Kepos Street Kitchen

Restaurants Redfern
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Move over corn fritters, this is baked eggs’ town now

Competition for tables at Redfern’s cafés can be fierce. We’re talking lions-stalking-the-Serengeti fierce. It’s a case of too many hangovers and too few venues. Fortunately at Kepos Street Kitchen they have crowd control covered: pop your name on a list, order a takeaway coffee and bask on the sunny benches outside until you’re called. That’s far more civilised than staring down anyone who dares linger over breakfast.

Occupying the same sunny corner that used to belong to the disconcertingly named Strangers with Candy, Kepos Street Kitchen is all slick lines and smooth paint compared to its predecessor’s chipped, tatty appeal. And it’s absolutely rammed on weekends, especially in the AM. Luckily there’s no line too long to dissuade Sydney’s breakfast zealots – Grounds of Alexandria taught us that.

This is a two-beverage sort of place. Get your game face on with a coffee from the Grounds roasters. Once you’re fully awake you’ll notice the steady stream of bright plum-coloured drinks being delivered to nearly every table in the place. Somewhere between a non-alcoholic cocktail and an iced tea, the lime-heavy, pomegranate virgin Mojito is like a spring clean for your soul.

Kepos knows full well that Sydney is a breakfast town and have ensured their soft-baked eggs and tomato shakshuka appears on both the breakfast and lunch menu. Two eggs with just-set whites and runny centres come girt by a sea of spiced tomato sauce – you’ll need a second slice of toast to mop up the rich, yolky remainder as well as the side of tahini mixed through with fresh coriander.

Is the first meal of the day well behind you? It’s time for a steak sandwich. Here it’s a tower of tender steak, wilted spinach, juicy roast tomato, sweet and sticky onion jam and aioli layered between toasted sourdough. It's a two-napkin job – hell, a finger bowl wouldn’t go astray either.

The fresh, salty and citrusy tabouleh is pretty much a large bowl of health. Finely diced tomato and pomegranate pearls take care of the fruit side of things while cucumber, mint and parsley covers the green – eggplant for the veg and cracked wheat for a little touch of grains. There’s your daily two-and-five right there.

The few outdoor tables may be prized real estate, but hit the temperate confines of the back room if you’re feeling a little tender. Climate-controlled with air conditioning, skylight blinds and cool brick floors, it is like a temple of calm back there. There are always the bustling tables inside and up the front of the café though, where sunlight comes streaming through the windows and you’re only about three feet from all the action of the main counter.

That counter. Even if you’ve made it through your whole meal without even thinking about dessert, temptation will find you as you go to pay. Like the checkout in supermarkets where you add a Kit Kat, three gossip mags and some gum to your otherwise sensible shopping basket, here you’ll suddenly find yourself holding a little box with a slice of buttery caramel cheesecake in it, or perhaps a brownie chock-full of white halva chunks. Resistance is futile.

Redfern have been upping their game on the food and drink front of late, but Kepos Street Kitchen feels like the match point to us.

Venue name: Kepos Street Kitchen
Address: 96 Kepos St
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 7.30am-3pm; Sat, Sun 8am-3pm; Dinner Wed-Sat 6pm-late
Price: $10-$50
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