The Little Kitchen

275 Arden Street, Coogee, New South Wales

All Details
Happy campers: The Little Kitchen in Coogee.
Happy campers: The Little Kitchen in Coogee. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Georgia Waters

There are a lot of Brits in Coogee. The suburb has roughly double the usual number of British-born people than the NSW and Australian average, and one in four locals identify as having English ancestry. So it's a pretty safe bet that if you build a cafe featuring full English breakfasts, kedgeree and bacon and egg butties, they will come. 

The Little Kitchen is on Arden St, just a few steps from the main beachfront drag. The look is sleek, clean and stylishly Brit-meets-mod-coastal-Oz, from the signage to the white-painted wood-panelled walls lined with wooden planter boxes, and heavy timber tables. 

The owners, Neil and Amy Thompson, are a British-Aussie hybrid themselves: she's Aussie, he's a self-described "geezer" who used to head the pub kitchen at Paddington's Four in Hand. The idea behind their first cafe was to create something unpretentious and approachable.

Bacon and egg butty at The Little Kitchen, Coogee
A bacon and egg butty. Photo: Christopher Pearce

We arrive on a brisk late-winter morning. A barista station hisses by the door. Families take the smaller tables inside while young couples sit at the bench by the window drinking from jars next to artful vases of dried native flowers. 

We manage to find a free table outside, where the blue lap blankets on each chair are a thoughtful touch. 

The menu spans British nostalgia and contemporary Aussie cafe. So there's avocado on toast, of course, with poached eggs, roast tomato, and buttermilk curd. Cured ocean trout is paired with zucchini and mint salad and scrambled eggs.  

Cafe treat: Kedgeree with smoked fish, crispy shallots and soft boiled egg.
Kedgeree with smoked fish, crispy shallots and soft boiled egg. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Then there's the full English breakfast "with all the trimmings". The plate arrives looking very full indeed: two fried eggs, a huge pile of grilled - rather than crisp-fried - bacon, a slab of home-made black pudding, roast tomato, a slender pork sausage, a little dish of baked beans, and a hash brown (disappointing, one straight out of the box). After the recent trend for American food it's a welcome change to eat old-school British baked beans, studded with ham off the bone in a light tomatoey sauce, rather than drenched in molasses. We were expecting more of a twist on a classic, but those hankering for a traditional fry-up would be thrilled.

A bacon and egg butty, meanwhile, gets an update with its soft brioche bun and just-set fried egg sprinkled with Maldon salt, sitting on a pile of bacon with sweet, HP-sauce-spiked tomato relish. 

On the drinks front, tea is taken seriously here, as one would expect, with five varieties of Tea Craft loose-leaf, while our Double Roasters piccolo lattes are rich with a hint of bitterness.

The kedgeree is the pick of our order and makes me wonder why we don't see it on menus more often. A vibrant pile of sweetly curried golden rice is studded with smoked cod, crowned with a split soft-boiled egg, a scattering of crispy fried shallots and fresh mint. It's the perfect brunch dish for a cool morning. I'd have preferred, however, more of a spice hit. 

The menu's sweet options include fruit toast with lemon curd and French toast with fruit compote and spiced nuts. Our table splits a plate of cinnamon-poached pears with a crunchy rolled oat crumble. It's comforting and familiar yet light, with an accompanying creamed home-made ricotta.

Judging by the throng here on our visit, The Little Kitchen has built a strong following since opening in February. Unpretentious and approachable is clearly a strategy that's working.

THE LOW-DOWN
The picks Kedgeree, bacon and egg butty
The coffee Double Roasters
The look Rustic minimalism
The service Friendly and eager to please

Rate this restaurant

Rate this restaurant:

Use [left] and [right] keys to rate, [enter] to submit, [esc] to cancel.

Rate this restaurant with 0.5 a star Rate this restaurant with 1 star Rate this restaurant with 1.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 2 stars Rate this restaurant with 2.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 3 stars Rate this restaurant with 3.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 4 stars Rate this restaurant with 4.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 5 stars

Write a review

Thanks for voting!

Write a review

275 Arden Street, Coogee, New South Wales

  • Cuisine - British
  • Prices - Good. Breakfast $7-$18
  • Features - Cheap and cheerful
  • Owners - Neil Thompson, Amy Thompson
  • Opening Hours - Mon-Sun, 7am-4pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-10pm
  • Author - Georgia Waters
Close map

1 comment so far

  • As it purports to be English, I'm pleased to hear they don't do "crispy-fried bacon". Give me lovely fillet style bacon, gently grilled or fried so that it is soft and flavoursome, any time. Hate that American rubbish - can't even get it on your fork!

    Commenter
    trinch
    Location
    Date and time
    August 23, 2014, 2:36PM

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Most viewed restaurants

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Sydney

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Melbourne

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Brisbane

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Canberra

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Promotions

From cooking advice to top accessories, here's a food lover's barbecue guide.

Winemaker Louisa Rose is the custodian of both Yalumba tradition and innovation.