You’ve been Axiled

Axil Coffee Roasters

322 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Axil Coffee Roasters

He says:
Sometimes I’m just oblivious to the world. I’ve driven past Axil for the last couple of months, and hadn’t noticed its imposing Burwood Road frontage; or maybe I was just trying to suppress memories of the Glenferrie hotel. Once I’d gotten my head out of the clouds, Axil looks impressive, with a massive investment in the fit out.

So we arrived at about 12:00 (thanks daylight savings) and joined the large group of people milling around at the front. We were told it would be a 15 minute wait for a table inside (Marg is allergic to the sun), so like good Melbournian diners we waited. The 15 minutes turned into 30 minutes but I didn’t really mind as the guy on the door was very friendly and kept coming over and apologizing. +1 for service.

The inside is a reference for modern café chic: pot plant walls, industrial lights and blackboards. Once we were seated, I ordered the daily single origin blend coffee as a long block. Most of the buzz around Axil has been around its coffee, and I wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. Not too hot, not too cold, it was just right.

This is when the wheels came off slightly. Predictably I ordered the venerable sourdough and eggs, with a side of bacon, chorizo, haloumi and avocado. The food arrived, sans the cutlery, so we had to wait a couple of minutes for another waiter to walk past. The food felt like it was missing something, that everything wasn’t quite right. The sourdough crust was difficult to cut, the bacon was a little fatty, the chorizo was overcooked, as was the haloumi. I couldn’t help but feel that they’ve spent so long finely tuning the coffee experience, that they’ve sort of neglected the food slightly.

Inside Axil

She says:
As Gerard mentioned, Axil has an imposing presence on Burwood Road. It looks enormous! While waiting outside I was imagining a giant shed of people happily eating inside, when we got inside I was surprised (and a little confused) to find that it’s actually not nearly as big on the inside as it looks from the outside. I was right about one thing though, Axil does have quite a lot in common with a shed – complete with exposed corroguated iron ceiling.

Shed-reminiscant or not I liked the fit out, it was cool and comfortable. Comfortable is probably lucky given that half the tables seemed to have at least one baby/small person at them – including the table next to us where there was a little girl who decided a couple of times to walk under our table and start licking my tights, I didn’t mind because I was still in cuteness overload mode from when she walked up and high-fived Gerard. There were also a lot of adults there, the place was packed. So packed that we waited over half an hour for a table and around 40 minutes for food (plus a couple extra minutes for cutlery). I think the staff were feeling the strain a little, we were only missing cuttlery but the couple next to us only ended up with one of their meals.

Food-wise I was probably more impressed than Gerard, it might just be because of what I ordered though, or because I had been feeling sick the day before so hadn’t really eaten anything for about 30 hours and would probably have eaten an empty plate if it was put in front of me. Hunger levels aside, I thought the food was fine. I wouldn’t wait half an hour for a table again but I would happily go back if I could get a table straight away.

We ate:
Gerard had the free range eggs on sourdough ($8.50) with sides of bacon, chorizo, haloumi and avocado ($4.50 each for meat based, $3.50 each for the others). Yes, that means that his eggs end up costing $24.50.

Bacon & Eggs

I had the baked eggs with goat’s cheese feta, dukkah and peperonata sauce with toast ($15) plus sides of mushrooms and haloumi ($3.50 each) – I mentioned I was really hungry right? I liked the eggs, I thought they were really tasty and well cooked (although there was a little bit of a sauce overload, even with a generous amount of toast for soaking). The mushrooms were also good, it’s easy for breakfast places to serve underwhelming mushrooms but I was really happy with these.


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