I had the pleasure of visiting Axil Coffee Roasters in Hawthorn twice in recent weeks. On both occasions the experience has been great! This review will feature pictures from both visits. The experience has been consistent throughout my two visits.
Axil Coffee Roasters is located in Burwood Road, Hawthorn, just around the corner from the Glenferrie Road shops. The establishment operates out of a big converted warehouse and the space is very open.
Inside there is a large section for dining, but there’s also sufficient space to pick up a take-away coffee. Even if you are waiting (and there is a good chance that you will need to wait for a table on weekends after around 10am), the waiting areas do not seem crammed.
The Coffee Roasting and Training
Needless to say, the focus here is on coffee! They have a good set up of baristas working tireless to make sure diners and takeaway orders are done promptly and effectively! In addition to the coffee making, if you happen to wander down the back of the premises, you will also be able to see the area where Axil roasts their own beans and holds barista training courses.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to see the roasters in action, but I suspect that with all the commotion that goes on during weekends, roasting probably is left for the quieter times. Having worked next door to a coffee roaster in a previous job, I know that the smell isn’t so pleasant for the uninitiated (ie, it smells like burnt toast!).
The Dining Area
The actual dining area is spacious enough. It has that warehouse/industrial feel to it, but the actual seating area also feels warm and inviting (hanging light bulbs anyone?).
The Service and Food
The service on both of my visits were great. Friendly (and non-pretentious) wait staff were also very quick and no-nonsense when it came to running orders.
The food itself was also very good! I didn’t experience any ‘life changing’ dishes, but all food was very good and made to order using fresh ingredients. Better than most cafes you will visit, despite having a focus on coffee.
Speaking of coffee, it was excellent! I just ordered lattes on both visits, but the blend they used was flavourful and well made. Pretty much faultless. If you’re more of a coffee aficionado then there are literally pages of blends and different preparation methods that you can try (ie, drips, pourovers, etc). My lattes were satisfying though!
On my first visit, I ordered the potato rosti special, which is a potato rosti, mushroom, egg, spinach and hollandaise stacked up together. Everything on this dish tasted fresh and went together very well! The touch of fresh herbs on top also helped the dish!
On my first visit, my friend ordered smashed avocado with feta. I recently talked with a friend based overseas and realised that we take for granted the abundance of avocados here in Australia. Smashed avocado is on almost every café menu here in Melbourne, but Axil’s looked as good as any out there!
On my second visit, I was the only one to order a meal. There were many things on the menu that I wanted to try, but I went with the special for that day, being squid linguini. It was an interesting dish which featured squid ink pasta, loads of fresh squid, rocket and cherry tomatoes cooked/mixed together. The dish didn’t look like it would work, but it did! It ended up being a mix between a pasta dish and a salad though.
Overall, my visits to Axil were both great. The atmosphere is busy, but spacious enough to be able to relax (when waiting and while seated). The food was great, the service was great, the coffee paraphernalia was great, the coffee is fantastic – definitely drop by if you are in the area. You will not be disappointed!
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