How many cafes do you know that can make you reminisce about your childhood? How many cafes do you know that are run by volunteers and donate money to charitable causes? How many cafes can do both AND make delicious coffees and healthy bites? I only know one and that’s Kinfolk on Bourke St.
I used to work near there but it was a great shame that I didn’t have a blog then, nor was I as much of a foodie as I am today. If I was, I would have been there every morning without doubt.
Kinfolk is completely run by volunteers and part of the proceeds are distributed amongst 4 different projects (specifically in Rwanda, Ghana, Palm Island and Melbourne) to fund housing and education for disadvantaged children and the homeless. Customers also have the chance to donate to the cause that mean the most to them. This cafe is run by up to 30 volunteers. It makes me feel good just thinking that part of that delicious meal and great coffee actually provided support to someone in need at the same time.
What made me reminisce about my childhood were these vintage school tables tucked neatly in a corner of the room. If the waiter didn’t ask whether we’d like to sit there I wouldn’t have even imagined it was for sitting at all. In fact, when I nodded yes, I had a sudden fear that well…would I even fit in it? I have ‘grown’ a lot since I last sat in one, in more ways than just height.
Do not fear Jenny. You did well. With a small suck of the stomach, I was in with no problems. Whether I was able to move about after that was a totally different story. In fact, these tables were slightly hard to eat off as there was a slant on them if you can remember. The lack of room meant it was difficult to move my arms around and to even eat anything, but we dug into our food like children seeing a delicious homemade meal at lunch time. I even had a kick out of nearby diners staring intently at us while nudging and laughing. I’m sure they were just jealous.
Kinfolk doesn’t do the same food at some of the hip cafes across Melbourne. For one, there’s no poached eggs, or many egg dishes on the menu at all for that matter. What they do have an abundance of are sandwiches, soup, salads and the like and of course coffee. The coffees here didn’t compare with BBB down the road, but were still aromatic and satisfied a caffeine deprived me.
Yuye decided to be different and ordered a tea instead. It wasn’t bad tea but there’s nothing that spectacular about tea anyway. I did like the pot and cup it came in.
As there was no egg dishes on the menu, I decided to have as vegetarian a dish as my non-vegetarian stomach would allow and that was the chicken curry with cabbage and apple salad with buttered sourdough ($13). Okay, so it was the most UN-vegetarian on the menu, but you know me, I can’t live without meat or at least eggs. 😛
I was expecting an Indian curry style dish but it was surprising very light and mild. I wouldn’t really call it a curry dish but it was still quite delicious nonetheless. I love the natural flavours of chicken and this dish was able to bring that chicken-goodness out well. The salad was crunchy, slightly sweet due to the apples and went well with the chicken. The chicken itself fell off the bone which is just perfect. It was just that tiny bit on the bland side which is easily fixed with a dashing of salt.
Yuye went with the chicken + celeriac remoulade, fine herbs and lemon aioli in a roll, and yes, we picked pretty much the only non-vegetarian dishes on the menu. His roll was a bit on the small side and I was even wondering whether he had enough to eat but he seemed content. I didn’t find his roll all that spectacular or particularly memorable as it was just a chicken roll.
In fact, we had visited Kinfolk on earlier occasion but as it as just after 3pm, the kitchen had already closed. All we were able to get were takeaway coffees so we really wanted to be back to sample the food and I was glad I did.
What I loved most about this cafe was the concept and its decor, which I’m sure most of its customers would agree with. good tasting food and nice coffees won’t be good without a good atmosphere and beautiful smiles and warm greetings which Kinfolk has. It’s just a shame that I won’t be able to visit as often as I would like with the new business keeping me quite busy from morning till night. Hopefully Yuye would be able to handle it by himself soon so I can sneak out for a good caffeine hit. 😀 I’m having caffeine withdrawals as it’s been far too long since I last had one…
673 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC (Near Spencer St)