89 Auburn Rd
Hawthorn, VIC 3122
(03) 9813 5560
Former naval medic Wade Nicholson-Doyle always dreamed of going into hospitality. So after spending the last decade at sea he’s finally found his land legs and opened the tiny cafe along Auburn rd called Hello Sailor. Naturally the place has a subtle nautical theme, with wooden planks and photos of sailors adorning the walls, and copper pipe light fittings hanging above the long cement counter than runs the entire length of the cafe. It’s a beautiful space, with gentle tones and timber combining to create a serene atmosphere.
The seasonal menu devised by MKR star Josh Geardand is short and sweet. It reads like a guide to Melbourne’s hottest suppliers: Seven Seeds coffee, Storm in a Teacup teas, Prana Chai, Mork Hot Chocolate, Cannings free range meats, fresh vegetables and fruit from the Yarra Valley, and fresh Victoria Market Juice. The bread is from Noisette and is available for purchase mid week and through the weekend.
The food is simple and tasty. The Salmon bagel with creme fraiche, dill and capers is bang on trend ($17.50), and come served with a side salad of mixed greens and radish. The salad, while a nice addition, comes dressed in a sweet emulsion that would have been better with more tang to cut through the richness of the salmon. But that’s me being picky.
The crepe with mascarpone and berry compote is an elegant rendition of weekend pancakes ($16.50). It’s a nice enough dish, sure to keep many sweet tooths satisfied, but what lets it down is that the berries are obviously frozen. It’s a shame for a menu that’s supposedly seasonal.
Hello Sailor is a warm, welcoming space with staff that are friendly and helpful. While the menu is decent, it lacks the refinement that you see at Melbourne’s top brunch spots, but will otherwise keep the less finicky happy. Even so, you’ll more than likely need to wait for a table during peak times so be sure to get in early. Though the coffee is Seven Seeds, it tends to be on the mild side so be sure to ask for it strong. But if you normally err on the strong side, maybe this isn’t the place for you.