November 30, 2012

The Petty Officer

113 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park (03) 9686 3000

The latest project for David and Zoe Makin, with business partners Adam Mariani and Matt Lewin, who have started a new café called The Petty Officer in the trendy suburb of Albert Park. The café was only two weeks young when we called in and was already drawing in the crowds. The young staff were bright and attentive, which complemented the well prepared Axil Coffee roasted by Zoe Makin. The Petty Officer also offered a range of filter coffee through the Über Boiler, and the single origin espresso is changed daily.

The Petty Officer has an impressive food menu with an all day breakfast, which included spicy baked eggs with goat’s feta and hazelnut dukkah. I went for the corn, zucchini and mint fritter with a Bloody Mary salsa and crème fraîche. Lunch selections include braised short rib sandwich with a celeriac slaw. Another local favourite is the free-range pork belly with a pear waldorf salad. The front counter has a selection of petit cakes and a pile of scrumptious muffins, all made in house by head chef Isaac Penne and his team. Isaac has an impressive background cooking at The Stokehouse and the last six months at Axil Coffee in Hawthorn.

The Petty Officer name came from some brainstorming by the team around the history of Albert Park, that once was home to a busy military base. Albert Park has since become a real haven for the Melbourne’s foodie culture and has a great range of restaurants, cafés and bars, and now they have been blessed with another café from Australia’s most awarded barista, David Makin.

The fitout is the not the typical Melbourne industrial style; it has clean lines and is light and airy, which is attracting a range of punters from corporates to young families. The outside windows are a major part of this clever fitout. The big panels can be swung up, turning the café into an open-air style business, letting in the bayside breezes. The café has plenty of outside seating space that will be popular in the summer months.

I am looking forward to coming back next time to tackle the cool looking lunch menu and have a shop around the trendy Albert Park. Like all good cafés around Australia, it is advisable to get there early for a seat – especially on busy weekends. Congratulations, team Makin, on another well planned café destination.

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