When you see AU79 what goes through your mind?
If you’re scientifically minded* you’d be aware that AU79 is indeed the chemical element symbol for gold, and that’s exactly what owners Maggie Li and Julia Hou have created in Melbourne’s newest and arguably most sophisticated café. Pure gold.
In the latest and most impressive offering from the CCC Group (Coffee, Culture and Communication Group). The once grungy warehouse at 27-29 Nicholson Street Abbotsford has undergone an impressive transformation and now plays host to an in-house coffee roaster, bakery and patisserie, and function space with Black-Eagle espresso machines at both the front counter and in function space out the back.
Their pre-launch party gave guests a sneak peek at their shiny new roastery, bakery and patisserie and plant-filled, jungle-esque, indoor/outdoor function space.
Featuring high ceilings, half-moon cushioned booths, white walls, timber furnishings and lush planter boxes on handy moveable casters, the function space is sure to be a sought-after event venue due to its adaptability and chic-rustic aesthetic. My date commented that the space felt like a high-end barn with its exposed beams and pitched roof but I don’t think that does the exceptional space justice. With a rear function space, absolutely dripping with greenery, that can be completely closed off from the front patisserie, roastery and cafe, the space is suited to anything from weddings to album launches.
The pre-launch event did not disappoint. Not only were guests welcomed into the carefully and beautifully curated space, they were also introduced to the authentic food philosophy that will, no doubt, translate to the café menu. Get a load of this cheese platter!
Efficient and professional (yet suitably cheerful and friendly) wait-staff served locally sourced cured meats, the kinds of cheese platters that dreams are made of, house-made sourdough breads, dips, oysters, prawns and mouth-watering bite-sized appetisers. When we thought it couldn’t get any better, a selection of to-die-for deserts appeared. You can tell that these people know food.
A steady flow of Pommery bubbles and local wines accompanied food offerings perfectly.
You may have heard of head chef Stephen Hogan. He is best known for his exceptional leadership and innovation at both St Ali and Sir Charles. With a commitment to an oven-to-table philosophy focusing on fresh ingredients and creativity, AU79 offers café staples like smashed avo, bircher muesli, and eggs cooked your way.
If you’re feeling more ambitious you’ll find delicious additions like okonomiyaki, smoked bonito croquettes and truffled croque madame. Warm liquid offerings include in-house roasted coffee, Prana chai and an extensive tea list. The 24K house coffee blend is the brain-child of Head Roaster, Minekazu Hirayama and contains beans from Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala.
Heal’r Tumeric Almond lattes and Matcha lattes are among the offerings. If you’re after something cooler you can order cold pressed juices, sodas, milkshakes and smoothies.
Before we left the party, we decided to have a quick chat to one of the chefs to thank him for the beautiful foodie offerings and before we knew it, he was bundling us away with wrapped half-wheels of cheese and loaves of artisan sourdough bread, baked on site. Could the night finish in a more perfect way? Nope. It was perfection. We felt like the luckiest little food reviewers in the place!
AU79 is set to be one of Melbourne’s most popular hot-spots for weekend brunch or weekday lunch. Get down there ASAP!
*Unlike me, I thought it was something to do with Australia and 1979… I’m more your creative type… not in the least bit scientific!
27-29 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford.
Open daily 7am-4pm.