Tucked in vibrant Redfern, Kepos Street Kitchen is found on the corner of its streets, a restaurant offering a mixed Middle Eastern and Mediterranean twist in cafe classic foods. Michael Rantissi, chef and owner of Kepos Street Kitchen, serves dishes drawn from inspiration of his childhood meals along with his classical training from Tadmor College (Israel), EPI Academy (Paris) and the CIA (Culinary Institute of America – New York), incorporating strong Mediterranean and Middle Eastern elements to the modern Australian cuisine. His partner, Kristy Frawley, skilful in both management and hospitality, handles all business matters at Bathers' Pavilion and also refined her culinary skills at Le Meridien Piccadilly (London) and later at The Regent (Sydney).
Entering the restaurant, we were immediately greeted with kind smiles and shown to a table by the large windows, which was pleasant since the sun's rays lightened the restaurant. Once we were handed the breakfast menu displayed on a clipboard, the waitress poured water into our cups, which was quite a nice gesture. Settling on 'Dad's Favourite Brekky' each, we waited approximately fifteen minutes for our dishes to be served.
One word, well, two words: flavour explosion. Indeed, the food was incredibly tasteful and bursting with flavour. With the fresh 'pop' from the tomato salad, the creamy texture of the hummus and the labneh, the perfect crunchy schiacciata bread and topped off by the crispy falafel, this was one of the most heavenly dishes to dine on. Their falafel, undoubtedly, is one of the best falafels I've ever had. Crispy on the exterior, soft and so exceptionally pleasing in flavour, it most certainly should be tried by everyone.
Initially, I was convinced the dish was not adequate in size to fill my stomach, though it looked ravishingly appetising. I was very wrong as I neared the end of my dish. With three slices of schiacciata bread and falafel, sides of the soft boiled egg and tomato salad, and not forgetting the hummus and labneh, it's exceptional quantity for the price of $17.
While chattering away with my companion, she spotted one of the patrons sitting outside pouring honey into her tea. Suddenly interested in the very chic cups and considering choosing a beverage from the menu to accompany the food, we asked the waitress for some recommendations. She was delighted to suggest her personal favourites, Moroccan mint and masala chai, stating the latter was the most served hot beverage.
We decided to try a new beverage unfamiliar to our tastes and settled on the Egyptian Rose tea. The Egyptian Rose tea has a bright, magenta colour to it, and at first I thought it was unusual for a tea to possess this vibrant colour, but that's expected given its ingredients. The tea without honey or brown sugar is quite sour and has the capacity to 'punch' you awake on a lazy morning. Adding sugar and honey, the tea has an initial sweet hit but ends in a biting and sharp aftertaste. I could only handle one cup and though it's not my cup of tea (not used figuratively), I highly suggest it to those who enjoy acidic and tart flavoured beverages.
Having a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, the restaurant attracts visitors at different times. Taking a stroll to and from Redfern Station in the autumn weather was great for our health and for 'post stomach' exercise. The walk from the nearest station, Redfern or Green Square, results in a twenty minute stroll. First, exit to Lawson Street (exit is besides Platform 12), continue onto Redfern Street, enter Telopea Street and then turn to Kepos Street. If you're driving I'd recommend parking on Kepos Street, it's closest to the restaurant (as the name suggests) and there are a good number of parking spaces. From Wednesdays to Fridays, it opens from 7.30am - 9.30pm, Saturdays from 8.30am - 9.30pm, Sundays opens at 8am and closes at 3pm, is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays opens from 7.30am to 3pm.
I couldn't have asked more for the quality of service in this restaurant. Our waiters were extremely attentive, refilled our water jug when it was almost low, and were quick in dealing with requests. They asked for our choice of dish after considerable time reading the menus without our calling. Along with their politeness and patiently waiting when we requested some more time selecting our dishes, the service was impeccable.
Overall, this was an extremely satisfying and delicious meal from Kepos Street Kitchen. We will certainly return for more dishes or will choose to continue gorging on those falafels. I highly recommend this restaurant; the dishes and beverages were priced reasonably considering the value and flavour of all the food in the dish.