Sunday, June 25, 2006

Strangers with Candy, Kepos St, East Redfern


Strangers with Candy, Kepos St, East Redfern
Sunday 25 June, 2006

I decided that I liked this place before I had even been there. Everything I had read about 'Strangers with Candy' included a comment about the great service. Well, this is absolutely true. I called mid week to reserve a table for Sunday lunch. Justin (who I later discovered is one of the owners) called me back with his wonderful, friendly manner to confirm my reservation and also with a few suggestions re: parking, no credit cards accepted so bring cash etc. I was floored, this is taking service to the next level - they really do care about their customers.

We arrived for lunch after finding plenty on parking on Kepos St and were greeted by Bret (Maitre d'). Even though most tables were full and they had left a table set aside for us - they were more than happy for us to choose another table and settle in for the afternoon. It's that kind of place - you feel like you are at a friend's house. The deep red vinyl lounge seats with the fluffy pink cushions are a sight but it's this mismatched arrangement with shelves stocked with tomato relish and marmalade that feel homely.

The menu is fabulous making any decision very difficult - we pondered the menu for ages & heard the specials a few times before agreeing to share the duck liver & brandy pate with red onion jam & cabiatta toast. Wow! What a great way to start a meal. The combination of the red onion jam and pate was sensational. The sweet flavour of the jam with the savoury pate was delightful and without asking they delivered another bowl of cabiatta toast so we could finish off every last mouthful of the pate & jam.

We ended up chatting to our fellow diners at the next table to discuss the food. They had ordered the spagettini and salmon for mains and highly recommended both. Strangers with Candy is that kind of place - strangers become friends for a brief moment as you share the joys of good food in an intimate setting.

I ordered the chicken and leek pie with side salad for main and my lunch buddy ordered the spagettini with chilli, pine nuts, blue swimmer crab and black mussels. Without asking the staff bought out a bowl for the mussel shells and refilled our water - the service was discrete but attentive and Bret makes it look so easy. The pie was real comfort food - the light pastry on top rose high covering the chicken and leek that spilled out onto the plate once pierced mixing into the side salad. It's a messy dish and one where you want to pick up the plate and lick off the remainder of the sauce but restrain yourself because you remember you are in public -- oops!

The small restaurant space filled quickly, so book to avoid disappointment. There is also some seating out the back in an enclosed space - but I love the front part - it's warm & homely. We ordered more coffees and chatted away before deciding that the dessert menu was too good to pass. We ordered the warm vanilla poached pears with toffee ice cream and lemon pancakes and vanilla creme brulee with rhubbard. Again, wow!

I'm a fan & I'll definitely be going back soon.

Strangers with Candy - 96 Kepos St, East Redfern - (02) 9698 6000

http://www.strangerswithcandy.com.au/

2 Comments:

Anonymous vera said...

hi there
i have brought
masters of cuisine
and on page 152 there is a chochlate cake but i canot find receipe can you help
thank you i would love to have it

8:36 am  
Blogger Steph said...

Vera,
There are a couple of things you can do here:
1. check the index
2. email the 'Masters of Cuisine' editors for the recipe
3. return 'Masters of Cuisine' to your point of purchase and get a refund
Good luck!
Steph

3:03 pm  

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