The Kettle Black
If the crew from Top Paddock and Two Birds, One Stone weren’t already on top, they certainly are now with their addition to the family; The Kettle Black†. Opening late July thanks to a large team of seasoned experts: Nathan Toleman, Tim James, Sam King, Jesse Mctavish, Ben Clark and Diamond Rozakeas, who have nested in the rather industrial cosmos of South Melbourne.
Situated between the phallic high rises of St Kilda Road, hidden, is one of the last late 1890 terrace houses in the area. The house expands, feeding into the contemporary apartment building next door, blended in using the honeycomb style roof tiles from the outside of the building as it feeds down into one of the dining areas on the underside of the modern, ship like dining space. With high ceilings and smaller spaces than we usually see from the Top Paddock crew, a terrarium paradise of pot plants and flowers strategically scattered everywhere is matched with sharp minimalist furniture and simple stark white walls and subtle green and gold trimmings.
Sticking with what they know best, Kettle Black serves up 5 Senses coffee using a range of house blends with single origin and filter coffee on rotation. In the opening week the coffee bar, set in front of the kitchen to creating a perve zone for all those coffee snobs, ran Colombia Fince El Mirodor single and an Ethiopian Sidama from Hunkute on the filter. For those less enthusiastic about the coffee, or those in a hurry, there is a very smart and sensible coffee cart situated under the front alcove ready to serve quick take away coffee to those hurrying between meetings.
Chef Jesse Mctavish has built a strong relationship with top-quality, local suppliers including, Larson and Thompson tea, Flinders Island meats, Savour and Grace, Burnham Beeches bread and Siclunas fruit and vegetables. Whilst much of the menu resembles its sister café serving up signature flavours like the large ricotta hotcakes covered in fresh berries and house fermented yoghurt and the King Island crayfish roll, there is no shortage of new experiments to the scene.
The benedict eggs with free range pork shoulder and hollandaise was fresh and light with lightly cooked poached eggs and a generous serving of melt-in-your-mouth slow roasted pork. The hollandaise was refreshing but a little light on up against the moisture of the pork.
The mixed beans with house made tomato sauce, basil and toast with the addition of pork and fennel sausage is the novelty point of the menu, served in a quirky Japanese lunchbox with a bottle of homemade sauce and a bottle opener on the side. The sauce was subtle and flavoursome and clearly fresh, and very much welcomed to the bland white bean. The addition of the sausage adds a burst of flavour creating a decent winter warming dish.
Monday to Friday 7am-5pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm 50 Albert Road, South Melbourne