A weekend in Melbourne is always an appealing proposition, especially when it comes to dining. But with it comes what I think of as a pleasant dilemma because actually choosing which places you’ll squeeze into your itinerary… well that is much easier than it sounds!
My recent trip over east to catch up with the FoodieHub team gave me some free time on the Sunday to catch up with my girlfriend and fellow blogger Richele who moved over in the last couple of months. Since she’s the local now, I left the choosing part in her hands for our breakfast date which brought us to Kettle Black in South Melbourne.
From the same owners as the renowned Top Paddock, the Kettle Black is a beautiful space – part heritage, part modern appeal. It’s a huge venue, but that doesn’t stop the place from still attracting hoards of people patiently waiting for a table. While it’s not a particularly sunny day, our outside table is in the perfect spot for some people watching and eying the dishes that are being pumped out to those around us.
We place our orders quickly, our tummies rumbling urgently as we’re talking a million miles an hour. For me, a pot of peppermint tea ($4.00) is exactly what I feel like while Richele opts for a coffee. They come out quickly, with our food not too far behind.
When it comes to the food on the Kettle Black’s menu, everything really just sounds delicious. I’ve spied some pretty beautiful dishes on their Instagram (it’s definitely food porn worthy) so while I know my eyes are in for a treat, I’m hoping the taste lives up to the expectation too.
Richele’s Port Phillip snapper burger came out to the table in a brioche roll with green papaya salad, lime and chilli jam ($21.00). It was bright in appearance and flavour, reminiscent of Asian cuisine thanks to the jam and the papaya. It was acidic and sharp, but oh so fresh! I thought the fish was cooked spot on, flaking away ever so slightly at the touch.
My Cape Grim beef with house-made mustard, seasonal fruit relish and leaves was piled high inside The Kettle Black’s signature bun. At $23.00 this is the most expensive dish on their menu, but it’s a really generous sized serving, with the meat completely spilling out onto the plate. I definitely would have been full to the absolute brim if I had finished this dish!
The beef was tender and peppery, though cooked slightly over in my eyes. I love my meat rare but understand that collectively it would be risky to cook it in this manner given the diverse eating preferences of people today. The charcoal bun was slightly sweet and really soft, it’s pillowy texture a nice contrast to the other ingredients.
Because Richele just gets me, it was natural that we order a sweet dish to share between bites of our savoury – and I’m so glad we did! The coconut-set chia seeds ($15.00) sat amongst a pool of maple syrup (yes, the real kind) with fresh Queensland mango, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, macadamia nuts and edible flowers.
Visually this was just oh so pretty but it was also my favourite dish for the morning. I’m kind of obsessed with chia pudding at the moment, especially ones using coconut milk as it brings a richness and vibrancy to the flavour profile that normal chia doesn’t possess. The fruits were ripe and tasty, bursting with juicy goodness in each bite. And I particularly liked the use of the maple syrup which was something I haven’t seen before – and is something I am definitely going to be trying at home.
I can highly recommend for those of you in or heading to Melbourne, definitely consider trying the Kettle Black. I left with a camera full of beautiful pictures and a tummy that was way more than satisfied!