Despite my best efforts it’s been a bit difficult to find a time to visit Freda’s since it’s not located near many other drinking establishments except the Abercrombie so for now we’ve settled for popping by for lunch instead.
Even after some online sleuthing it took us a few moments to find Freda’s. The entrance is nondescript, a single green blackboard hangs on a gate listing a couple of daily offerings and a chalk drawn arrow pointing down the long empty driveway. We bump into a waitress who leads us down and through an opening; we step inside eyes adjusting to the cool darkness and tungsten lit space within.
The three amigos Simon Cancio (ex Sean’s Panorama, Onde, Luxe and Bourke Street bakeries), Ibrahim Kasif (ex Fish Face) and Marty Campaign (ex el Coctel) have taken over this 100 year old site and upped the charm to provide a sleek drinking hole. There’s something about warehouses which seem super awesome or maybe it’s just a personal penchant for exposed beams, bricks and industrial chic but the space just feels NYC cool.
Large Cappuccino $4.50
The two of us settle down at the window bay and are handed a single page drinks menu. I’ve yet to have my caffeine hit so played it safe whilst Jen is keen to sample the daily juice.
Daily Juice: Watermelon with Mint $4
Campaign delivers this tall glass to our table, it’s refreshing and visually intense with the added flourish of a mint sprig making it appear more like a cocktail.
The food can vary daily, the short chalkboard menu lists sandwiches and salads but we were adamant about trying the slow roasted pork sandwich. Noticing our indecision regarding salad choice (I’m failing to make all the tough decisions) the waitress suggested that she could serve a half and half: my face lit up at this compromise, it’s a fantastic solution and I lamented that not everyone could offer me half and half of everything in life.
Salad of cauliflower, quinoa, broad beans and fennel + Salad of sugar snap green bean, broccoli, hazelnut and orange vinegarette $10
Our pretty plate of greens arrive and Jen notes it’s really fresh and delicious. I love their creativity in mixing beans with hazelnuts but would say my preference lies with the cauliflower and broad bean combination. They didn’t overdo it with the quinoa which added a beautiful texture without trying too hard (unlike some other chefs, guys please take note just because it’s the super food of the moment doesn’t mean you have to use it with everything) and I’m stoked to say it’s the best quinoa dish I’ve had to date.
Slow roasted pork shoulder with cabbage and salsa verde sandwich $11
But of course munchkins we were here for the slow roasted pork sando. The floury ciabatta made fresh that morning by Cancio is light yet has enough chew resistance, the pork shoulder meat tender and slathered with the salsa verde. It comes sliced and served with half a gherkin and two slices of radishes pickled with beetroot juice.
Little details: small chunks of roast pork, dessert spoon at the ready, second hand chairs, South American scenes and tapestry
Luckily we avoided potential disaster by sharing instead of ordering two sandwiches so we still had a small empty corner in our stomachs shaped like a slice of their cake of the day.
Orange cake $7
My eyes widen when we were presented with this cake slice, it was quite a generous serving and yet homely at the same time (I’m sure if my grandma wasn’t Asian she would bake me something like this). Sliding our forks in we mused over why there wasn’t any syrup but one taste and it was obvious: the cake was already exceptionally moist with small squares of orange peel folded through. They’ve also managed to keep the sugar content down and let the natural sweetness of the orange shine. We polished this off in moments and as Campaign walked past to ask us how our cake was he laughed when he noticed our spotless plate. Somethings are just too good and we thought it best not to leave any evidence behind.
This two week old small bar has yet to catch on big so you can still have a quiet soothing lunch with your mates and sip a summer juice before heading back to the studio. I confess to being a little disappointed that the pork to bread ratio wasn’t as luxurious as that of the photos posted on their Facebook page but it still tasted amazing with my friend pining for the sandwich hours later. I’m definitely keen to come back one evening to try a few cocktails while nibbling on some beautiful Iberian bar food.
a. 109 Regent Street Chippendale (walk down the driveway and there should be a door to your left)
t. 8971 7336