I had no idea how popular The Kettle Black was when I picked it as a brunch destination, but when we got there, we found that tables were in high demand and we had to put ourselves on a waiting list, with an estimated wait time for about half an hour! We decided to persist, after all, if so many people were willing to wait, then surely the food had to be worth it!
Located on Albert Rd, between St. Kilda Rd and Kings Way, The Kettle Black makes the most of the waiting line by setting up a little stall that serves coffees and cakes. The stall was doing a roaring trade, after all, the only way to make waiting in a queue on a cold Melbourne morning tolerable, is with a quality Melbourne coffee.
Our patience and hunger thresholds were well and truly tested before we heard our names finally called and we rushed up for fear that we may be booted off the list by someone else pretending to be us. Don’t laugh, we seriously contemplated doing this, so it’s not an unreasonable thought. We were seated inside at a big shared marble table which formed the centre piece of what would have been the lounge room in a previous era.
Inside, it is very apparent that the cafe is converted from an old house, with the layout of the hallway, lounge room, and possibly another bedroom still intact. The decorative plasterwork, and original fireplace is still there and serves as an artistic touch. The interior is light and cool, with white playing a large part.
Our meals arrived fairly quickly and our first comment was about the generous portion size. None of us wasted any time and proceeded to dig in. My beans were delicious. Whatever house made tomato sauce is, and regardless of which house it was made in, it tasted amazing. It was rich and hearty, well seasoned, and the strips of grilled capsicum added a lovely flavour. The basil pesto also added an extra dimension, creating bursts of freshness against the tomato. The bowl of beans was so large though, that I would have appreciated another slice of toast, but maybe that’s just me, I like my carbs.