Milk Bar by Cafe Ish
Fun, games and a five dollar cheeseburger
With Sydney restaurants closing left, right and centre, it’s nice to know there are some good news stories emerging from the gloom. Cafe Ish owners Josh and Ai Nicholls might have been forced out of Surry Hills by rising rent prices, but they’ve found a new home, and a new direction, in so-hot-right-now Redfern.
As the name suggests, this is the Cafe Ish take on an old-school milk bar, the scene set with a classic arcade games machine, jukebox and jars of lollies at the counter. The menu is “burgers and things”, and at its heart is a basic cheeseburger for an unheard of $5. It’s perfect on its own (or with a side of fries), but you’ve got the option to turn it into a double or triple, and add classic, Japanese or Italian toppings. Of course it wouldn’t be a real milk bar experience without a shake, and here you can take your pick from flavours like Super Choc (with both Lindt chocolate syrup and Milo) and Bounty. Fans of the old joint will pleased to see the return of the soft shell crab omelette, as well as Ai’s Freaking Awesome Chicken Wings –an update on the Cafe Ish chicken thigh dish.
Fun and games aside, there’s some serious (and perhaps unexpected) consideration to the food. That burger you’re scoffing? Both the bun and the butter are made on site, and the patty is made from free-range, pasture-fed meat, supplied by Urban Food Market. And that sweet-as milkshake? It’s a base of Jersey milk, flavoured with house-made syrups. The coffee’s not to be underestimated either. Ai’s handiwork at Cafe Ish made her a One Cup award winner, and with the installation of a new La Marzocco machine, and beans from Coffee Alchemy, she’s hoping to up the ante.
But regardless of whether you come for your morning coffee, the sustainable take on fast food, or just to beat your top score on Pac-Man, one thing’s for sure: the cheeseburger here is set to become a cheap eats classic.
Where: 105 Regent St, Redfern
When: Mon, Wed-Fri 6.30am-5pm | Sat-Sun 8am-5pm