Over the past month, I’ve noticed my instagram feed increasingly being spammed by all these delicious-looking images of little cakes and flower-decorated breakfasts. All consistently tagged up with #kittyburns. Who is this Kitty lady who goes by the name of Burns, I wondered.
So last weekend, I decided to check out what all the fuss was about, see where all these double tap-worthy images were coming from and drive on over to the border of Abbotsford and Richmond to learn more about and introduce myself to Kitty Burns.
Kitty is a REAL person!
Actually, Kitty Burns is a name conjured together from two local celebrities: Kitty Minogue and Alma Burns – two sisters who loved to skip, and were the inspiration and models behind the iconic Richmond ‘Skipping Girl’ vinegar sign, which sits only a few doors down from Kitty Burns the brunch spot.
Opening at the bookend of last year, Kitty Burns honours this local Melbourne piece of pop culture, while serving up some delicious brunch food that fortunately isn’t honouring the vinegar part of this story.
Pulling off Victoria Street into the monstrous apartment block that is Abbotsford’s Sanctuary and Acacia Place, I was a little disorientated. Where were the life signs of a café full of cuteness? Where were the little cakes and flowers? Jude (the husband) had been navigating (which he’d never win a gold medal for), so I’d honestly thought all his morning’s protein powder had gone to his head. (We won’t mention how I drove into the car park against the flow of traffic. No. We’ll leave that one alone).
However, once you follow the twisting and turning green line out of the bowels of the apartment car park, it all makes sense. There before you is a beautiful open courtyard perched above the Yarra River, with Kitty Burns dominating one side of the forecourt with its huge indoor/outdoor (heated) café space.
On this Sunday, we had to wait 10 minutes to get a table inside (I was being a kitten not wanting to play with the cold) but that was fine because we got to grab a coffee from the take-away cart outside and walk down to the edge of the Yarra River while we waited for the magic words that a table had been abracadabraed.
A scando candy shop
Inside it’s all scando blonde wood and matching pastels. There’s lots of pink, aqua and yellow lolly tones that are reminiscent of a candy store, which perhaps explains the dish ‘Kitty in a Candy Store’ – a sugary combo of pink freeze-dried berry doughnuts, lime curd, almond parfait, orange jubes, crystalised violets and orange chips. If it wasn’t in the AM and I hadn’t technically started a ‘diet’ the day before, I would have entertained this sugar-laden plate of happiness more seriously as it sounds delicious.
Rounding out the Scandinavian feel is lots of green fernery and grass wallpaper, Vitamin D-inducing natural light, incredibly giraffe-like high ceilings, pendant lights and ambient house music.
Art on a plate
Instagram wasn’t lying, Kitty Burns serves up art on a plate.
This prettier than Delta Goodrem brunch menu definitely has a syrupy, sweet and playful undertone. Aside from the ‘Kitty in a Candy Store’ dessert-that’s-disguising-itself-as-brunch option, you can also start your day with an Eton Mess (coconut yoghurt, strawberry textures, spiced meringue, activated buckwheat clusters, wild orange and goji berries – ermahgerd!), French toast or the more man-friendly ‘Meet Mr Burns’ (a dry cured bacon slab, spiced bon bons, bacon jam, clonakilty black pudding, eggs, mushrooms and toast), to name a few of your choices.
Writing this, and now that my ‘diet’ has conveniently evaporated, I’m slightly regretting my always-reliable beige choice of avo on toast. Mind you, Kitty Burn’s was a very deconstructed, non-beige, spiced togarashi version of avo on toast, with bacon crumbs and house smoked salmon that was more hunk-like than your usual sliced salmon.
Then there’s a whole two pages of sweet-sounding teas, smoothies and juices to choose from.
Kitty Burns is…
Despite a smell of South Yarra pretentiousness in the air, Kitty Burns is very cute, delicious and surprisingly kid-friendly, with lots of prams and high chairs about. I liked that. There were also lots of fedora hats, indoor sunglass-wearing and white pants.
I love the little house booths, and equally the window of cakes, donuts and other diet-breaking desserts, which will even make the indoor sunglass-wearers drool.
From the dishes to the décor, this entire place is a head-turning work of art. Kitty Burns would be skippingly proud.
Kitty Burns | 24 Acacia Place, Abbotsford, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9427 0164