Today’s café was either going to be Kelby’s Café in Marrickville or one in Rose Bay. The suburbs seem to be polar opposites and the choice was difficult but seeing as we haven’t reviewed a café in Marrickville before and there are so many on our list, we thought it was time!
Seating is limited outside and it’s not very large inside but luckily I spotted a couple signing the bill and about to leave. Service was slightly slow on the uptake but the staff was friendly and talkative, ready to offer suggestions for those stuck while perusing the menu…
And deciding was difficult – not only are there some great items on the menu but everywhere we looked there were specials on various boards. The omelette (free range eggs, chorizo, tasty cheese, cherry tomato, mushrooms and spinach, $13.50) and a chilli steak wrap amongst them were just two of the specials on offer.
The drinks menu is also very comprehensive. Two smoothies are available: berry or banana (small $4, large $6). Would you believe from the above photo that we ordered the small? Not only was the serving huge but this is definitely one of the best banana smoothies I have tasted. A perfect blend of flavours and just the right consistency. It also looked great and it was finished off in an instant!
Other cold drinks include freshly squeezed juices (orange, watermelon, carrot, celery, ginger, mint, apple, pineapple, small $4, large $6), milkshakes (chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, small $4, large $6) and a dairy free fruit whip with banana, small $4, large $6).
Vittoria beans are used here and our resultant coffees were just what we needed. Single shot coffees are $3 and double shot (like our flat white above) are $3.50.
White chocolate mocha
The menu contains hot chocolate or hot white chocolate ($3) but one of my guests today added an espresso shot to give her the wake-up she needed. It was more coffee-flavoured than she anticipated and maybe it would have worked better in a taller glass of hot chocolate.
Regardless, the prices of the drinks at Kelby’s are extremely (perhaps impossibly) hard to beat.
Fresh tomato bruschetta
Two varieties of bruschetta ($7) are available: avocado with capsicum relish & rocket and the one we chose, fresh tomato with haloumi & rocket. The dish looked great on the plate and all flavours were crisp and clean with a nice tang of lemon and balsamic vinegar.
The first item on the menu was one that we decided whoever orders it, has to share it! The Egyptian sauté ($13) is based on seeded rye and fresh greens. Above that are layers of feta, hommus, poached eggs and plenty of dukkah. Elegantly presented, it also tasted superb.
Benedict style eggs
Eggs Benedict ($14) at Kelby’s is served on a toasted croissant and is available in three variants: asparagus, ham or salmon. Spinach is also included and a nice counter to the richness of the hollandaise. The croissant halves are balanced on top of each other so some co-ordination was required to excavate the bottom half and then transplant some of the ham, spinach and an egg across. The hollandaise was not as tangy as others I’ve tried (which is a good thing) and this was a scrumptious dish with perfectly poached eggs. Would order again!
Kelby’s Tower Triple Stack Turkish
One of the specials on the blackboards was Kelby’s Tower Triple Stack Turkish ($13). $13?! How?! This thing was huge!
Anyway… the three layers of toasted Turkish bread is segmented by layers of bacon & egg below and mushrooms, cheese & caramelised onions above. Attack it however you can, we decided to remove some of the toast to be able to tackle it easier. The bacon was plentiful and crisp, the onions were delicious and the cheese-covered herbed mushrooms were delectable.
“Sweet Tooth” burrito
I was intrigued by one item on the specials boards… the “Sweet Tooth” burrito ($10). Unfortunately there was about a fifteen minute wait. This was a tortilla filled with layers of ricotta, fresh strawberries and caramelised banana, all toasted. This was then topped with vanilla hollandaise. The ingredients were delicious but needed more sweetness believe it or not. The strawberries and hollandaise provided most of the sweetness but there was slightly too much ricotta in comparison. Perhaps some caramel spread over the banana would work well…
There’s something on the menu for everyone at a Kelby’s. And if there isn’t, the menu states that if they have the ingredients, they will make whatever you desire. We have not seen an offer like this at any other Sydney café.
Food of this quality and these amazing prices is very difficult to find elsewhere.
Overall Rating: 20/25