The Kettle Black

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In a past life, I would have definitely not been excited at being on the corner of Kings Way and Albert Rd because it meant that I was going to school (yes, I’m a Mac.Rob girl!). Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really hate school, but there were much better places to be. This time, I’d made the trek into the city, on a Saturday morning and lined up for 40 minutes to get myself some brunch. How times change.

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.

We quickly ordered some coffees, and went about trying to choose our dishes from the menu. There were two vegetarian options that stood out for me. The first was mixed beans with basil pesto, red peppers, house made tomato sauce and served with toast. I’m still wondering what the difference is between something that is house made, and something that is home made. Perhaps it’s just hipster terminology. The second option was cooked and raw mushrooms on toast served with goat’s cheese. Normally I would choose the mushrooms, but on this occasion I opted for the beans.

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.

We had another vegetarian at the table (woo hoo, I wasn’t the only vegetarian!), and she ordered the mushrooms. Looking at her dish, I admit I did have a little bit of brunch envy. The mushrooms were varied and piled high, and I am a sucker for cheese of any sort. But my beans were very good, and I was happy with my choice.

If there was one criticism of The Kettle Black, it would be the noise. Because it was so busy and bursting with patrons, the noise levels were a little above my preferred range, to the point where it was hard to have a conversation across the table. But the food was excellent, worth the wait, and I really shouldn’t complain about other people being loud, because that would make me the pot calling the kettle black. Boom tish.

The Kettle Black on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I don't fancy the wait (esp I don't drink coffee) but I do fancy the brunch and the cute house - perhaps they didn't want to call it home made because they didn't make it at home but they made it in a house. that would be pedantic though wouldn't it