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Three Bags Full

with 3 comments

Three Bags Full
56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford
(Cnr Nicholson & Mollison Sts)
(T) 9421 2732

(PS. Don’t go to http://www.threebagsfull.com.au like I did, they’re suppliers and manufacturers of top quality sheepskin and equestrian products. Right.)

Three Bags Full is the new cafe from the team that brought you Liar Liar in Hawthorn and based on those credentials (and not much else it seems but word of mouth) some serious serious buzz has been generated. I’d been hearing stories about this place packing out regularly. Nick from Broadsheet had to wait for 20 minutes in line for a seat six days after it opened, no mean feat for a cafe. Even the baristas weren’t prepared for the smashing they received, and all this at a time when you wonder whether this city can accommodate yet another specialty coffee outlet (in an industrial style, as usual it seems). The answer to that wondering is a resounding, Obama-style YES WE CAN.

The cafe is decked out in what we’ve come to expect. Mazzer Roburs, 3 group Synesso, Pour Over cups/filters and a Clover (this is a bit of a coup these days, so difficult to hunt one down since the company was bought by Starbucks). The decor is the same industrial, warehousey, gutted old building feel that we’ve come to know and love from such usual suspects as Seven Seeds, Auction Rooms and St. Ali. The coffee menu features a selection that includes their house espresso blend and several single origins offered through either the Clover or by Pour Over, all roasted by WA-based 5 Senses coffee in Cheltenham.

Coffee-wise, to start I had a strong flat white in the house blend. It included some adequately executed latte art (nice to see that despite how busy they were, the barista was still prepared to serve me something that looked interesting). I’m not sure what milk they’re using but it was lacking a little in texture, the mouthfeel wasn’t as pleasant as with the milk used by Seven Seeds for example. Nevertheless, the espresso came through the milk ok and was pleasant and fairly well balanced.

The single origin on offer through the Clover was the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, a bean that most people who taste coffee would be very familiar with. A washed coffee, the one we tried was particularly light on body, and it was a little too much on the sour/acidic side for me with a lot of orange coming through in the aroma and flavour. Jamie, the head barista, let us preview some of the Sidamo (another Ethiopian bean) that they had sitting out the back, a dry processed coffee, this one was much more pleasant to drink, more full-bodied and with a lovely earthy taste to it with a hint of berries.

The food menu was pretty impressive, a full page for breakfast (all day) and a full page for lunch. I had the smashed avocado, served on bread with fetta and pinenuts pumpkin seeds, Jess had the cauliflower fritters with halloumi and kasundi. Both dishes tasted good but not perfect, I felt my avocado could’ve been a bit more ‘smashed’, there should’ve been more fetta and the pinenuts pumpkin seeds didn’t necessarily mesh well with the rest of the dish. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the kasundi, but that could be because kasundi isn’t really a breakfast thing for me.

Nevertheless, overall, an excellent start for Three Bags Full, a commitment to coffee, good food, good service and good design, something we’ve come to expect here in Melbourne from our cafes and something we’re increasingly getting more and more consistently.

Alex’s Ratings:

Food Taste: 7/10 still some imperfections with the execution but the menu looks great and as it’s honed over the coming months it should improve a great deal.

Coffee : 8/10 with considerations given for the varied menu, all executed quite well.

Service: 7/10 still a little on the slow side with food and the strain was definitely visible, but carried off well overall

Ambience: 9/10 a great fit-out, attention to detail with bright yellows adding some spark to the warehouse feel, and a variety of seating options including a communal table, individual tables, booths and even a small side room with a big table for a larger party.

Overall: 8/10


Jess’ Rating:

I love love love this place! In a beautiful building, I love the way they’ve fitted it out with a warehouse feel. The plants in the windows are a cute touch, and the teacup light fixtures are adorable.

I really enjoyed my cauliflour fritters, Alex doesn’t do tomato in the morning, I don’t do avo or cream in the morning – but my kasundi perfectly complemented the fritters and the whole dish truly did hit the spot created from a night of drinking too much.

Food Taste: 8/10. There were so many things on the menu we wanted to order! Loved my fritters.

Coffee : 9/10

Service: 9/10. I don’t mind slow service, provided it’s warranted. Each dish seemed well thought out and carefully placed together. Food cooked with love. The staff were super friendly too, and came over to chat to us more about the coffees they had on offering.

Ambience: 9/10. Like I said.. . love love love it!

Overall: 9/10

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

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