Kosta’s Takeaway is a relatively new sandwich and juice shop located nestled at the front of a smash repair shop, along the automotive district of Rockdale’s West Botany Road. They offer a staple stable of classic sandwiches, as well as a frequently refreshed specials menu. I had two sandwiches at Kosta’s Takeaway – one a quite good fish sandwich (the special), and one a generally well received but not to my taste cold cut sandwich (the classic).
This quite delicious fish sandwich ($17) was a time-limited special, though judging from Kosta’s social media it seems to float in and out in various forms throughout the weeks and months. This particular iteration featured a 10-minute dry brined ling fillet, freshly deep fried with excellent textural attributes including a warm and crunchy outer crust and moist, flaky fish meat inside. The tartare sauce was tangy and creamy, and the pickled daikon radish brought a surprisingly bright and crunchy tartness to the sandwich. Even the iceberg lettuce, now a $20/kg luxury in April 2022, brought a much appreciated freshness to each bite. I thoroughly enjoyed this sandwich, so much so that I immediately sent a photo to my friend, colleague, and Filet-o-Fish® enthusiast CJP.
The Super Deli Panini ($14.50) is a different kettle of fish, and not my kind of fish. The fillings included a number of cold cuts (ham, sopressa, mortadella), graviera cheese, and some green and red mixture of marinated peppers, eggplant, spinach, fennel butter, and salsa verde . While I think this is probably a fine sandwich for the kind of sandwich-goer who likes this, I just didn’t really find the continental flavours appealing to me – a similar feeling to when I had A1 Canteen’s famed muffuletta two years ago when I first started this blog.
A RETURN, DECEMBER 2022
In true Pegfeeds fashion, this post is being updated prior to it even being published. We went back to Kosta’s Takeaway in December 2022 to try a few of their other offerings, as well as a repeat of the fish sandwich, which has now changed.
The fish sandwich, now $18 in December 2022, has evolved since our last meeting. It is now absolutely drenched in deliciously tangy dill and tartare sauce, which is now less thick but equally delicious. The batter is now lighter than it was before, while the ling fillet remains extremely moist and delicate. The bright pickle has disappeared and has been replaced by a slice of yellow ?American cheese, bringing this sandwich closer to the Platonic ideal of a Filet-o-Fish than it was before. Still good.
Continuing on this McDowell’s trend is the bifteki ($7), similar to a sausage and egg roll with a dry aged beef patty from The Whole Beast Butchery (I felt oddly intimidated by the specialtiness and also staff to consumer intimacy of it all when I went there, even more so than at Victor Churchill), cheese, egg, an spesh (read: similar to Big Mac) sauce. This was actually very tasty – a solid breakfast muffin with good flavours, but actually very much too salty for my liking. Because of that, I think the McLovin Muffin from Happyfield is the superior breakfast muffin of Sydney (at almost twice the price – absolutely no complaints about the value aspect of the bifteki).
This lamb conbab ($18) was also very good. I loved the crispy potato that you can see spread out in the open photo, that gave it a great texture in each mouthful. The second somewhat revolutionary thing about this roll is that the lamb kafta itself has been made into an incredibly thin pancake-like shape, so that it forms an entire layer over the inside of the bread. Again, this means that there is a bit of lamb with every bite, and that no bite is left without interest. The freshness of the pickled onions, tomato, and salad as well as the quite mild toum gave this very much a kebablike flavour, but fresher and less guilt-inducing. It is a shame, therefore, that this was also very salty overall, too salty even for me right now as someone with active COVID-19.
You can’t say that I’m biased because I thought that this poached chicken on schiacciata ($13.50) with fermented chilli ($1) was actually bomb, with just the right balance and level of flavours. The chicken was poached so softly and flavoured so lightly, while the texture of the bread was just amazing, so crispy and crunchy but with none of the oral mucosa cutting that you might get from a Vietnamese banh mi. The fermented chilli was not too spicy, but a good and worthwhile and probably essential addition. One of my cats stole a bit off my plate as I was eating, which left me with just one side of schiacciata and smashed avocado on top, and so I can confirm that this doubles well as smashed avo on toast.
The double choc iced chocolate ($8) I didn’t feel was worth taking a photo of. Pretty good, but I thought it was like $4. If I had known my partner had paid $8 for this I definitely would’ve photographed it and complained about it more.
One of the best fish burgers I’ve ever had, and even if not all the flavours appeal to my East-Asian centric palate, this is definitely a place to watch.
412 W Botany St, Rockdale NSW 2216