Good day indeed. On Saturday morning, the Boston Brunchers and I were treated to a very special meal by KO Catering and Pies in South Boston. I had initially decided to forgo this outing, as I knew KO was known for its meat pies. I thought I’d leave it the omnivorous brunchers. When I looked at the menu, I found that they actually have quite a few non-meat options. Thankfully, a last-minute spot opened up and I was able to partake in the Aussie culinary adventure.
When we arrived on Saturday morning, there was hardly a person in sight outside. KO is located on a quiet, industrial-looking street near Broadway in South Boston. Inside the shop though, it was warm and friendly. Directly opposite the entrance is the counter with a large chalkboard menu above it. To the right of the counter is the “Pies” chalkboard that lists specials, and to the right of that is a wall of popular Australian items, including ketchup, Tim Tams, and vegemite. The entire space is filled with fun and quirky design elements.
In front of this wall is the communal table where the eight of us enjoyed our brunch. I was delighted to find on the table little gift bags for us with a Tim Tam, the quintessential Australian chocolate cookie, and a pretty iridescent candy cane. Kara, the owner, greeted us and told us about the shop and its traditional Australian offerings. She started us off with a dish of hot buttered sourdough toast with vegemite, the well-known Australian spread made from yeast extract. This was my first time trying it. Vegemite had never really interested me because I am not really into saltiness and that happens to be Vegemite’s defining attribute. Though it was a little salty for my taste, the saltiness paired nicely with the tang of the sourdough.
Renee and I were eyeing some of the same things on the menu so we decided to split a few. We started off with the Homemade Aussie Style Granola with yogurt. The granola was light and crispy. It was not overly sweet and instead benefitted from the flavor of lots of dried fruit, banana chips and almonds. Better than any granola you can find in a box. KO might need to start selling this in specialty shops a little closer to me.
The first main dish we split was the Herbed Potato Rosti with slow-roasted tomato, bacon and topped with a fried egg. The rosti was equivalent to a potato pancake. I happen to like my potato pancakes (latkes) crispy, and even though this was not technically a latke, I secretly just wanted it to be crispier. The egg and the roasted tomato were excellent additions, particularly the tomato which served as a classy stand-in for ketchup.
I was much happier with the Sweet Corn Fritters with bacon, avocado and arugula. The fritters were primarily whole kernals of corn held together with a little batter. They were hearty and sweet and nicely crisp on the outside. The arugula was drenched in a very acidic vinaigrette. I mixed some of the fritter into the salad and enjoyed the tanginess and moisture that the dressing gave to the fritter.
And not being able to go anywhere without indulging my sweet tooth, I ordered the sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. I would go down to Southie just for this dessert. Heavenly would be most accurate. It was a large square of dark date cake, drenched in buttery sweet butterscotch sauce and served with a dish of vanilla ice cream on the side. The moist cake along with the cold ice cream that melted slightly when mixed with the warm butterscotch sauce was dessert perfection.
Many many thanks to Kara and Sam of KO Catering and Pies for their kindness and for giving us a taste of traditional Australian fare. Thank you as well to Renee for organizing the brunch. The food, atmosphere and company were thoroughly enjoyable.
KO Catering and Pies
87 A Street
South Boston, MA