From February travellers at Sydney Airport can seek refuge from pre-packaged plastic airport meals and over-extracted coffee at the newly opened Kitchen by Mike canteen in the international terminal.
Fans of Mike McEnearney's cooking at Kitchen by Mike in Rosebery and frequent flyers alike will be glad to hear the new airport edition is an "exact replica" of his original outpost, which served its last salad back in 2015, down to its celebrated wood-fired oven.
"This Kitchen by Mike has the same core values and ethos - we source produce locally, follow the seasons strictly and change the menu regularly," says the chef. "We don't have a printed menu - we chalkboard it."
Kitchen By Mike's lentil salad.
Jetsetting diners order at the counter, where they can choose from thick slices of kurobuta pork with mash and a fruity Cumberland sauce, say, or wood-roasted herbed chicken and carrots with salsa verde. Then there are the celebrated Kitchen by Mike salads.
"We'll have about seven salads to choose from daily," McEnearney says. "There'll be everything sought after at Rosebery, like the watermelon and heirloom tomatoes with chilli salt salad, as well as some new offers."
Kitchen By Mike's wood-fired pumpkin salad with nigella seeds.
The 90-seater airport canteen will also serve eggs baked in the wood-fired oven, fresh bread from McEnearney's CBD restaurant, No 1 Bent Street, as well as breakfast favourites such as Bircher muesli, toast and yoghurt.
As for coffee, Kitchen by Mike at the airport will serve a special blend roasted by Melbourne's Five Senses; later in the day diners will be able to order house wine blends sourced from McLaren Vale and Mudgee.
The Kitchen by Mike opening is part of a larger dining revamp at Sydney Airport by Emirates Leisure Retail Australia. Last year, American chef Wolfgang Puck opened The Bistro and Vue de Monde's Shannon Bennett opened Benny Burger, his first burger bar, at the airport.
Travellers will also be pleased to discover that Kitchen by Mike has your on-board meals covered, too. The "Fly by Mike" takeway option means your meal can be packed onto a tray perfectly sized for in-seat dining.
"I travel a lot, and frankly I'm fed up with not having good food to eat," says McEnearney. "I have three boys, so we have to pack a suitcase full of food to eat on the plane. I'm looking forward to not having to do that."
Kitchen by Mike, between Gates 10-24, Pier B, Terminal 1, Sydney Airport, open daily 6am-10am.