9 April 2022

Five minutes with Mike Kadinski, The Alby

| Lottie Twyford
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Mike Kadinski

Meet Mike Kadinski, General Manager at The Alby. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Who is Mike Kadinski? I’m the general manager of The Alby – Woden’s newest local from Doma Group.

Best recent dining experience: Chin Chin in Sydney! We had some cracking food and it was just an all-around great experience.

I can’t say I know exactly what we ordered as we just let one of the guys at the table be in charge of picking a couple of dishes, but it was all just on-point.

The Alby team

Just a few of the team behind the magic at The Alby. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Most embarrassing pantry item: Cruskits, specifically the Light ones – just so you don’t eat too many carbs.

What can I say? Back in the day, I was trying to be healthy and I just got hooked on them. I’ll generally eat them with tuna or something.

Must-buy ingredient: Salmon. I love salmon. You can do everything with it – roast it, pan-fry it and even air-fry it.

I also just got an air-fryer and I’ve learned all you do is pop it in there for eight minutes and it’s perfect.

READ ALSO The Alby is Woden’s new local, and it’s got something for everyone

Next big thing: Breakfast!

We are looking to move into opening earlier in the morning and put ourselves on the map as a breakfast destination in Woden, so I’m pretty focused on that.

The menu will be pretty straightforward, just lots of classics that people recognise and enjoy like smashed avo, eggs and smoked salmon, as well as a shakshuka. We will also look at doing some sandwiches like a classic Reuben and a ‘super loaded’ breakfast burger.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Breakfast

Mike is a real fan of breakfast at suburban stalwart Fox & Bow. Photo: Fox & Bow.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: Fox & Bow in Farrer. Alex Piris, the owner over there, is so friendly and community-minded. He won’t know you from a bar of soap and he’ll come over and have a chat and you always leave feeling good.

My Canberra food secret: White Chaco in Braddon.

It’s their soup dumplings. They are just the best. You bite into them and squeeze some sauce in – it’s really an experience.

soup dumplings

Soup dumplings! Apparently, they pop deliciously in your mouth. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

Biggest culinary influence: I’ve worked with a lot of people in my time in hospitality, but one who really stands out is Nick Carter, formerly of The Kennedy Room in Kingston.

He’s an old-school chef but such an easy guy to get along with, and he always remained calm and composed in the kitchen – unlike other chefs who can sometimes lose control when things get stressful and they are under the pump. He also always has time to spend with you and teach you something – which I really appreciated.

Favourite cookbook: I have to say, I don’t really use cookbooks at all. I’m a very simple cook and I tend to just make things up as I go.

Grease Monkey

Mike admires the owner of Grease Monkey and White Rabbit, Nick Tuckwell. Photo: File.

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: Nick Tuckwell. We used to be in business together and now he is one of the owners at Grease Monkey and White Rabbit.

Having watched how he handles himself and his business, he’s someone I really look up to, and he’s just a great guy.

What’s on the menu this week: We are starting to do pasta as a daily special so this week the chef is preparing a delicious spaghetti bolognese with a nice ragu.

I’m keen to try some, but he hasn’t let me yet!

Gus Armstrong eightysix

Gus Armstrong has run the popular eightysix restaurant in Braddon since 2013, and he’s now bringing it south to Woden. Photo: Michelle Rowe

Where I’m going next: A local place I’m excited to try is eightysix south. I’ve always loved the one in Braddon and I hear they are changing this one up a bit and doing something different. Plus, it’s next door.

Death row meal: I’d keep it simple with a roast chicken with roast veg and amazing gravy. Yum.

READ ALSO Hot in the City: Lockdown project Waxtop Wines opens up a brick and mortar store, naturally

COVID-19 response: Look, it’s happened. When it comes to business, it’s just another hurdle and there’s no point crying over spilt milk.

In some ways, I think it’s helped spread customers out across lots of hospitality businesses, whereas beforehand there wasn’t such a good distribution and people tended to spend all their time at the same locations.

My really simple recipe tip: Salt.

The Alby is located on the ground floor of the Albermale Building, 45 Furzer Street, Phillip. It’s open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 am to 11 pm. Watch this space for extended breakfast opening hours, too.

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