After attending their glamorous launch party back in April, I was so keen to see what AU79 had to offer now they were officially up and running for a good few months. I imagine most of you have seen the venue in the plethora of media attention it received after opening, but for anyone who hasn’t, this bright converted barn is one of the largest cafe venues in Melbourne. If you need any convincing how large it is, they just casually have a coffee roaster right in the middle, and still have space for about 200 diners.
The coffee roaster leads nicely on to my next point, AU79 do just about everything: they roast their own coffee, they bake their own sourdough, bake their own pastries and cakes – alongside offering an eclectic all day menu and hosting a variety of events. It amazes me how they manage to juggle it all, but then if you meet Robin, the guy behind AU79’s long journey to existence, you realise that this cafe is an extension of how he works – always busy and always trying to achieve the best that he can.
The service was impeccable. The staff worked smoothly as a team. We were greeted as soon as we arrived by an obviously busy member of staff before being shown to our table. I watched as staff made the effort to ensure every customer’s visit was special, taking the extra time to chat with them and discuss their menu choices. I was particularly impressed with the way that, as tables cleared, they were offering people on the communal table the opportunity to move to a more private table if they liked.
I went for the potato and parmesan croquette with pickled cabbage, smashed peas and topped with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. I expected a couple of small croquettes dotted around my plate with the eggs, instead i was served literally the largest croquette I’ve ever seen in my life, with a great crispy coating and loads of flavour. It was so so filling – perhaps a little too much so! The light Hollandaise balanced well against the Parmesan flavour of the croquette and the pickled cabbage with the peas just giving a different texture and making the dish more interesting. M.B. had his usual boring breakfast of scrambled eggs on sourdough with bacon and a hash brown. The sour dough (baked in house) just had so much flavour – you really can’t beat house made sourdough, his eggs were a lovely rich colour and he thought they had a great consistency and flavour, bacon was nice and crispy and the hash brown tasted as good as it looked. His portion wasn’t quite so generous but still a great filling meal!
It was wonderful to be back at AU79 and see the cafe up and running. Despite its size, it still gets busy and has a really buzzing feel (also be prepared to wait if you go at peak times). Well and truly worth the visit to try their brunch food with a Asian Twist – and if you’ve already visited, they’re bringing out new dishes for Spring, so a great time to head back and try something new! I know I will be excited to see what happens next with this exciting venture! Thanks for having us Robin and team AU79.