Sunday, July 15, 2012

Milk Bar by Cafe Ish, Redfern

Hearing a favourite food joint close down is a heart- breaking moment in a food lover's life. A few weeks ago, I was saddened by the news that my favourite cafe/izakaya place, Cafe Ish, was closing its doors. But not long after that announcement, Josh (the owner & head chef of Cafe Ish) discreetly told me that they are actually opening a new food joint in Redfern. My frown instantly turned into a joyous smile! He mentioned that it will be a cafe and milk bar serving old school burgers and more.

A few weeks later, Josh and Ai (barista and co-owner) opened a new food paradise - Milk Bar by Cafe Ish! It is located on Regent Street, Redfern. They have fused the concept of a milk bar and a café into one. It has an open type setting with contemporary wooden tables and benches. It is very casual with a touch of some classic milk bar perks like a video game table, jukebox, and a lolly bar.

Now, lets get down to the food! They serve non-complex but super delicious comfort dishes like - $5 cheeseburgers, chicken wings, baked eggs, bacon & egg rolls, spiced vanilla porridge, and their signature crab omelette (one of the great dishes Café Ish in know for). They make amazing coffees using Coffee Alchemy beans and good tasting milkshakes. They also have pastries and cakes that are all made in-house.

What I’ve tried so far during my first two visits:
chocolate milkshake
The chocolate milkshake was very rich and luscious. Lindt chocolate was used in the process of making it.
Ai's freaking awesome fried chicken wings with crab sauce (left) & cheeseburger (right) 
The cheeseburger ($5) has a soft bun (which I love!), juicy free-range beef pattie, melted cheese, pickles, ketchup and grilled onion. It was full of flavour! For $8, you can have fries as a side with your burger.
Ai’s freaking awesome chicken wings with crab sauce
This time around, I also decided to have a basket of Ai’s freaking awesome chicken wings with crab sauce ($13) with my burger. It is as awesome as the name suggests. It is beautifully fried free-range chicken wings with an outer layer of crispy batter. The crab sauce seems like the same as the soy ginger dressing used on their crab omelette.
Flat white
On my next visit, I had a flat white ($4). In my opinion, Ai is one of the best baristas in Sydney. The flat white had a perfect balance of frothed milk and espresso. It was smooth and full-bodied. The milk’s temperature was just right.

Bacon cheeseburger 
The bacon cheeseburger ($6) is also a good value item and really flavourful. It has a beef pattie with cheese, barbecue sauce, grilled relish and glorious bacon.
Ai’s freaking awesome fried chicken wings with hot sauce
Last but not the least, Ai’s freaking awesome fried chicken wings with hot sauce ($13). Just as succulent and awesome as the previous chicken wings I’ve previously had, but with hot sauce.

On other recent visits:
Double cheeseburger $9

Maltesers choc tart slice $7

Miso caramel milkshake $7
The miso caramel (their take on salted caramel) milkshake  is not overly sweet thanks to the subtle salty taste of miso.
Peanut butter and jelly milkshake $7
The peanut butter & jelly milkshake's taste is exactly how Josh described it. It's like having a drink version of peanut butter & jelly on toast. It was suprisingly light too!

Milk Bar by Café Ish is an establishment that provides comfort food and coffee that is simply delicious. Food that is perfect in its simplicity.

Milk Bar by Café Ish
105 Regent Street
Redfern NSW 2-16

Milk Bar By Cafe Ish on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks drool worthy! Can't believe you've been twice already!

  2. Looks amazing! Like you I was terribly saddened to hear about cafe ish was closing but then became estatic when I saw the news about the milk bar opening up. Looking forward to having a cheeseburger & milkshake there tomorrow! Can't wait! :D

  3. Can't wait to check it out! yum a good quality burger for $5 is a steal! lol for some reason I kept thinking the crab sauce would be like a creamy mayo and was wondering why I couldn't see it in your pics

  4. So glad Ish hasn't gone completely! And the soft shell crab omelette is still alive and kicking.

  5. Love the concept here at Cafe Ish. Ummm I'd like an order of those wings with crab sauce please!

  6. oh man how awesome are the burgers! and the fried chicken! and the milkshake!

  7. i love the fried chicken - came back again on the weekend to get my fix!

  8. One more good review, food looks nice on the photos!

  9. So excited and looking forward to trying it!

    (Say hi to the husband next time - tell him I sent you to spy on him! =p)

  10. woohoo can't wait to check out Josh and Ai's new place! Food looks great, especially the milkshake!

  11. Love it! I'm REALLY looking forward to trying the chicken wings with hot sauce. I'm not usually one for a milk shake, but I might make an exception for one made with Lindt choc!

  12. so retro with the jukebox and pac man!

  13. Don't be fool by the cute decor and concept...
    I was extremely disappointed by Milk Bar by Cafe Ish. I was completely shocked by the service we received from Josh (the chef and owner)
    As we could see food on the service counter, we waited eagerly and patiently to be served, we were appalled when Josh cocked/tilted his head back, motioning us to collect our own food.
    He clearly wasn't too happy when he had to serve us himself, he dumped our plates onto our table and proceeded to roll his eyes.
    I wasn't aware Milk Bar by Cafe Ish was a "self-service" cafe, seeing as though we were greeted by wait staff.
    We were absolutely disgusted and shocked by this kind of service. Never coming back here again, so please be warned when you pay a visit.

    Despite this terrible service, the food does live up to its' reviews, but in my opinion it is not worth going, so to speak it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    His retaliation can be seen on his twitter, which further confirms his bad attitude on:

    Other patrons have also had the misfortune of meeting Josh and his foul attitude at Cafe ish:


Let me know what ya think, aight! Would love to hear from ya.