Eating at Kitchen by Mike is a little like attending a friend’s dinner party — if that friend happened to live in a huge, abandoned canning factory and was one of Sydney’s finest chefs. Coupling remarkable fresh food and delicious Five Senses coffee with outstanding design and decor, KbM achieves a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere in spite of its exceptional … everything.
The Mike in question is Michael McEnearney, a former head chef at both Rockpool and Scott’s in London. McEnearney is no stranger to the realms of opulent dining, though he applies this wealth of expertise to a much less formal concept with his latest endeavour. At Kitchen by Mike the focus is on fresh, seasonal produce, sourced daily from local markets and numerous sustainable suppliers, meaning the only thing predictable about the menu is its deliciousness. Though the dishes on offer fall under the category of “home style”, it’s difficult to imagine a household anywhere serving up this standard of culinary delights.
Everything is served kind of canteen-style at Kitchen by Mike. There’s a long cement bench laden with woven baskets and terracotta pots, each bursting with vibrant, aromatic foods in a visual display that might easily pass for an art instillation. You make your way along the bench pointing at dishes like wood-roast chicken with parsnip and aioli or crisp pork belly and avocado with black bean and ginger, while a beautiful/handsome chef piles your requests onto an enamel plate. Then grab a fresh juice or place a coffee order, opting for Mike’s preposterously balanced and sweet house blend or a rotating single origin, before skipping off to the gorgeous warehouse floor.
Converted from the long abandoned remnants of the Rosella canning factory, Kitchen by Mike shares its enormous Rosebery warehouse with a designer furniture and Australian craft dealer (Koskela), whose owners — Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela — are responsible for most of the design and decor here, accenting the awe-inspiring space perfectly. Aside from an oversized pair of wicker lamps suspended from the lofty ceilings, KbM takes a fairly understated yet intricate approach to its design, with the expansive warehouse floor comprising mostly communal tables, each with a service number crafted cleverly into its design.
Beyond its impressive design and exceptional food, the positive energy of this café is in perpetual motion. Somewhere in the fluidity of its menu, charming staff and open space, Kitchen by Mike is a style of café entirely unto itself.
Kitchen by Mike
85 Dunning Ave.
Rosebery, NSW 2018
Mon to Sat 7am-6pm