24 Acacia Place
Mon-Sun: 7am – 4pm
“When Broadsheet writes an article about restaurants and cafe décor, you know it has become a Melbourne issue. The article offers a unique perspective into the minds and thoughts of local interior designers and architects, and in doing so highlights an important issue. Quite rightly pointed out, cafes in the past could succeed with a small budget to get it up and running; focusing on serving great food and coffee in a cheap/budget environment. It would have been described as raw, unpolished or a breath of fresh air from the stuffiness of the white table cloth service. Like removing the tie from the corporate shirt, cafés of those times were refreshing and proved that great food could be served within a unique décor setting – leading to the birth of the ‘dining experience’.
Fast forward to today and as we visited one of Melbourne’s latest café offers, Kitty Burns in Abbotsford, I can’t help but think it’s absolutely stunning. Polished wood frames shaped as a classic house structure assembled around the barrista station and other seating nooks. Off cream coloured beams – shaped with geometric triangular points – lay across the walls, acting as the ideal backdrop for its tall ceiling, complemented by a vertical garden. Attached to the indoor space is a large front-facing alfresco area, perfect for the warmer months. Pieced together with hanging copper lights and subtle furniture pieces, the modern chic design is a dining space that you want to experience.
Kitty Burns was busy on a hot Australia Day. With Miss SL already securing a seat, we got down to business with a cold brew [$5]. Served in a glass bottle and a glass full of ice, I identified notes of honey and subtle fruit citrus – where as Miss SL believed it had strong hints of bourbon. Being slightly hung-over, perhaps she had the better coffee palate.
The menu is crafted by Scottish-born chef Aaron Duffy (London’s Chez Nico, Restaurant Marco Pierre White) which offers some serious dishes to the all day brunch menu. Each dish seemed to have a twist or complex element, allowing Duffy to showcases his tenures at high-end restaurants. I had serious considerations for G’s French toast, but I couldn’t go passed the bacon slab offering – Meet Mr Burns – Dry cured bacon slab, spiced bon bons, bacon jam, clonakilty black pudding, poached eggs, cap mushrooms, spinach, my gentleman’s relish [$22.50].
As a meat, it’s hard to fault bacon. Offering a thick cut of bacon slab is delicious, but what makes bacon even more special is its side. Paired with spiced bon bons and clonaklity black pudding, this dish takes the traditional English breakfast and gives it a makeover. Clonaklity black pudding is an old secret Irish recipe – that is still to this day – produced in Ireland. One of the better black puddings on offer, it doesn’t have that ‘chalky/chewy/ tough’ factor; rather it’s soft and palatable on its own, and enjoyable when combined with the bacon. The bacon jam had a delicious, sticky element to it and was a joy to spread over the bacon slab. Accompanying my dish was a poached egg and well-plated mushroom.
Kitty Burns has nailed all the elements of an exciting and prosperous brunch location. All that is missing is your attendance to experience for yourself.”
“What better way to start off a public holiday than to have brunch? Sure, it adds to the time pressure if you’re having guests over (which we were), but it’s worth it. A hot black coffee, poached eggs, crispy toast.. Yum! Just thinking about brunch makes me hungry. This is why on Australia Day, Mr LB, G and I made our way down to Abbotsford to check out newly opened Kitty Burns, a large cafe in the Sanctuary apartment village.
Tucked away down some stairs, Kitty Burns demonstrates some gorgeous architecture. It has a beautiful, open environment that is filled with light tones made up of soft blues, lightly coloured wood and matte white tiles. This colour scheme is contrasted with bronze lighting fixtures and faux greenery lining the walls.
Kitty Burns is just a mere two months old upon review, but it looks like they have ironed out any major service issues. We were seated upon arrival behind a pillar with a window view, and our coffee orders were taken within five minutes of being seated. I had the same coffee as Mr LB – a single origin cold brew coffee of the Kirundo region, Burundi, Africa. It was a bourbon variety, which I picked up immediately in the gentle bourbon-like flavour tones. The tasting notes suggest strawberry jam with a chocolate finish, which I couldn’t really detect but I could taste a syrupy undertone. Coffees took about 15 or 20 minutes which I thought was a bit slow, and our meals took nearly 40 minutes to come out; which I felt could be forgiven due to the artistic and complex nature of the dishes.
The menu here was extremely exciting, and not for the faint hearted looking for avocado toast; I took the leap and ordered the Smoked Pea & Garden Mint Pannacotta, 63/63 eggs, bacon crumbs, pea shoots, potato popcorn, house cured seared salmon, toast [$21] and G ordered my preferred choice – the French toast with Coffee Ganache: Compressed and freeze dried peaches, whipped maple syrup, quince [$16.50] add bacon [+$4].
My dish was served in a jar that was closed, and upon opening, revealed a smoky aroma of wood and smoked salmon. The panna cotta was gently flavoured with a cooling mint pea flavour. Sprinkled across the top was the bacon crumble, which added a chewy, crunchy layer without the heavy saltiness associated with bacon. Tucked in the corner of my dish was a 63 degree poached egg. It was tasty but personally I felt that it didn’t really add anything to the dish, other give me some satisfaction that there was an egg in my brunch. This was a technically complex dish and I was impressed that the kitchen are able to mass-cater this to a busy cafe.
G’s dish was definitely the winner at the table. His French toast was thickly sliced and the peach pieces on top were sweet, bursting with flavour that perhaps was not reflective of the original fruit but delicious none the less. G described the whipped maple syrup to be like an aerated mascarpone. The dish overall seemed like a real winner and the best one at the table.
We gave in and got a cronut for dessert, which was definitely worth it. The cronut exterior was perfect – crispy, soft and buttery, coated in an layer of sugar. The interior lent itself to a perfectly balanced chocolate custard, which was cooling but very messy to eat!
Kitty Burns is a beautiful space with creative and exciting brunch options. It manages to be both classic and contemporary at the same time with a safe, non-threatening environment and forward-thinking menu. Kitty Burns is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for something a little bit different.”
Final thought: “An adventurous menu to kick start your day.”