Sun – Sat: 7am – 4pm
Coffee: Axil house blend, Single Origin, Filter coffee, Affogato
“To be given the title ‘petty officer’ gives the impression that you’re on the bottom. Even the Oxford English Dictionary provides the definition as ‘of small size, small, little’. Names and titles are important for organisations relying heavily on authority to ensure each person knows its place. Even when America had achieved their independence and the forefathers were deciding on the name of the now ‘President’, they wanted a title that derived as little power as possible. A title that the public had little care or understanding for and certainly didn’t hold any power. The Petty Officer may have a title indicating they’re small, but they’re sure making waves in Albert Park.
We arrived on a fabulously sunny Sunday that had ticked all of Miss SLs boxes. Excited as we walk to The Petty Officer, we were greeted by a lovely white corner café with seating out the front and appropriate space for waiting guests. Inside there is clean and defining furniture with little reminders that it’s part of the Axil family. The same down lights are used, but here they are cleverly shaped with defining wired hourglass lamp shades and the same strong black stools. What is fabulous about this café space is the use of the natural light that shines to provide a warm environment with pre-dated war décor and an interesting painting of a bird. Space wise it ticks all the boxes, just don’t stand near the barista station- it’s clearly marked as a no standing zone.
After being escorted to our seats and taking in the decor of The Petty Officer’s quarters, it was time to order our coffee to start this voyage. As typical as a Senior Sergeant with his cut lunch, I went for the Axil house blend in a long black [$3.50]. While the coffee head was a little distorted I can confirm this coffee was well-balanced. At the start I didn’t pick up on the slight nutty flavour that was present. The standout element was the clean finish taste on the palate. Having had a few Axil house blends, I believe crafting a coffee which allures you into having another taste is one of their strengths. A kick-ass long black if I don’t say myself.
The menu brings about a good selection of food options and has a strong connection with the Axil menu. There are the known favourites such as the Avocado smashed with Meredith cheese, but all having their own little spin. The Corn, zucchini, & mint fritters with bloody Mary salsa, celery salt and crème fraiche [$15] was my winning choice. As the picture outlines, this was certainly not your typical fritters and as I long wanted to try a new interpretation of fritters I was quick to dig in.
The four medium-sized fritters had been shallow fried but weren’t too oily and provided a nice crunch on the outside. The size of corn made this dish pop with flavour and the zucchini and mint made the inside of the fritter fluffy. The bloody Mary salsa was a perfect addition as it provided the right amount of spice and zing from what tasted like Tabasco sauce. It packed a powerful punch! The additional tomatoes push the overall dishes’ flavour in the right direction and whilst the salsa was a little oily the crème fraiche brought the dish together.
If fritters are not your thing, The Petty Officer was pumping out a number of delicious looking Wagyu beef burger, bacon, gruyere, beetroot relish, butter lettuce, house pickles [$16.50] – perfect for a Sunday lunch meal with a selection of cold phoenix drinks.
Albert Park may have few good quality cafes to its name, but The Petty Officer will make its mark sooner rather than later. It’s certainly worth any brunch-goers time.”
“It was the perfect day. The sun was shining through the blinds as early as 8am, I had plans for an early morning bike ride and run, followed by brunch with my friends Mesh and Audrey.
Lying in bed I flicked through the web and realised that Axil‘s new brainchild The Petty Officer had finally opened a week ago, and a place called Jock’s Ice Cream & Sorbet (also in Albert Park) were doing a special ice cream sandwich on every Sunday for the month of November. It seemed that the stars were aligned and we would be off to Albert park.
We arrived at 12:30pm to find that we had a short wait of 15 minutes to our table. This was unusually quick for a new cafe. Sure enough we were seated to a table for four inside. The interior of The Petty Officer is clean yet clever. The eyes are immediately drawn to the lines of the cafe, and a cleverly incorporated border creates a frame for the dining space.
Upon taking our seats I ordered an affogato to start with. The menu revealed some great choices and EVERYTHING that came out of the kitchen looked delicious, particularly the lunch options such as the Wagyu beef burger, bacon, gruyere, beetroot relish, butter lettuce, house pickles [$16.50]. My affogato was delicious – a little too delicious in fact and I downed it a little too quickly. There was just the right amount of ice cream added to my shot of coffee, transforming the Axil blend into something that was rich, smooth and creamy. It was finished before the waitress even had a chance to take our food orders down.
After much contemplation I decided to go for the Chief Petty Officer- smashed avocado, roast tomato, bacon, tomato relish, and poached eggs on toast [$17.50], ordering a double espresso [$3.50] to accompany it. Audrey went for the same dish as me, add mushrooms [$3], with fried eggs instead of poached. Our waitress was a gorgeous girl with a super friendly attitude and a great pixie cut and she joked and laughed at us with Audrey’s alterations every time she attempted to walk off.
Mesh is a bit of an Axil fan, as he used to live around the corner from it and would always order the baked eggs. I banned him from ordering this dish here, challenging him to broaden his vegetarian horizons and he ended up ordering the Avocado smashed with Meredith feta, mint, radish and lemon served on grain toast [$14.50]. The serving size of his dish looked really generous and the radish just seemed to add an element of freshness to it.
My newly arrived double espresso was a lot stronger and much more crisp on the tongue than my previous affogato. This was a great thing as it forced me to sip it along with my meal rather than greedily gulp it down.
When my Chief Petty Officer came out there were two things that I noticed immediately:
- That the eggs were shaped perfectly and perhaps even trimmed. I could tell they were cooked until they oozed gooey yolk; and
- The ‘toast’ was in fact beautiful baguette bread sliced in half and toasted. Lovely!
Everything on the plate was well made and fresh – the roasted tomatoes were juicy and sweet, the avocado and feta was salty and creamy and the bacon was fried until they were rich pink. There was really nothing to fault!
When questioned around the table everyone unanimously agreed the food was good, although Audrey looked a hesitant. This could have been due to a rather grumpy waitress who was a bit rude earlier.
It seemed like The Petty Officer had been opened for long time and didn’t show the traits of a new cafe struggling to keep up. The menu had an interesting take on the usual favourites and our pixie-haired waitress really made our experience an enjoyable one. It’s a great addition to the Albert Park area and if you’re a fan of Axil, we recommend giving these guys a try!
Final thought: “A unique take on corn fritters”
We’d read about an ice creamery in Albert Park called Jock’s which was doing a special edition ice cream sandwich on every Sunday for the month of November 2012. The sandwiches were made from brioche bread, supplied from the infamous Brasserie Bread. How could we possibly ignore such a salacious offer?! When we googled the address it would appear we were in luck – Jock’s Ice Cream & Sorbet was just a couple of doors down from The Petty Officer!
We arrived to find a queue of locals getting single and double cone ice creams. We lined up to find interesting flavours for our picking – panacotta, pavlova and salted caramel to name a few (although they were out of salted caramel). Miss SL decided to go for the pavlova flavour and Mr LB got Blood Orange. We have to say the sandwiches were delightful but at $4.50 a pop they weren’t cheap.
The brioche was quite sweet, but seemed to balance the flavours of our ice creams. This seemed like a dessert that would typically be found in Asia, and when we asked Audrey if this was something considered normal in China (her home country), she said yes. Our only comment about the brioche was that it seemed a little stale. We’re not sure if this was intentional so that the buns would hold their shape with ice cream in them or if this was just a stale batch of buns. With that said, if we were kids this would be a real hoot of a treat! Make sure you give Jock’s a try for brunch-dessert if you’re in the area!