If you thought Kew was full of staid, unexciting, cookie-cutter cafes then Lil Boy Blue will make you think again.
The outside wouldn’t give you a clue to the exciting, innovative and well-priced food that’s coming out of the kitchen. It’s just a glass front with some Delft-like blue and white tiles edging the frame and is sandwiched between a dry cleaner and a music school.
And even when you get inside the front room the white walls are bare and there’s not much adornment elsewhere – just some overflowing fern fronds dangling from the ceiling plants, a textural rug on the exposed red brick wall and a few perky touches on the counter and behind the bar.
Of a daytime the clientele seemed more matronly than hipster so as I pulled up a chair I thought I’d be getting a menu of smashed avocado, Eggs Benedict and toasted Turkish bread. But while there are some egg options for breakfast and sandwich options for lunch, the menu also includes various nibbles/small plates as well as some bigger lunch plates to match your hunger levels.
I was drawn to the most expensive lunch plate ($25) a pomegranate bbq duck breast salad. What was presented was a generous portion of cooked duck breast neatly sliced atop a huge mound of crunchy, crispy, grainy salad. The dish was a perfect play of textures, with the crowning glory being the fried chickpeas which have revolutionised by salad-eating experience. The flavours were also well-balanced, with the savoury coming from the meat, sweetness from the pomegranate seeds and the thin slices of nectarine, a bit of tartness from the pickled radishes (which also tainted the duck breast a pretty pink colour on the base) and some peppery rocket. A really outstanding, accomplished dish.
Encouraged by the evidently deft skill in the kitchen I decided to order dessert as well. The chocolate taste board was described as ‘a selection of four different forms and textures of chocolate’ but for the chef’s amusement a platter of six spectacular tastes arrived! It was a work of art and will satisfy not just a sweet tooth but all your sweet teeth. For only $15 you get a quenelle of foamy chocolate mousse, miniature chocolate brownie, a tiny glass of chocolate milkshake, chocolate ice cream with feathery chocolate fairy floss and a sprinkling of chocolate soil crumbs, a mini chocolate fondant and a ganache-filled chocolate cake. It’s easily a dessert to be shared though chocoholics, don’t mess around – just order it for yourself.
I think maybe the reason Lil Boy Blue is so spot on with its service and food is that the owner is also the chef. I’m eager to try many of the other dishes on the menu and I know that my wallet will be happy at the reasonable prices too. I’m definitely blowing the horn for Lil Boy Blue.
Lil Boy Blue, 309 High St, Kew 03 9853 5003