Set in an old-school shopping strip at Glenbrook in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Kickaboom is a café worth visiting.
The small interior space is minimalist, utilising a mostly monochrome colour palette with long white bar lights, broken up with a splash of pale yellow neon and a few trailing green plants. It encourages you to look down onto the wooden tables, where pastel plastics and pretty plates create an eye-catching backdrop for colourful and flavourful dishes.
The menu is a cobbled together collection of wide global influences, each given a Kickaboom spin. The Brisket Sando ($16) takes classic Americana – pulled beef brisket and Cheese Whiz - and situates it in multicultural Australia with Thai chilli sauce (sriracha) and Sichuan onion rings. They’ve kept some nice texture in the brisket, which sings against a liberal application of chilli sauce. The sauce has been passed separately to appease those who hate chilli heat, and to make it easier to dip those crisply battered, juicy sweet onion rings.
Kickaboom also get their Korean on, with a Sticky Pork Bibimbap ($19) that arrives under a lightly fried egg with a clever tempura silverbeet leaf garnish. It’s a tasty dish with house-made pickles and ginger-enhanced sticky pork that you're meant to stir through. My dining companion is slightly put off by the porridge-like consistency of the rice, but I find this Kickaboom twist oddly comforting.
With owner and local Mountains lad, Dylan Johnson once heading up the coffee bar at the Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills, coffee is obviously a big focus. However despite eyeing off the Reuben Hill coffee beans, the unseasonably warm afternoon plonked right after two weeks of non-stop rain, had me craving something cold and refreshing. House-made syrups lengthened with soda were just the ticket. Kickaboom Cola ($6) is delicious and round, without the artificial colours and overzealous sugar you’ll find in other fizzy drinks. The sharper Lime and Mint ($6) has a very adult flavour palate; ditto their clever Liquorice Bread ($7). Under a pat of cultured butter, the house-made black bread celebrates the savoury aspects of liquorice, and may even appeal to those who have always found the shiny black candy straps a bit repulsive.
Now, if you’re a Sydneysider on a daytrip to the Blue Mountains, who'd like to team a Kickaboom visit with some other activities, just up the road the Glenbrook Rotary Markets meander randomly though Glenbrook Public School on the first and third Saturday of each month. Right next door to the café, there’s also the Anala Art Gallery which offers up the best collection of stuff you can hang on your walls I’ve ever seen in a tiny regional gallery. Artist Matthew Quick, who combines great technique with deceptively quirky subject matter, was my highlight of their current hang. And all three venues are within an easy walk from the Glenbrook train station.
Shop 1, 6 Ross Street, Glenbrook
Ph: (02) 4742 5847