The Petty Officer

113 Victoria Ave
Albert Park, VIC 3206
03 9686 3000
The Petty Officer on Urbanspoon

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The Petty Officer hasn’t been opened too long at all, but instagram shots of its interior looked so appealing that Fakegf and I decided to fast-track our visit, especially when we discovered the café is somewhat sisters with Axil Coffee Roasters.

We popped in two Tuesdays ago.

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Such a breathtaking space! Full of light, aesthetic simplicity, and ergonomic design… not to mention it’s quite walkable from home. I could have a twenty minute stroll along the beach and then turn into Victoria Avenue for brunch, or a cup of coffee.

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I confess I’ve got a sort of push-and-pull relationship with Axil beans. My first encounter with it was with my barista friend, Lachy, 18 months ago. Back then, I was quite unfussy with coffees and couldn’t really tell what’s good from bad. But I very quickly learnt to pick up tasting notes thereafter, began to order piccolos, and now there’s no turning back. I’m very persnickety with my coffees now.

Axil seems to be a finicky bean. When a barista extracts it badly, it can taste heinously sour. But a well made cup, like what I’ve had at Outpost Café and Cup Of Truth, can taste truly spectacular! And interestingly, Axil beans works very well with my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine at home.

The Petty Officer 1Coffee by Axil – Magic 3.5 | Piccolo 3.5

And I’ll now declare that the coffees here are stunning. They’ve pretty much reaffirmed my love for Axil beans. And if you weren’t sure whether this café is related to Axil in Hawthorn, well those signature-looking Axil coffee cups tells us they probably are.

My piccolo arrived silky and beautiful with hints of stone fruit, while Fakegf’s magic came thick with a syrupy mouthfeel. It’s really delightful to be able to pull out so many tasting notes in my coffee – only good cups can do that.

The Petty Officer 5153Single origin “Gatunyaa” Piccolo 4.0

I tried their Kenyan single origin too, and it had a lovely perfumed fragrance that wasn’t floral, fruity nor spicy. It reminded me of peach potpourri in a good way, with a rounded, powdery mouthfeel and a cinnamon-sweet finish. Irresistible!

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They will be selling Axil Beans here soon. I’m really thrilled about that, because it means I won’t have to journey all the way to Hawthorn to get it.

The Petty Officer 5179Chief Petty Officer Free range poached eggs, bacon, slow roasted tomato, smashed avocado & tomato relish on toast – 17.5

The menu is small but enticing, with dishes such as ‘twice cooked French toast with glazed figs’ and ‘corn, zucchini and mint fritters with bloody mary salsa’. They also allow you to build your own breakie.

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Fakegf decided on the big breakfast option, cutely named ‘Chief Petty Officer”, which she seemed to enjoy. She passed me all of the bacon (she doesn’t eat bacon!), and by golly was it good pig!

The Petty Officer 5189 House smoked ocean trout on potato croquette w beetroot relish, spinach, preserved lemon yoghurt & a poached egg – 17.5

I went boring predictable with a brunch combination that almost never fails, but there were extra touches here that I liked. The dabs of lemon yoghurt gave great tangy counterpoint to the sweet (and slightly Middle Eastern) beetroot relish, which was then balanced out very nicely with the umami from good smoked trout. Lovely, gently seasoned croquettes too!

Overall, the brunch fare here is pretty good! We only have one comment: all of our poached eggs were slightly overcooked, with a thin outside ring of opaque light yellow and not much spill-factor. Maybe it’s because the weather is warming up and they haven’t adjusted cooking times to that. But if I were to be ‘petty’ about it, I’d say this is the one thing they should work on improving.

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The eggy issue aside, this café is a definite keeper for me. It’s close to home, has a breezy feel, serves magnificent coffees along with a handsome brunch menu. The staff were friendly and full-of-smiles too.

I’ll also have to say that I feel a comforting, trans-oceanic familiarity with the café’s logo. The three stripes represent the rank of sergeant in the army, which was the rank I held when I served National Service back in Singapore. Also, I do get days when I can be…


… quite petty. Ha ha ha!