Food + Coffee review: Daymaker Espresso

44 Pacific Ave., Miami

There’s something really exciting about a start-up restaurant.

When, with little fanfare, Daymaker Espresso popped up on the southern end of Pacific Avenue just a few weeks ago, there was a palpable feeling of ‘Hey everyone, we’ve finally opened!’

Owners Andrew Madgwick (ex-52 Espresso) and Dylan Nesbit (ex-Barefoot, Elk, Blackboard and Paddock) have done their time in the hospitality trade, serving their apprenticeship under some of the best on the coast. After waiting for the right site, they’ve made a commitment to Miami for the long term, signing a six-year lease on the former ‘pet op shop’ site beside the Pacific Ave Fruit and Meat Market.

Looking around, it’s easy to see their passion. So different to slick overblown fit-outs, the venue is clean and spare, with greenery and recycled wood popping colour against the polished concrete, exposed rafters, slate grey and white walls. There’s a story behind every piece of wood, every table top and painted wall.

“We got the recycled timber from Lloyd’s Auctions, got rid of the asbestos and opened up the ceiling. Only then did we realise how much light we could get in here,” Dylan tells us, outlining the guys’ months-long journey to opening.

They’ve scoped their demographic and suppliers out as well, conscious of the surrounding gym culture and the health food consciousness driving day meals on the coast.

Starting with a base seasonal vegan-friendly menu of eight breakfast dishes and four lunches, Daymaker boosts our choices through its vegan and carnivore add-ons; a smart move.

Our meals arrive smartly – mixed mushies on toast with herbs de provençe and wilted spinach ($16), and ‘The Hash’ with crispy potatoes, a 63-degree egg and a choice of confit chorizo or a vegan yolk pumpkin purée ($16).

Sourcing hormone-free meat from Nobby’s Beach Butchery, bread and pastries from Burleigh Bakehouse (who only employ French bakers, Dylan tells us) and Sol Cleanse juices (whose excess by-products are pulped and given to local farms), and local produce, the guys are super-conscious of local, seasonal and sustainable principles.

What is not local, however, is their coffee, from Melbourne’s Axil Coffee Roasters, their first outlet on the Coast.

Dylan developed a relationship with Axil whilst working with his twin brother at his café in Melbourne. Working with their world-renowned roasters, he found that the quality of their coffee was beyond compare, thus persuading them to come up to the Gold Coast when Daymaker opened. We should all be very grateful that they agreed!

The uniqueness of Daymaker begins with the house coffee, which is a seasonal espresso blend that changes throughout the year and is currently comprised of beans from El Salvador, Costa Rica and Brazil.

Sampling an espresso, a gorgeous grapefruit aroma makes way for a crisp acidity, with a flavour that develops from stone fruit to sweetened dried fruit with a slight savoury tang. As a piccolo, the bite of acidity remains with light flavours of chocolate and nougat.

On our visit the single origin, which can vary each day, was from Llano Grande in El Salvador and we sincerely hope you get to try this single origin for yourself, as it was a rollercoaster of flavour. An intoxicating scent of fairy floss and fruit tingles hits you right in the nostalgia, with a lingering malted strawberry flavour that is just the right amount of sour snapping in your mouth.  It should come as no surprise we asked for another.

Daymaker. The name can easily resonate with us as ‘make my day’ or even ‘a punchy start to your day’.

First impressions count, and what we notice most of all is the staff energy. Intent on customer return, there’s full table service, a dying art.

We’ve learned from experience that you have to meet customers and make them feel welcome,” Dylan tells us. “It’s really important that staff are confident and willing to have a chat so people enjoy being here.

Good food, great coffee and welcoming service… It’s a bit like a warm embrace – a great way to start your day.

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