The brightly coloured paint used to coat the outside of Rosa's Kitchen symbolised the burgeoning hope of many Sydenham/Tempe residents that the culinary wasteland that exists in this region was soon to be fertilized. Peeks in the shop window prior to opening had many wondering if it were to be a cafe, or a gourmet food store... things were looking very promising.
Squeak and I thought we'd pop in to see if all of this hope was to be fulfilled. What we discovered was certainly a spark of hope, but certainly tempered with some disappointment. This is a place that seems to not be wholly focused on what it wants to be, and there seems to be a lot of unfulfilled potential.
Some of the items mentioned by Rosa were a Benedict Panini, Breakfast bruschetta with salmon, toast with jam and ricotta, and Waffles with mascarpone or ricotta with Rhubarb compote. None of the breakfast offerings really spoke to me, however I ordered the Waffles with ricotta and Rhubarb compote. Now this is where things get a little tricky. The waffles were quite small; cute - but small - there's no denying it. However as I was eating, and quite enjoying it, I was thinking..well... they probably will only be about $8.00. That's ok..... however.... Squeak and I eat out for breakfast every single weekend. We know what is on offer for breakfast around Sydney, and we know how much we can expect to pay for it. And while these waffles were undeniably tasty - the rhubarb sweetly tart, the ricotta creamy and a perfect accompaniment, and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup - they do not stack up against what many other establishments in Sydney are serving for the same price. Mind you, I am only guessing at the price as we were really just presented with a total, and we tried to figure out how much things were ourselves. All up, it cost $23. Not expensive.... but we need to bear in mind that we got some tiny waffles, a coffee, a tea and some vegemite toast. I certainly didn't expect it to crack the $20 mark. If they want to be a cafe, then breakfast offerings, their portion sizes and pricing will need some fine tuning. Harsh perhaps... but realistic.
So Squeak and I are left with a dilemma. How do you judge a place that doesn't seem to know what it wants to be? It isn't really a cafe, there are no menus as such, and there isn't enough seating; it isn't really a gourmet food store - there simply isn't the range. We haven't given up on it entirely though. There seemed to be a fairly consistent run of locals coming in for take-away coffee, so hopefully Rosa's Kitchen will find its feet, decide what it really wants to be and take off from there. There is a glimmer of hope Sydenham / Tempe residents... just hang in there!