Axil Coffee Roasters

June 20, 2011

322 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
If you haven’t heard of Axil yet, I’m not surprised: this cafe only opened in May this year, so it is brand-spanking new. I say “yet” because this place is going to go berserk with the number of people swarming in once they hear of the excellent coffee, inventive menu and incredible desserts (see below). Sure, I had to do the walk of shame (ie. the walk of knowing you’re being judged as unoriginally dressed) past a group of hipsters who were sitting at the table outside, but I think the pleasantness of Axil will override that.
The first thing that will strike you about Axil is how large a space it is, almost warehouse sized compared to other niche cafes. Lots of tables, plenty of room to walk between them, and less of a communal table/milk crate acting as chair vibe. It was nice to sit on a proper chair with a back for a change! Inside there are no hipsters, but rather a mixed clientele of young mums, uni-aged people, middle-aged couples etc. The floors are grey with black and yellow messy stripes, kind of like the lines on a road. Lots of exposed bulb lighting, air vents and black walls give this place that city-industrial feel that Melbourne does so well.

I was informed of (and accompanied to) this place by Miss N, who is lucky enough to live within five minutes of Axil. Both of our lattes were fantastic, really. Beautifully smooth and creamy milk, perfect temperature, good strong taste but not a hint of bitterness. My latte had a TRIPLE rosetta, v impressive. I’d heard that there’s a barista heavyweight pulling the coffees here, and I’ve certainly never seen any coffee art this impressive before. It was (almost) too pretty to drink!

Despite meeting at that awkward late-afternoon time that’s too close to dinner to warrant ordering any food, N and I had a quick glance at the menu, just for tokenism more than anything else, and after roughly six seconds, N said “yeah, so, how about sharing that nougat parfait?” “You read my mind”. (God I love it when ordering for two is so blissfully easy). If you were excited about the fancy latte art, this will knock your socks off. The dish that caught both our eyes was the nougat parfait with marshmallow, passion fruit, honeycomb, persian fairy floss and lemon sorbet. Hell yes.

The contrast in texture, flavour and temperature here was fantastic, and we especially loved dipping the crunchy honeycomb in the passionfruit syrup. The combination of warm marshmallow (it had been grilled), nutty nougat partfait and sharp acidity from the sorbet was inspired. The lemon sorbet was very sour and refreshing, just the way I like it! A lick of persian fairy floss finished it off. Even more impressive is that all components are made in-house by the chef.

In short, a great place which I will definitely be returning to to try both breakfast and lunch: as if hawthornites weren’t spoiled enough for choice already!

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Filed under: Brunch, Coffee, Hawthorn