Kingscliff always reminds me of holidays: days when you can amble past a few shops, grab a chair in the sun or an armchair just inside the door of a café, catch up with friends for an all-too-rare chat as you wistfully imagine that you lived in this sleepy town!
Although less than two years old, at Kettles On the kettle is well and truly boiling! One of the most popular hubs in this beachside town, recently the café changed ownership. But that’s about all; same chef, same menu (except for a few improvements)!
After being Kettles’ chef since its opening, Jordan Lambert-Rosenberg has bought and refurbished the café, which he now operates with his wife Amanda. Formerly the chef at Sugar Beat Café, Murwillumbah and Moo Moos Broadbeach, Jordan makes everything (except bread) from scratch in a menu that contains both crowd-pleasing favourites and less common specialty dishes.
Bestselling brekkie items such as Eggs bene, Corn fritters, and Mushrooms on sourdough, are balanced by the Asian omelette served with bok choy, bean shoots, snow peas, oyster sauce & sesame seeds ($15) ; a reminder that there are rewards for adventurous diners who venture beyond café stalwarts.
As we’re dining mid-morning, we choose the Chicken Tortilla (a flour tortilla filled with grilled chicken, pumpkin, roasted peppers & Swiss cheese served with corn salsa & sour cream – $14) as well as a Croque Madame with a side of mushrooms. They’re both generous serves and very filling – no need for lunch! Service is efficient and cheerful, the floor manager proactively keeping a close eye on staff coverage of the busy restaurant.
There’s even more variety on the lunch menu: Spiced honey pumpkin salad, Braised Pork shoulder in tomatoes, red wine and smoked paprika served with flatbread and sour cream, or the café’s specialty: Mezcal chicken, the bird marinated in cactus liqueur and dusted in spiced flour, fried until crisp and served with chipotle purée.
The rotation of specials means that locals will stay on side, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are clearly marked on the menu. Best of all is the emphasis on locally sourced, organic produce where possible, the great selection of cakes, all made in house, and the fresh juices and fruit smoothies made to order.
Since we visited Kettles On, they’ve changed their coffee and tea to Clandestino Coffee, a specialty roaster at Noosa, choosing flavour and freshness in their high grade beans. Choose from their single origin from Panama, the Magneto Espresso Blend or the organic mountain water decaf.
Kettles On serves specialty organic teas, also from Clandestino. Varieties include Japanese Sencha, and Silver Needle. Widely considered the best white tea in the world, it’s a tea we’ve only tasted a few times. It’s made from white-tipped leaf buds only picked for two days every year high in the Fujian Province in China – superb! Kettles On has put in new machines as well, especially for brewing teas. Each tea is weighed and the temperature is taken so it’s correct and precise. It’s care and attention rarely given, all to make you that extra-special pot of tea!
Although there’s a fair bit of daytime dining choice along the Kingscliff beachfront, Kettles On is one of the best. Crowd-pleasing favourites, inventive specialty dishes, fresh juices and smoothies, house-baked cakes, great boutique coffee and a rare attention to detail brewing your pot of tea – it’s the making of a great holiday any time we feel like a day at the beach.
Shop 3, 78-80 Marine Parade Kingscliff
Ph: 02 6674 8876 Open: Mon – Sun 6.30am – 4pm NSW time