As serious cafes go, this slick operation by three-time Australian barista champion Dave Makin, and his partner Zoe Delany (of equal coffee nous), is as impressive as they come.
The cafe is only part of the Axil operation. A large strip of a former bowling alley has been converted into a raised communal table. And from here, under the glow of powder-coated milk urns-come-light-fittings diners can watch roasters busy at work in the cupping and training room next door.
The crew at Environmental Design STStyle have used a minimalist palette to create a brooding, masculine space with a mix of black walls, highly polished concrete floors, a ceiling lined in corrugated iron and a feature wall of white and green tiles. A wall of metal framework lattice, usually found on construction sites reinforcing concrete slabs, supports a variety of succulents that climb from the bench seating right to the ceiling.
On the breakfast menu you’ll find everything from buttermilk pancakes with chocolate, pear, praline and zabaglione gelato, to a smoked trout wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado & tomato salsa and snow pea tendrils. The lunch menu is equally adventurous, and is complemented by four made-to-order sandwiches.