Where and what
The Rusty Fox is a cafe and foodstore with a great pedigree, having been opened in April by a trio that includes Rebecca Creighton, a pastry chef previously at Coda, Pearl and Rockpool, and Kim Scott, seen behind the bar everywhere from Northcote's Kelvin to Spice Temple and Pei Modern, along with florist Jennifer Galea.
These gals have the skills to pay the bills.
Where to sit
The shop is part of Kensington's main Macaulay Road shopping drag and fits right into the village spirit. It dates from the 1930s, apparently, and the fresh fit-out has stripped back years of accumulated design gunk to make it sing with old-fashioned simplicity, with a few modern touches including the street art murals and a feature wall made from variegated bits of recycled timber.
Floors are a gorgeous red polished concrete and the main option for seating is at high stools clustered along the open kitchen, while out back is a neat courtyard of red brick and rough timber harbouring three tables with seating at bespoke milk crates.
A liquor licence is in the pipeline; for now it's Five Senses coffee and fresh juices.
The menu covers a lot of ground, most of it from the cafe scene's new-school movement. Their chicken banh mi has a good amount of fragrant fish sauce on the poached chicken, and the thin sheet of salty chicken skin kicks it on to the winner's podium. The ''fancy hot dog'' ($12.50 - prices here are notably kind) is like the man says: charry chorizo in a brioche roll with pepper escabeche and creamed cabbage salad. Delish. Dr Marty's organic crumpets come with smoked maple syrup and a nest of perfectly cooked bacon on top for an inspirational bit of dude-ish wrongness. Creighton's sweets are definitely worth a look: small but perfectly formed things such as salted caramel chocolate brownies, or one-person blueberry tea cakes. There's stuff to take home, too, from produce - the roll call includes Holy Goat and That's Amore cheeses, Istra and Savour & Grace smallgoods and Shulz organic milk - to chutneys, jams, nuts and oils, and the ready-to-go dinner packs such as soups and braises (the slow-cooked pork Argentinian-style with ham hock is a corker), or duck and beetroot sausages.
It's a local shop for local people.
Fabulous food, whether you eat in or take it home.