I know that Percy’s Aeroplane is a local favourite for many Kew residents and that’s why I made the effort to visit it. The affection for the small cafe is also evident by the steady stream of customers who greet the owner Wes by name as they order their takeaway coffees.
Like its name, Percy’s Aeroplane is undeniably cute, a converted shopfront filled with vintage ephemera that could be the inside of someone’s house. The cafe consists of a bright front room sporting a canary yellow coffee machine, a cosy back room and a small shaded courtyard at the back.
But the reason I’ve decided to veer on the side of NOT for this review is due to an ok but generally unexciting experience I had there and what I consider to be value for money. Maybe I would have leaned more on the HOT side if I’d been transported by what I hear is their amazing coffee – but as I don’t drink coffee so you’ll just have to make up your own minds about that.
The short food menu has all day breakfast options and some premade sandwiches and salads in the glass counter. A quick scan sold me on Wes’ favourite – if it’s the owner’s choice then it must be good!
Wes’ favourite consists of a poached egg, bacon, a herb and potato rosti, avocado and garlic and anchovy aioli ($18.50). It’s a dish that contains possibly all of my favourite savoury breakfast ingredients on one plate and when it came out it looked gorgeous.
The egg was properly runny, the bacon was well fried – so what was the problem? Well, I didn’t love the sogginess of the rosti, which I normally expect to have a crisp hash brown-like coating hiding creamy shredded potato inside.
But mostly I took issue with the price. When did a reasonably simple cafe breakfast start nearing the $20 mark? And for that you only get one lonesome egg? I devoured the plate in literally 5 minutes and was still hungry afterwards – so decided to see whether the muesli bite ($2.50) and brownie ($4) could get me excited.
Sadly not. They were run of the mill and the brownie broke off into dry crumbs rather than bearing a fudgy and cake-like texture, unlike the versions I get here.
I also found the service at Percy’s Aeroplane a bit dozy – I placed my order and after about 15 minutes I was asked by another waitress whether I wanted to order any food. She did sweetly apologise for the wait when the food did arrive so the lackadaisical service wasn’t a deal-breaker but it didn’t add to a winning experience.
Perhaps I’m a jaded blogger who has been eating my way through Melbourne’s generally high standard of cafes for too long. Maybe Percy’s Aeroplane is unlucky in that it’s not my local and I have to skip over a lot of many excellent options much closer to home in order to get there.
But on a final analysis, Percy’s Aeroplane didn’t rock my boat.
Percy’s Aeroplane, 96 Denmark St Kew +61 3 9939 7642
Mon – Sat: 7:00 am – 3:30 pm