Middle East meets hipster Sydney East in a homely yet different feed at Kepos & Co. This is a welcome injection of modern Israel into an otherwise student overpopulated, culturally confused Waterloo. With a peak price of $29/dish, deep-value diners should stay away.
I may discard my bulk Twinings chai tea-bags after warming the throat with this $4.50 aromatic Masala Chai blend.
Spicy tea connoisseurs are no match for this Warm Spiced tea. Asian lactose intolerance suggests this a wise second choice.
Onto the food. Stomach cannot keep pace with my eyes – wood-fired breads, in-house hummus, complex salads and of course, the standard-issue B&E offers. I’m hungry.
Chef Michael Rantissi has one intrinsic quality that I will never boast. He resists the temptation to stock produce from the adjacent Aldi store. Implied in every item is quality and detail.
Trout and Freekeh – a healthy, non-bread option where the sea is the hero.
Smoked trout salad, freekeh, asparagus, coriander and hazelnuts – $21
Smokiness is undeniable. Price and first forkful confirms this is no Aldi vacuum pack. Unlike the young ladies stumbling out of a Newtown pub at I pass on my run at 6am, dressing is just right. Freekeh is so chewy and 10x more filling than a leaf base.
Mouth craves a poached egg. Already north of $20, budget is breached and I’m hungry and heart broken. Score is a tug-o-war between uniqueness vs. questionable value. I feel I’m on a diet upon finishing but still remain in good spirits. So confusing.
Missus reads ‘brioche’, then ‘bacon’ and finally, ‘egg’ and the outcome is impressive.
KSK classic bacon brioche roll with chili jam – $15
Skeptics will consider a cafe B&E roll to cost 2x a market stall for the same cure to a bacon craving.
This prejudice is thwarted by not one, but two fried eggs! Deliciously layered then teddy-bear embraced by a super fluffy brioche. Wholemeal is toast, pun intended.
Birthed in an old school mortar and pestle is a house special.
Best hummus I’ve had. Warm, silky and finished with olive oil. Pine nuts are never an unwelcome crunch. This dip is spooned straight into the mouth.
Hats off to a complete brunch where $50 fetches a return journey to Upper Middle East.
– Food (♦♦♦♦♦) – I taste the love and thought in such rustic and delicious food.
– Value (♦♦♦♦) – $20 note can’t even afford a humble salad.
– Other (♦♦♦♦) – winning tea range, highly attractive passionate waitresses.
– Overall (♦♦♦♦♦) – borderline must-try status.
Flavour and range put this on par with Kepos Street Kitchen. Gut feel is every single item is delicious.
Will I be returning?
Top-down shot of the food…