Kelby's Cafe was created to make you feel like you are coming home. Owner, Moe Issa combines fresh ingredients and inspiration from his own background. He created a unique menu which includes their addictive Kelby's Hash, and their famous Lebanese and Egyptian breakfasts with flavours from Moe's childhood.
Quoted by Moe "It's not just a cafe, it's my craft. I built this from the ground up; everything you see and taste has been selected carefully and with love" and this was not hard to believe. His craft was executed with precision; the food was scrumptious, fresh and featured twists to classic dishes as well as unique and Middle Eastern influences. We were transformed into a glorious food wonderland.
Kelby's Cafe in Surry Hills is not afraid to stand out from other cafes that call Elizabeth Street home. They offer innovative, creative and tantalising food offerings that are different from your standard cafe-style menus.
Stepping further inside the cafe, you notice that Moe has worked hard to distract you from the hustle and bustle of Elizabeth Street. The faux brick walls, a gaggle of exposed Edison hanging over a large central table, lush green plant walls and the backdrop of a cheeky mural of the owner adds character and a touch of quirkiness to the cosy and relaxed decor and vibes.
The menu is contemporary filled with unique flavours, twists on classics with an extensive all-day breakfast and lunch menu that offers tantalising and exotic flavours from the Middle East with a good number of Lebanese and Egyptian inspired items.
The menu also includes your regular cafe favourites, burgers and wraps, small bites featuring croissant and pastries, make your own omelette, salad menu and an extensive beverage menu.
There are daily specials and deals too.
After perusing the mouth-watering menu we opted for the popular Eggocado ($18.90) and from the lunch menu- The Klassic Beef Burger ($14.90) and we decided to have it Hawaiian-style by adding bacon, egg and pineapple ($16.90).
I had the honour to meet the chef and take photographs of his craft at the open-kitchen bar. Once it arrived, I certainly was impressed with the presentation; it was colourful, playful and looked like it was going to be a hearty brekkie dish (with modern touches) that will make me come back for more.
This dish was certainly one that must be tried at Kelby's. All the components (in a forkful together) was just heavenly, not one ingredient overpowered or under delivered, the flavours and textures worked in unison together creating the perfect marriage of a gastronomic experience.
The egg was cooked perfectly with the yolk running down the sides of the deliciously baked avocado and the bacon was cooked just how I like it-double crispy! The crunch and texture of the bacon united with the gentle softness of the avocado and the fresh ingredients of the tomato, Spanish onion, and the creamy feta with the peppery rocket was a parade of culinary delight in my mouth.
The flavours and textures from the Eggocado dish danced together, making this dish one that I will not get sick of eating daily. It packed quite a punch!
The quirky name 'Eggocato' was just that, a quirky, fun and surprisingly a homey dish that was true to its name with the 'egg' and 'avocado'. It was truly a wonderful dish that awakened my senses to the world of great, fresh food.
The Klassic Beef Burger with a homemade premium beef patty, cheddar cheese, fresh tomato, caramelised onion, lettuce and aioli served on a milk brioche bun with the addition of egg, bacon and pineapple was a burger not to be messed with!
When I think of a burger, it cannot be eaten with grace, it has to be eaten caveman-style where the sauce oozes down my fingers and the patty is juicy, seasoned and cooked to perfection. The bread has to be soft and the fillings need to be fresh and complement the patty.
I can confidently say that this Klassic Beef Burger got my tick of approval on my ideal burger. I can still taste the seasoning from the beef patty! It was seasoned so well, with hints of Middle Eastern spices, joined with it being cooked to perfection. It was the ultimate mouth-watering culinary experience I have had from a cafe to date!
The egg was cooked perfectly too (runny) and the bacon was so crispy, it added the perfect texture to the burger. The aioli was creamy, saucy and packed a punch, combined with the melted cheddar cheese and fresh tomato and lettuce, it was one burger that satisfied the taste buds and made you crave for another one.
Both dishes, overall, produced and presented a tasteful experience, and I will definitely be back to explore the rest of Kelby's menu...
For drinks, we ordered a Banana Smoothie ($8) and Coffee Frappe ($6.90).
The Banana Smoothie- milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and honey was refreshing and complemented the Eggocato dish. However, it was a slight let down as the bananas were not ripened and the astringent, rough, bitter-like texture and taste was not pleasant.
The honey was certainly present and the creamy, smooth thick texture was easy to drink.
Overall, it was all it promised to be, besides the bananas not being ripe enough (according to my taste buds).
The Coffee Frappe- double espresso blended with milk, crushed ice and your choice of syrup (we chose hazelnut) was quite a pleasant coffee drink. It was strong with warming notes from the hazelnut syrup and being ice-cold it was a great match to the Klassic Beef Burger.
The acidity was desirable with a crisp, sharp and pleasant aftertaste. It was a great pick-me-up drink.