Science nerds will know that AU79 is the chemical symbol for gold. I’ll admit the reference was lost on me but I’m still giving a gold for fitout to newly opened AU79 in Abbotsford.
The cafe is just off Victoria street next to the Hive Shopping centre and provides something quite different to the cheap and cheerful Vietnamese areas that dominate the area.
It’s a huge space and you could fit three or four standard cafes into the converted old garage. There’s enough room for AU79’s own roastery and you can pick up some of the beans to takeaway. White washed walls, hand painted murals, curved wooden booths and lots of greenery soften the large light filled room. Prepare for serious indoor plant envy – it’s like a jungle in there!
The menu veers between indulgent (think cronuts) and abstemious (breakfast greens). I think the more indulgent side of the menu wins. My breakfast greens ($18) were a little too clean and virtuous with mounds of gai lan, spinach and kale although big thumbs up to the crispy fried curry leaves.
My pick is the okonomiyaki ($18). The Japanese pancake is thick and filling and topped with a dollop of mayo and twirls of crispy potato. Shredded herbs add freshness to what is a filling breakfast with a difference.
The coffee delivers as you’d expect in a place with its own roastery. My latte is lively with a hint of caramel. You’ll get coffee art if you smile nicely. There are also teas and juices available with a decent green juice on offer.
I’m giving AU79 a silver for the food and drinks but a gold for looks.
Details: AU79, 27-29 Abbotsford Street, Abbotsford
Kids: There’s no kids menu but there are high chairs and the space is big enough that you won’t feel too bad if your little one is a little noisy.