The new Korean-Mexican bar has quietly appeared on the northern side of Surry Hills. The lofty facade hides a small cafe-style space serving a punchy hit list of K-Mex classics with a side of fruity soju.

Ko and Co Entrance

Apple Soju
Apple Soju $9

Kimchi Quesadilla
Kimchi Quesadilla $10

Shortrib and Porbelly Tacos
Shortrib and Porbelly Tacos $6 each

3Spicy Edamame
Spicy Edamame $5

Korean Fried Chicken Sliders
Korean Fried Chicken Sliders with Red Pepper Sauce and Pickles $10 for 2

Ko and Co Wrap Up

The Experience
Ko and Co Experience

a. 6 Hunt Street, Sydney
t. 0468 311 131

Ko & Co Soju Bar on Urbanspoon


It’s always sunny in Sydney, or at least that’s what the tourists are being sold before arriving to find they’ve been scammed by the weather gods in a good ol’ bait’n’switch. The incessant rain seems to have turned the world upside down and we’ve now all mastered the ability to look out at the horizon with our best “I smell something bad” expression.

Saturday morning brunch saw Aidan and I powering through another downpour and side stepping puddle-traps to reach the newly launched foodstore by the Chris Starke (ex Marque and the infamous Banc) who also runs Youeni Providores around the corner. The new cafe/eatery is cleverly positioned into the apex of number 8, enlivening a previously spartan space into a buzz of diners sharing blankets and table space.

We’re greeted by the crew and start off with a pot of soy chai and a bulging coffee (Ky’s description, not mine). Since the upside of bad weather is being able to dig in to hearty winter fare, we commit ourselves to the seasonal soup and the slow cooked beef cheeks.

Seasonal soup, toast, olive oil $10

The soup that afternoon was a combination of butter potatoes, kale, spinach and a giant pepper hit, finished off with a bit of olive oil, caramelised onions and a side of Sonoma toast. I felt I had OD’ed on pepper by the end but I noticed my body temperature had risen a few notches too.

Beef cheek, blacked caramalised onions, pomme puree, green salad $14

The beef cheeks were exclamation worthy – which explained why they were recommended with a satisfied grin. A soft smear and scoop of the fork produced a warming mouthful of beef and potato puree whilst a side of pea tendrils, blacked caramelised onions and cottage cheese gave the overall dish a nice crisp balance.

Far from a lack of ingenuity I felt the repeat use of key ingredients such as the pea tendrils and caralised onions served to only highlight a smart kitchen working with what’s in season and what they have at hand. And although the food was warming, it never veered into the “heavy” category.

Citrus curd tart $5

Pausing slightly after out meal, I eyed the baked treats paraded on the counter and eeny meeny miny mo-ed my way to a final citrus curd tart (we reasoned it must be easier to digest than the salted caramel chocolate option) with admirably short pastry.

Despite the slight mumble of chaos on their launch day, the passion the crew felt for food was tangible. They’re also keeping everything in the family and will have launched their own coffee blend by now, roasted by their friends down in Wollongong. They’re also planning to start baking their own bread and once licences and such are processed – open for dinner with a set menu focusing on the best produce of the moment.

As we waved goodbye, we shook hands with the crew and promised to see each other soon. Sometimes good things can happen in the rain.


The Verdict
Youeni Foodstore really works as a complimentary outfit to the providore – pushing their core belief in local organic produce and promoting food knowledge. The short menu provides enough variance to keep everyone intrigued whilst focusing on maximising in-season ingredients. If you make it in time for the breakfast hours then treat yourself to some slow cooked scrambled eggs or perhaps a caramalised ham and stewed apple sandwich for lunch and pop a tart in your pocket for later.

Youeni Foodstore
a. Shop 3, 8 Hill St, Surry Hills
t. 9380 7575
w. +

Youeni Foodstore on Urbanspoon

It’s been a frenetic two months, I went on holiday, started a new job, ate a LOT and my post backlog seems to be multiplying faster than a petri-dish of bacteria. So in the name of efficiency we’ll review this list style.

+ After the year long buzz, the guys from LL Wine & Line have finally opened their new Bondi venture: PaperPlanes. It’s an upbeat modern Japanese bar/restaurant with a lot of buzz.
+ A bunch of big names decided to open a small Local Bar
+ If small is just too big, how about downright tiny? The Midnight Special in Newtown only fits 50 people but once you’re in it’s a vinyl spinning hot dog chomping jamboree
+ The glamorous albeit slightly lonesome scene at Walsh Bay has perked up with the opening of The Bar at the End of the Wharf. It’s a bit of a mouthful but at least I’ve got somewhere to go before/after a play besides hanging outside Cafe Sopra with nose pressed to the window, hoping for a table. In the kitchen is Sharon Timms (ex. Assiette & Four in Hand) so I’m expecting delicious things.
+ Another week another speakeasy, Palmer and Co fall under the Hemmes umbrella and it’s decked out 1920’s prohibition America style. Rum, gin, tequila is served with your mac’n’cheese or meatballs.
+ If you loved Stitch then methinks you may appreciate Button Bar. A cute name for a decidedly cute place serving delicious cocktails with barrels of spiced rum on site. Food to come soon.

+ Okay so maybe “restaurant” is too posh a term for this new Fish Shop by Jeremy Strode. Who knew hatted chefs would be downsizing and working the deep fryer and flippin’ out some potato scallops.
+ Speaking of downsizing, 4 in hand’s owner Colin Fassnidge has opened a mini me called 4 fourteen. It’s all about lower prices, share plates and fresh honeycomb from their own roof top bee hive.

+ The first of these babies are out! Cantina Mobil are tootin’ all over town serving delcious Mexican fare and chilli chocolate ice creams.
+ Eat Art Truck launched last week with artists christening the truck with a new coat of spray paint at Pitt St Mall. I spy some delicious twiced cooked beef, pulled pork buns and hot chocolate cake with dulche de leche
+ Tsuru are having a prelaunch party. It’s $35 for all you can eat too! Loosen those belts fellas.

+ Movida is moving up north and taking up residence on Holt St where Cotton Duck used to be. I’m swooning over the potential grilled veal tongue and smoked lamb already ie Woohoo!!

+ A sad farewell to Montpellier Public House and the passing on of El Capo.

Happy eating folks!