You know that scene in the sick, dystopian classic Clockwork Orange where the main characters enter this bar – decorated entirely in black statues – and dispenses milk from the statue’s uh, sensitive regions? Well that was what I always thought what a milk bar was. Like literally. A bar atmosphere, but serving milk.
Well, thankfully the real thing isn’t quite as R18 as Clockwork Orange, and a bit more diner-style, with milkshakes and burgers. Yes, much more my speed.
Cafe Ish always had great food, and when they closed up the Surry Hills location and started a milk bar in Redfern, they ended up on my never-ending list of places to visit but never had the time to. Well, I did happen to be in Redfern a couple of weeks back, and, heeding the sirens call of Miso Caramel Milkshakes, I made my way in.
Of course, Milkshake needs company, or it’ll get lonely, so I also ordered a Herbed Beef Patty Burger ($14.50) with the self-proclaimed Freaking Awesome Wings ($4.95). Because if wings are that self confident, they should get a chance to show what they’ve got.
Okay, so good news, the Freaking Awesome Wings, were truly, freaking awesome. Lightly crisp on the outside – which I’m guessing is due to a corn flour or sweet potato flour coating to provide tempura-like lightness – and covered in a tangy sweet chilli dressing/sauce, these wings were like the Buffy of chicken wings: they kicked ass, took names, and brought a little excitement into your life.
The Miso Caramel Milkshake also lived up to its name – by shaking up my world. Geddit? It had just the right notes of umami and richness, and is just proof that you need miso caramel in all areas of your life. Because (repeat after me) miso caramel can only make you a better person.
A downside though to having two home runs in a single sitting? The burger wasn’t all that great. I’m more used to the juicy fall-apart patties that have come into vogue, that the burgers here were a little too…structurally sound for my taste. And when you put all the dishes down at the same table, it’s just not hitting quite the same notes.
But it’s okay. As long as the milkshakes and wings are on the menu, I know I’ll keep going back.
This meal was independently paid for.
Milk Bar by Cafe ish
105 Regent Street
Phone: 02 9698 8598