Au79, Abbotsford

9/03/2017 , 0 Comments

Au79 is a popular cafe in Abbotsford, just off Victoria St on Nicholson St and close to one of my favourite cafes, Three Bags Full. It's easily accessible by trams 12 and 109, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets near the cafe itself. Au79 refers to the periodic table; Au being the symbol for Gold, and 79 as the 79th atomic element. It's an interesting name, upon visiting the cafe website you can see written up the very top, 'Good as Au79', meaning 'Good as Gold'.

The decor of Au79 is very aesthetically pleasing; clean and simple with soft colours that contrast to the black structural posts in place. The cafe is very spacious and it looks like there's plenty of seating, and the various plants in the corners and around the cafe give it a more laid back and homely vibe. Even though there was music playing in the background and plenty of people, we didn't really have to raise our voices to hear each other given the vastness of the cafe, which was good.


I'd heard from various friends that waiting times at Au79 can be quite long, so we arrived around 10am on a Saturday and were lucky enough to be seated immediately for our table of two. By the time we were leaving around 11:45am, there was a queue of about 20 people waiting, so definitely try to go earlier if you don't want to wait. The staff were friendly and attentive, though as we were sitting quite near the front of the cafe, we almost felt slightly pressured to finish up quickly as they would glance at our table every now and then, as would the people waiting for a table.

The menu at Au79 has a lot of breakfast and lunch options that appear to be inspired by various cuisines both asian and western, and there's also two display cabinets full of desserts to choose from. There's also vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options to cater for dietary requirements. The dishes we went with were the Salmon Hash special ($23) and the Korean Veggie Benedict ($18), and drinks wise we ordered a capp ($3.80) and a mork hot chocolate ($5). The capp had less chocolate topping on top than some other places, but was still good, and the hot chocolate was a bit sweeter than most mork hot chocolates I've had, but I usually prefer sweeter ones anyway so it was perfect! We did have to wait quite long for our drinks to arrive - more than 20 minutes - in fact our food actually arrived before our drinks did, and we had to remind the staff that our drinks hadn't arrived yet.


The salmon special was made up of hot smoked salmon and potato hash with hung yoghurt, fresh parsley, dill and chives, with lemon segments and poached eggs on Au79 fennel and garlic sourdough. The salmon itself was lovely and soft, its flavours coming out nicely with the help of the other elements of the dish. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and not dry at all, and the yoghurt was light, with just a hint of a sweet flavour but not overpowering. The toast did become a little soggy underneath everything else, and you couldn't taste that it was any different to normal sourdough, and the lemon flavour wasn't really present in the dish either.


The korean vegetarian benedict was served with house made kimchi, roasted field mushrooms, gochujang (red chilli paste) hollandaise, toasted sesame seeds, a herb salad and poached eggs. It was a really enjoyable dish, and a very generous portion. The eggs were cooked perfectly, oozing out when cut into, and the use of the red chilli hollandaise was a nice twist on the traditional hollandaise which to be honest I'm not really a fan of. The spiciness gave the dish that extra hit and contrasted well with the natural sweetness of the mushrooms and the tangy kimchi. The amount of kimchi in the dish was very generous, though it was definitely more tangy/acidic than it was spicy, but had a good crunch to give the dish extra texture. Despite the menu saying there was a herb salad in this dish, it was really just strands of coriander leaves on top, and the bread became quite soggy underneath all the elements in the dish as well.


Despite the slight downsides to our dishes, it was still for the most part an enjoyable experience at Au79. I'd come back again to try some of their other dishes, and definitely the desserts as well. Recommend coming but perhaps go a bit earlier if you're not one to wait around for a good half hour for a table.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 7.5/10

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