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The Milk Bar by Cafe Ish

Home > Sydney > Cafes | Coffee | Food and Wine
by Sarah Han (subscribe)
Lover of carbs, traveling, art & naps. Food & travel blog at sarahversuscarbs.com.
Published July 30th 2012
Milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard
Soy Cappuccino

When I heard through the grapevine (aka Twitter) that Cafe Ish was closing, I was only consoled when I found out that owner Josh Nicholls was opening another cafe in Redfern. With a simpler concept and a menu that showcases burgers and milkshakes, I was excited to pay a visit.

[ADVERT]The Milk Bar by Cafe Ish only opened mid-July, but it quickly gained momentum through Josh's constant and candid Twitter presence. My first visit is on a sleepy Sunday with Captain Adventure for a leisurely brunch.

With countless jars of lollies and retro arcade games like Pac-man lining the walls, The Milk Bar by Cafe Ish is literally fun and games.

Chocolate Milkshake

Given that this is a milk bar, we of course have to try one of the milkshakes. The chocolate milkshake is made with a concoction of chocolate sauces and real chocolate that Josh and Ai make themselves. I love that you get the last bit of the milkshake in a stainless steel milkshake cup because it doesn't fit in the glass. A miso caramel milkshake is also on the menu, which piques my interest. I'll be coming back for that one.

Cheeseburger with Japanese topping

The Japanese burger with wasabi mayo and red cabbage is my favourite item on the menu so far. The cabbage is abundant and crunchy, and the mayo makes the burger deliciously saucy. The basic cheeseburger is just $5, and you can add whether topping you want - whether it's Japanese style, Italian style or classic for a few extra gold coins.

Basket of fries

We also order a basket of fries with tomato sauce and wasabi mayo. I could bathe in that wasabi mayo and I'd be one happy gal. But I regretfully notice that we may have over-ordered. Fifteen minutes into the meal I start to feel like the fabric of my jeans is tightening around my hips.

Baked Eggs

We also order the baked eggs with house toast, which is nice but not as impressive as the burger. The organic chorizo is quite tasty, though its pale colouring might put some people off.

The next weekend, I'm back again. This time I drag along both BR and Captain Adventure (both are Redfern dwellers). I go for the tofu burger this time with Japanese topping ($6 plus $3). A good chunk of deep-fried tofu is wedged between the soft burger bun, flavoured with a sweet miso sauce that complements the wasabi mayo nicely.

Tofu Burger with Japanese topping

BR has the double cheeseburger Italian style, which adds on rocket, aioli, tomato, balsamic, and parmesan. If you're feeling extra-hungry you can forego the double cheeseburger and tackle a triple cheeseburger. The Cafe Ish banana bread comes in a mini size, which Captain Adventure is very pleased about. You can easily finish it off in a few bites, so it's perfect if you're just looking for a quick snack.

Those who have been to the old Cafe Ish will be happy to know that some of their signature dishes like Ai's freaking awesome chicken wings and the crab omelette are still on the menu.

Josh is changing up the menu every week, so follow him on Twitter to stay in the loop. I also found out that there's now a peanut butter and jelly milkshake. I'll definitely be coming back for that one this weekend.
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Why? Milkshakes & burgers
When: Weekdays 6.30am-5pm; closed Tues; weekends 9am-5pm
Where: 1/105 Regent St, Redfern
Your Comment
Great review Sarah, shall have to go to delight my tast buds, sooooo looking forward to the peranut butter and jelly milkshake! Never had one, sounds yummmm L:)
by Lexa T (score: 3|1070) 2510 days ago
The double cheeseburger and miso caramel milkshake is insanely awesome! Josh has done the awesome again! - Ramen Raff
by Ramen Raff (score: 1|27) 2508 days ago
i prefer the plain and simple, traditional cheese burger.
by inero (score: 2|106) 2510 days ago
The attached pictures seems yummy, but oh so rich.
by inero (score: 1|19) 2509 days ago
the burgers are too fancy.
by graha (score: 0|8) 2509 days ago
soy cappuccino? miso caramel? rather far out.
by areks (score: 1|17) 2509 days ago
I was extremely disappointed by Milk Bar by Cafe Ish. I was completely shocked by the service we received from Josh (the chef and owner)
As we could see food on the service counter, we waited eagerly and patiently to be served, we were appalled when Josh cocked/tilted his head back, motioning us to collect our own food.
He clearly wasn't too happy when he had to serve us himself, he dumped our plates onto our table and proceeded to roll his eyes.
I wasn't aware Milk Bar by Cafe Ish was a "self-service" cafe, seeing as though we were greeted by wait staff.
We were absolutely disgusted and shocked by this kind of service. Never coming back here again, so please be warned when you pay a visit.

Despite this terrible service, the food does live up to its' reviews, but in my opinion it is not worth going, so to speak it left a bad taste in my mouth.

His retaliation can be seen on his twitter, which further confirms his bad attitude on: https://twitter.com/tweetss1234/status/235296244321378306

Other patrons have also had the misfortune of meeting Josh and his foul attitude at Cafe ish: http://www.figandcherry.com/reviews/restaurants/review-cafe-ish-surry-hills-sydney/ http://www.notquitenigella.com/2009/01/19/cafe-ish-surry-hills/
by kow_n (score: 0|2) 2497 days ago
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