Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Road
Hawthorn, 3122
(03) 9819 0093

I’m a huge fan of Broadsheet and so when I read about Dave Makin’s Axil Coffee Roasters opening it’s own place not far from me, I knew I had to visit ASAP! Axil began roasting beans at Coffee Supreme’s headquarters in Abbotsford in October last year, and began selling to the wholesale coffee market. Since then, they have been looking for their own site, and found it a few doors down from the Glenferrie Road shopping precinct on Burwood road.

I know I said I wouldn’t be taking Bf-B anywhere that required queuing anymore after the mistake that was Pearl Cafe, but I was so desperate that I had no choice. So Sunday morning at about 11.30am we ventured out to Hawthorn, and I prepared myself mentally to endure the torment of making a hungry boyfriend wait for his breakfast…

But much to my relief the wait wasn’t too bad. Friendly staff and the addition of a small retail area at the front selling Axil coffee products made things easier. I was a little concerned, however, when I noted the waiter was not writing down names, but my concern proved to be unwarranted as he somehow managed to keep his mental list straight.

The cafe is divided by a wall of suspended pot plants, which meant we wern’t left standing over someone else’s table as they ate. It has a very minimal, wearhouse-type feel, with corrugated iron roofing, concrete floors and plenty of black and green. After about 10-15 minutes we were shown to our table against the wall. I sat facing out, and found that my bench seat made me a fair bit taller than Bf-B. No intimate eye contact here. We were pleasantly greeted by another waitress who took our coffee order – skinny latte for me, strong for him.

The coffee (I thought) was good – strong with not even a hint of bitter aftertaste, even at the bottom. And it ought to be. Dave Makin is a three-time Australian barista champion, and his fiancee, Zoe Delany is equally competent behind a coffee machine. Axil boasts two custom-built, three-group La Mozzoca machines, as well as current barista champion Matt Perger on staff, who introduced the couple to Axil’s head-chef, Andy MacDonald from Lost in South Yarra.

The menu I would define as Modern Australian, and I found it difficult to decide what to choose, with options like buttermilk pancakes with chocolate, pear, praline and zabaglione gelato, or a smoked trout wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado, tomato salsa, and snow pea tendrils. When Bf-B decided on the corn fritters with spinach, avocado, salsa rosso and a poached egg, I thought I should try something different for the sake of my bloggers. But, as the waitress turned to leave I had a sudden case of FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and decided to follow my heart. So sorry there is only one photo but it was my breakfast and that was what I wanted!

We did have to wait a good amount of time for the food to come (at least 30 minutes), but I half expected this since the cafe only opened a week earlier. I had read elsewhere that the portions are quite generous, however, looking around at other table’s food I didn’t find this to be the case. When the plate arrived I was starving, and a little sad my patience hadn’t been rewarded with a mound of food. But I must say, by the end of it I had decided it was the perfect sized breakfast that left me feeling full, but not heavy.

The fritters themselves were delicious – full of juicy corn kernals and not at all stogy, a welcome departure from those I’ve had in the past. The spinach, however, was a little bland and screamed out for seasoning and a squeeze of lemon, and I thought the avocado was perhaps a tad under ripe, rendering it quite tasteless. The fresh salsa could have done with a little more zing to remedy this, but overall I was pretty satisfied with my meal, and left very satisfied.

Yes it is a bit mean to review a place that has only been open a week, but already the place has me excited – I know things are only going to get better from here and I look forward to going back. Foodies of the East rejoice! We now have a cafe that competes with the coffee and brunch meccas our Western neighbours have enjoyed for so long!

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