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Community, food and service

REDFERN: Cafe Dreaming, established in 2022, is a First Nations-owned business. Located on the corner of Renwick and Redfern streets, opposite the bank, the cafe occupies the space previously held by the Tin Humpy. According to owner-manager Kim Simpson, the cafe aims to create “an environment that celebrates community and gathering through food and service”.

One patron says: “Visitors are introduced to a range of flavours, foods this country has long produced, satisfying meals and tasty salads. There’s something else, too, the community aspect. Customers enjoy being here, made aware of connections and family relationships, the harmony between people around them. This is unique and really adds to the experience.”

Another patron comments: “The coffee is excellent. Rich and smooth. I take my coffee without milk or sugar, so the flavour is all-important.”

The cafe is open Monday to Saturday, from 7am to 2.30pm. Kim works long hours and loves the work. She is ably assisted by dedicated staff including baristas Andrew and Binisha.

The layout is warm and welcoming. Photographs adorn the far wall near the kitchen. On one side there’s Mum Shirl, the “Black Saint of Redfern”. Pointing to a framed portrait on the other side, Kim says, “That’s Charlie Simpson, my dad, who was a wonderful home cook. Dad and Mum are my inspiration.”

The portrait sits atop a 1999 image of Wesley Patten in a Rabbitohs jersey. Patten played rugby league for Souths, Balmain, St George and the Gold Coast. “He was deadly,” Kim says. “He played in the Redfern All Blacks memorial team with my three brothers, Brian, Nathan and Charlie Jr – and Dad was the coach. They won the Koori Knockout four years in a row!”

Cafe Dreaming offers a menu of delectable breakfast and lunch items, including Wattle Seed Açai Bowl, Buttermilk Pancakes, Koori Smash (kangaroo and beef patty burger), Saltbush & Pepperberry Squid. There are children’s meals, as well as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Staff are friendly and quick to acknowledge return customers, serving food and drinks to tables inside as well as out on the Redfern Street footpath. There’s also a back room with entrance via Renwick Street for larger gatherings. Amenities are accessible and comfortable.

Catering is available. Contact Kim for orders: cateringbycdr@outlook.com

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