The food alone is enough of a reason to stop at Kreole Kitchen, but the retro ‘old school’ Melbourne vibe creates a wonderful sense of nostalgia that has me reminiscing about the carefree days of my childhood in Australia.
Lime green Tupperware, pots shaped like pineapples, vinyl album art and lamp shades made from tea towels printed with kangaroos and kookaburras evoke the 70’s. A black board lists homemade pies, and a glass cabinet is filled with the kind of sweets I used to bake with my mum – like peppermint slices, crumbly short bread and chocolate crackles, while I could swear the vintage crockery and framed teaspoon collection came from my grandma. However the rice field views from the breakfast counter at the back don’t let me forget that I am in Bali.
Annick,who formerly worked in the design industry started the cafe in 2012 and now spends her days cooking and playing gracious host to her many regular guests. “I am living my dream,” she says with a smile, “I feel blessed.” While her heritage is Mauritian Creole, she grew up in Melbourne, and the menu and the paraphernalia reflect both.The space is nurturing and comforting, heavy on the human touch, with a dose of spirituality thrown into the mix. Paintings of three female deities preside over the open kitchen to “bless the food,” and the counter has wooden boxes marked with ‘magic bits’ and ‘fairy dust.’ “We sprinkle it on all the food,” she tells me with a smile. Whether its magic or just good old-fashioned home-style cooking techniques, the food is delicious.
The popular Kreole Platter releases a fragrant aroma as it is set on the table – a thali tray with a thick yellow dhal; a light, yet fully flavoured okra and vegetable curry, creamy raita; tasty Mauritian-inspired coconut chutney, chapati and a mix of red and white rice. Aussie-style pies are also a crowd favourite and include Chunky Beef Pie encased in golden pastry, a hearty mashed potato-topped Shepherd’s Pie and real, homemade Sausage Rolls,soft flaky pastry filled with chicken, beef, carrot and just a hint of apple. The mini Spinach and Feta Borek are excellent – I cook good borek myself – and although it kills me to admit it,these are better.
There are no sugary soft drinks on the menu, instead fresh juices, young coconut, herbal teas and homemade cordials like Rosella and Vanilla Bean and Ginger and Lime mixed with soda water. Annick also stocks the rather hard-to-find, but very good Bali Cider and organic F.R.E.A.K(Fresh Roasted Enak Arabica from Kintamani) coffee which is cold-pressed, smooth and full bodied. It is the perfect accompaniment to Chocolate and Peanut Hedgehog a crunchy chocolate nutty slice, a Lemon Slice and a Melting Moment – shortbread that really does melt in the mouth.
JalanDrupardi 11 no.56
P +62 361 738514