The Kettle Black South Melbourne Menu & Review

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The Kettle Black: 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne.

What makes The Kettle Black – the popular South Melbourne cafe by Australian hospitality giant, The Darling Group – quite so special? Well, some may say it’s a combination of things! In fact, the juxtaposition of the various elements that make up the iconic breakfast venue is evident in almost everything you observe when dining at or visiting The Kettle Black.

From juxtaposition within the venue’s architecture – which consists of a delightfully eclectic mix of the heritage-listed, historic 1880s South Melbourne building that houses The Kettle Black’s iconic, quaint and inviting outdoor shopfront, somehow combining seamlessly with the trendy cafe’s modern, airy and decidedly green, foliage-saturated interior; to the vibe of the location itself – sophisticated, refined, and classy, yet at the same time, relaxed, warm, and welcoming; and then, there’s the menu – which speaks for itself.

Heritage-listed, Historical South Melbourne Architecture meets Bright, Trendy Interior.

Like many established buildings in South Melbourne, The Kettle Black’s location at 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne, happens to be housed within a historic, heritage-listed building – which dates back to the late 1800s. Far from outdated, the historical value of the establishment only adds to the charm of the venue, which turns out to be surprisingly modern behind its iconic 1880s facade.

In fact, upon stepping inside the popular South Melbourne cafe, visitors are quite often very surprised by the trendiness, lightness, and sophistication of the breakfast venue’s interior. Hidden from outside view, the refined, bright and airy space is as inviting as it is relaxed.

Diners can choose to sit either inside the terrace portion of the building, as pictured below:

The Terrace Interior at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

Or alternatively, you can be seated in the more modern, refurbished section, which sits just below the textured roof to the right of the takeaway cart outside:

Textured Roof Exterior at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne.
Textured Roof Interior at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne.

A Sophisticated, Refined yet Relaxed South Melbourne Breakfast Dining Experience.

Speedy and efficient, The Kettle Black’s table service operates like a well-oiled machine – nonetheless, with a friendly smile. The booking process to secure a table (highly recommended, as it does get busy) is just as easy, but take note – there is a $15 fee for no-shows which is charged to the credit card you book with, so be sure to call them if you are running late. (Phone: 03 8899 6219).

In terms of food, the menu items are lavish and sumptuous – prepared with luxury, quality Australian ingredients, and serving up simple yet impressive flavours.

The menu items we selected included:

Lime & Chilli Prawn Toast

Lime and Chilli Prawn Toast at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

Featuring edible, violet-coloured flowers and garnished with tropical mango salsa, this delicate and aesthetically- pleasing dish was reminiscent of Asian flavours and cuisines with sweet, sour and slightly spicy notes thanks to the inclusion of lime, chilli and garlic. The perfect portion size, the Lime and Chilli Prawn Toast is far from overwhelming – ideal for diners with smaller appetites.

Buttermilk Chicken Burger

Buttermilk Chicken Burger at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

Admittedly a much larger mouthful than the Lime and Prawn Toast dish, the popular Buttermilk Chicken Burger is a cafe staple, although this one was something special. Served with a side of crispy fries, and made from good quality ingredients using real chicken and a premium bun, the burger is admittedly, priced accordingly!

Scrambled Eggs on Toast (With a Side of Brocollini)

Scrambled Eggs on Toast (With a Side of Brocollini) at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

For those with simpler tastes, the scrambled eggs on toast are a no-brainer menu choice. Delightfully fluffy, light and folded to perfection, these eggs are sure to please the fussiest of eaters. Paired with a side of lightly poached broccolini, they are also an ideal choice for someone wishing for a more health-conscious meal, although the generous serving of two slices of pre-buttered toast is extremely difficult to avoid gobbling down in its entirety.

Truffled Mushroom Toast

Truffled Mushroom Toast at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

Featuring two types of mushroom – roasted Portobello and Oyster mushrooms, to be precise – The Kettle Black’s Truffled Mushroom Toast brings a touch of decadence and luxury to an otherwise humble dish. Served with mildly spicy harissa sauce on perfectly toasted sourdough bread, this is a menu item that sure to please any mushroom lover!

Takeaway Food and Takeaway Coffee in South Melbourne

For those preferring to take their food or coffee away, there is also a to-go cart for speedy service situated right outside the front of the venue. Caffeine fiends who are in a hurry can pick up a fast takeaway coffee or snack such as a sandwich, croissant, or cake of various descriptions, quickly and conveniently – without even stepping inside the cafe!

Outdoor Takeaway Cart at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne.

Why ‘The Kettle Black’? How the Trendy South Melbourne Cafe Venue (most likely) Got its Name.

Have you ever heard the expression ‘the pot calling the kettle black’, and had no idea what it meant? No need to be ashamed, you are not alone! A somewhat outdated saying, this phrase essentially expresses the concept that when a person criticises another, the criticisms could just as easily apply to themselves.

But why did The Darling Group choose to name their South Melbourne venue in keeping with this saying, you ask? In all honestly, it is most likely just a clever play on words – referencing the kitchen appliances commonly utilised to prepare cafe breakfast menu items, including tea and coffee.

Speaking of coffee, The Kettle Black’s caffeine offerings are delicious, and definitely provide the boost you need! Pictured here are a soy latte and a standard latte – both equally smooth and creamy.

Soy Latte and Standard Latte at The Kettle Black, South Melbourne

The Kettle Black South Melbourne Menu



Toast [GFO]

Sourdough, cultured butter, seasonal preserves

Sticky Date Oat Porridge [VG, GFO, DFO, VO]

Almond + sultana granola, cinnamon cream, salted caramel

Tiramisu Croffle [VG]

Tiramisu cream, croissant waffle, darling blend espresso syrup, cocoa nibs, raspberry

Blueberry & Ricotta Hotcake [VG]

Seasonal berries, maple, whipped cream, seeds, and grains

Eggs on Toast [DF, GF]

Poached, scrambled or fried

Seasonal Avocado [VE, VO]

Lime & crème Fraiche, pomegranate, red mizuna, poached egg, pickled shallots, mixed seed tuile, sourdough

Sicilian Chilli Scrambled Eggs [DFO, GFO]

Nduja pork spread, herb & garlic focaccia, chilli oil, stracciatella, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, sorrel

Brisket Benedict [GFO]

Poached eggs, slow-cooked bulgogi glazed beef, pickled oriental mushroom, smoked soy hollandaise, toasted milk bread, spring onion

Truffled Mushroom Toast [VO]

Roasted portobello & oyster mushroom, truffle & vincotto glaze, whipped herbed ricotta, rocket, harissa, poached egg, sourdough

Kale & Cauliflower Salad [VG, GF, VO, DF]

Seasonal greens, avocado, romesco, poached egg

Buttermilk Chicken Burger

Buttermilk brined & cornflake crusted chicken breast, cabbage mustard remoulade, pickled green chilli aioli, tomato relish, brioche bun, french fries w. spiced salt

Lime & Chilli Prawn Toast [DF]

Tropical prawn salsa, red curry aioli, kaffir lime, nouc cham dressed cos wedge

Yuzu Black Salmon [GF, DF]

Black sesame crusted salmon, whipped miso tofu, apple & fennel slaw, yuzu wasabi ponzu

Katsu Sando

Prawn & pork katsu, chilli mayonnaise, Asian slaw, housemade furikake crisps

Miso Glazed Pork Belly Noodle Salad

Udon noodles, edamame, pickled cucumber & radish, enoki mushrooms, sesame dressing, cabbage slaw, son-in-law egg

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