The Kettle Black

Melbourne is often referred to as the food capital of Australia.  Little wonder when there seems to be a new establishment opening every second day.  Visiting them or reading about them, it is easy to get a little jaded and think that they’re all a bit same same.  Truth be told many are very similar; in design, in offering, in ambience.  Many, but not all.

The Kettle Black is a café that is so much more than just another café.



Here’s why…

  1. It “gets” hospitality
  2. The design fuses old and new in a way that makes you want to stay
  3. Jesse Mc Tavish’s menu is creative and clever and challenges your idea of what brunch and eating out during the day can be like
  4. Bang on coffee
  5. The array of pastries and sweet treats that demand your attention when you walk in
  6. The commitment to provenance
  7. The house grown herbs
  8. The coffee cart
  9. The unspoken guiding principle of “innovate not imitate”




Here’s how to make the most of it…

  1.  As tends to happen with popular places, The Kettle Black draws a crowd and with it often a queue. Be prepared for this: don’t expect to be in and out in half and hour on the weekend, and perhaps put the phone away and actually speak to the people you headed out to brunch to catch up with.
  2. Order something different to what you would usually choose. This is not where I would head for bacon and eggs (even though they are great). The gems on this menu are the ones that you look at and think, “really?” Don’t be scared of air dried wallaby, house made coconut yoghurt or yuzu mayo and coastal spinach – they are the dishes you’ll love.
  3. Be a good customer. Service is a two way street, so it’s nice not to be a jerk.



A disclaimer, of sorts…

I have formed friendships with some of the owners and staff at both The Kettle Black and it’s sibling Top Paddock so my opinion may now be somewhat biased. However, those ties would not have been formed had I not become a regular and I would not have become a regular if I didn’t genuinely enjoy going back time and time again.




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