Axil, The Petty Officer

Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Road
Hawthorn
Vic 3122
+61 3 9819 0091

Axil Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

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Fakebooo and I have a routine. Every Tuesday, we have brunch, gossip in exaggerated Singlish (Singapore-English) and head off to Footscray for grocery and banh mi shopping. Ever since we stopped being colleagues, I looked forward to Tuesdays all the more. I’d missed his nonsensical fluttery whims, and he always made me exasperatedly chirpy, especially after his brain had been acutely slapped awake by a hit of caffeine.

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We decided on Axil for one of our Tuesday brunch dates. Booo had already blogged about Axil so all he had to do was drink his coffee, wake up and enjoy the food, leaving the photo-snapping and writing to me.

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Single Origin Piccolo Latte $4.00
(Burundi Ngozi Mugirampeke)

I like the interior of Axil. It is extremely spacious and the clever wall of plants adds warmth to bright warehousey feel. The corner shelf is stacked with coffee equipment that might fulfill any coffee geek’s dreams.

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Scrambled egg and chorizo breakfast wrap with rocket, avocado and tomato salsa $17

Our coffees were lovely. My single origin had notes of melon and citrus that eluded my amateur palette. My brunch wrap was filling and extremely tasty. Booo’s dish was served without the trout and when we enquired about it, the waitress hastily replaced it in a quick professional manner. I had portioned off a third of my wrap onto Booo’s plate but unfortunately that was before the dish was replaced, and as it had vanished when the replacement arrived, I assume it was disposed.

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House smoked ocean trout with golden hash, asparagus, creamed beetroot and a poached egg $20

While waiting for the Angmoh to join us, Booo and I shared a dessert. I had spied the gingerbread French toast on EatPlayShop’s Instagram feed several days ago and knew I had to have it. After all, gingerbread is one of my weaknesses and this dish certainly didn’t disappoint. It was rich and spicy and the sweet ripe figs with mascarpone made it all the more decadent.

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Ginger Bread French toast with caramelized figs and a macadamia honey comb mascarpone $15

The Angmoh finally made his appearance and ordered the avocado with poached eggs. He has a penchant for avocado of the smashed variety, and the added julienned mint is to his liking. He enjoyed every bit of it and devoured it all.

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Smashed avocado w/ Meredith feta, mint, lemon and parseley on multi-grain toast $14.50
(add poached egg $2)

Our experience at Axil was pleasant. While there were a few slip-ups, including our rickety table, service was friendly and professional and food was definitely of top-notch quality.

The Petty Officer
113 Victoria Avenue
Albert Park
Vic 3206
+61 3 9686 3000

The Petty Officer on Urbanspoon

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The Angmoh and I paid a visit to Axil’s sister branch one Saturday morning. The Petty Officer is located in Albert Park and is patronized by locals. It is extremely family-oriented and rather fun to watch the pram-pushing mothers socialize and dogs of all sizes sniffing each other out.  We had been previously and I have to declare that the coffee at The Petty Officer tastes heaps better. The service, on the other hand, that morning was abysmal. We had been standing at the entrance for at least 10minutes without given any attention. When I tried to flag a waiter down, he abruptly replied with ‘I’m busy’ and scurried away into the kitchen. The Angmoh later approached another bloke to ask if we should seat ourselves, and we were then told that the café was extremely busy and that it would take approximately another 10-15 minutes to get a seat. We continued to wait at the entrance, but the staff didn’t even acknowledge us.  I’ll admit that we rocked up at peak brunch hour, but I personally think that no matter how busy a café is, customers should never be ignored. We left that morning, but because I had enjoyed my previous dining experiences at The Petty Officer, and they really do serve up excellent coffees, I decided a second chance was warranted. One week later, we turned up on a not-too-busy Sunday morning and were given a table instantly.

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Our morning started off with a round of house-blend coffees. They lived up to expectation: delicious, with light floral and fruity elements.

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(Top left) Magic $3.50
(Bottom right) Piccolo latte $3.50

The Angmoh had heard about the baked eggs, and decided to try the dish. While I found the eggs slightly overcooked with a slightly strong touch of cumin, the Angmoh enjoyed it and had no complaints. I had the smashed avocado dish this time. I liked how the avocado had large chunks of the fruit, and was not ‘smashed’ into a spreadable paste. The bread is from Brasserie Bread and is of extremely high quality.

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Avocado smashed with Meredith feta, radish, mint and lemon on grain toast $13.50
(add poached egg $2)

My single origin (Clovis – Brazil) piccolo latte had The Angmoh regretting his choice of second coffee. It reminded me of rum-and-raisin chocolate, with a hint of strawberry at the end. It was fabulous. We left much happier this time round.

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Spicy baked eggs, goats cheese, hazelnut dukkah served on toast $15

Axil and The Petty Officer are excellent cafes. While occasional hit-and-misses occur, the quality of coffee and food remain consistent.  Positioned where they are, they are competing in a very crowded market and to really differentiate themselves from the pack, they may want to iron out some of the kinks in their customer service.

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10 Comments

Filed under Albert Park, Brunch, Coffee, Hawthorn

10 responses to “Axil, The Petty Officer

  1. Ah, Axil used to be quite a regular for me, since it is so close and due to it’s size I’m usually bound to get a table in a reasonable time frame! Shame about getting ignored at Petty Officer, I agree that restaurants can be busy, but the customer should at least be acknowledged where possible! The coffee art at Petty Officer looks nice though! :)

  2. I had never heard of Axil before but that ginger bread French toast looks brilliant!

  3. Every time we drive past Axil on weekends, it’s always so packed! Really need to go one day though cos I’ve heard such good things about it and the dishes you’ve described here sound amazing. Ahhhh when I get a day off work…

  4. I do like both their fitouts, but I think Petty Officer IMHO is a slightly better cafe.. no idea why :P

  5. An Appreciative Neighbour

    I just discovered your blog and wanted to say how much I’m enjoying it. I love the level of detail you give about all aspects of your experience and also that you’re willing to give a cafe a second chance after a disappointing first visit! I think I must live close(ish) to you (I’m in Port Melb) and agree with all of your reviews about the cafes in ‘our’ area. I intend on checking in here as a guide when deciding on my next brunch destination – thanks!

    PS I read your Station St Trading Co. review and (as a fellow dog owner) wanted to add that another good place with a dog park right next to it is Priscilla Jones at Gasworks Park in Albert Park. The Salford Lads Club and the Little Rose (both in Port Melb) are some other favourite local brunch-haunts of mine as well (in case you’re looking for some new local spots to try).

    • Aww, thank you so much for your kind words, they really mean a lot to me!
      And thanks for the recommendations! The Sausage hasn’t dined out with me for a while and I think i need to rectify that. I’ve not heard of Priscilla Jones, will definitely have to check it out! Balderdash, My Sister Says and Truman Cafe are other dog-friendly cafes around our area =)

  6. Pingback: Puck Specialty Coffee | thehangrybitch

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