round olive oil bun with lettuce, cheese and burger sauce. Rotating, meat-heavy specials feature cuts from Whole Beast Butchery in Marrickville.
You can also jack up your two-hander with items from Kosta’s VIP deli: extra cold cuts; house-made relishes, pickles and ferments; or even a deep-fried potato scallop. Various Greek dishes, such as spanakopita and rizogalo (dessert-style rice pudding), are also on the menu.
To drink, there’s coffee by Veneziano, classic shakes, smoothies, and that retro favourite, Nippy’s flavoured-milk boxes. But the real hot-ticket item is karpouzi: fresh watermelon juice in a takeaway cup, served with salty-squeaky hunks of haloumi cheese on top.