Food adventures in Redfern Part 1: Regent Street
Oh my, it felt good to meet up with Lorrie again after a LONG hiatus! We kicked off our latest food adventure in Redfern, and while my scribbled all over food map included a wider reach, we were wise from previous trips and decided to section our forays off. This time, we were going to give our undivided attention to Regent Street. While I'll mostly highlight the food we found here, go to www.lorriegrahamblog for Lorrie's beautiful pictorial observations and broader investigations.
Regent Street begins in the heart of Chinatown in Haymarket, wending its way through Chippendale until it hits Redfern.
At the top corner of Redfern and Regent Street is a cluster of various food offerings to start with, and you'll not be short of choices to enjoy:
Ra Ra Ramen : an outpost right here on Regent Street of the famed craft ramen noodle, serving the same cult bowls of chewy-tender noodles in brothy, spicy bowls of deliciousness. There's even a vegan option. Also on offer are a piping hot and crunchy karaage and some hefty gyoza. (66b Regent Street)
Breadfern Organic Bakery: here is a lovely little bakery that's serious about cooking with love and integrity for the community. Using all organic ingredients, find cheeky phallic and vulva shaped pastries, cakes, tarts, pies, veggie slices, beignets, croissants and more. Toby's Estate beans make for a good cup of coffee.
Bowl and Blend: full disclosure; we didn't stop here (there's only so much a person can eat..), but I liked the look of what was advertised in the window. Acai bowls, green ponzu tuna bowls, spicy tamari salmon bowls, coco- tahini tofu bowls, etc. (66d Regent Street)
Huxtaburger: known amongst clubbers as the ultimate hangover cure, these guys claim to 'create happiness through taste' and 'push the burger boundaries'. (66 Regent Street)
Kinh Boy: calling themselves a 'Vietery' I guess a combination of 'Vietnamese' and 'Eatery', Kinhboy serves reasonably priced quick bowls for lunch. Noodles or rice with tons of herbs, splashed with nuoc mam and topped with charcoal chicken, crackling pork or crispy spring rolls. Also pho. What's no to love.
Chef Peter Wu's dinner menu takes it all up a notch with dumplings, grilled skewers and rice paper rolls to start with, and then a small but appealing menu of mains like wagyu shaking beef, prawn and tofu papaya salad, and a crackling pork DIY pancake set. There is also a good selection of vegetarian options. (66e Regent Street)
Flyover Fritterie: moving from a tiny hole in the wall location in the city, Flyover, is literally flying high in an airy, double height corner spot, great for people watching while indulging in delicious hipster Delhi street food and copious cups of authentic chai. Everything made from scratch, and served up in beautifully packaged signature paper products, chef and owner Gunjan is fairly bursting with pride at her new digs, which she warmly describes as a perfect collaboration of designer/architect/lighting designer friends. The upstairs mezzanine with generous picture window would be a great spot for a private party. (88 Regent Street)
Wrapping up in this busy corner, we crossed the street, heading to further foodie destinations, but not before stopping to say hello to Casey and Brian at Chee Soon and Fitzgerald, one of my favourite little treasure box stores in Sydney.
Further along from them, we stopped in at the always bustling and cheery Redfern Fruit Market (193 Regent Street). This is really my favourite sort of greengrocer: from prickly Indian figs, stinky durians and pale pink fresh pistachios, to all the regulars like oranges, apples, pears and papaya, this is my sort of happy place: so much to discover always, but all the usual suspects of veggies and fruit are super fresh and very reasonably priced.
Carting our fruit treasures from here, we walk into Ciccone and Sons next door (195 Regent Street) for a little lick of the famed ice creams, sobretto and gelato. Their by-line is: modern gelato, vintage know-how. From flavours like guava and coffee to salted cashew, there's something here to please any palate.
Exactly opposite the ice cream shop is the DEA Store, yet another wondrous treasure-trove of Japan inspired and created objects, jewellery, art and tableware. Owner Karin has a great eye and the store is stocked to the rafters with beautiful things you'll want to carry home. (146 Regent Street)
Wild Cockatoo Bakery is not technically on Regent Street, being at a little crook in the road where Regent becomes Botany. (30 Botany Road) Come in here for baker Ray's heroic pies, pasties, croissants, tarts and flans. Sourdough loaves walk out quickly.
Before we toddled off home, the bold amongst us suggested we stop in at Atomic Beer Project for a pint; it was Friday after all, and creeping to 5 pm. Surely it was close enough to the swilling hour..
Inside we found that there were plenty of others without our hesitation- a nice buzz from the Friday afternoon clientele gathered at high bar tables, and low tables scattered in the large and airy space. Atomic is a local brewery and tap house. The beers on offer sounded wildly interesting, with fruity notes which I doubt my straight drinking father would have approved of.... but we enjoyed our tasty IPAs as we reviewed our day of exploration. (158 Regent Street)
Regent Street in Redfern is dusty, noisy, and undressed up. There are no street trees and benches on sidewalks to rest your weary legs. In fact, it isn't one of the prettiest streets in Sydney, but something about the rough-edged honesty of the area and the inspired shop owners along here who are so genuinely enthusiastic about their patch make it an irresistible destination.
All images my own except for Kinhboy which are from their social media platform.