Ona mission for fine coffee

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I LOVE coffee houses – the aroma, the buzz, how owners, staff and patrons worship all things coffee.

Such is the case with Ona Coffee House. I was rushing about by myself in Fyshwick doing chores recently and popped in for a caffeine hit and a quick bite for lunch. I walked out very satisfied indeed.

Let’s start with what really matters and that is the coffee, with the beans roasted by Ona’s master roasters. Classic cappuccino, flat white, latte and long black are all beautifully made ($3.30 for small and $4 for large). Or try from “The Brewery” selection – siphon, pour over filter or cold drip.

Coffee aficionados will love the specialty coffees of the month and the ristretto, espresso, piccolo and macchiato – it’s all serious business.

But Ona Coffee House isn’t just passionate about coffee. The head chef is passionate about food, especially rustic style made with fresh ingredients. Ona has eight items for the regular lunch menu (concentrating on quality, not quantity) and runs a small number of rotating specials, including a chef’s favourite, a fish, curry and pasta.

The oriental duck burger caught my eye and the confident, efficient and friendly person who served me promised I wouldn’t be disappointed. She was right. The tender, twice-cooked hoi sin duck is shredded and packed into fresh Turkish bread with mushrooms and picked Asian vegetables ($17). A real treat.

There are also ocean burgers (market-fresh fish), chicken burgers, beef burgers and steak sandwiches (from $12 to $16, and with chips). Or you can order lemon pepper calamari, beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips or a roasted pumpkin salad.

Breakfast has some usual suspects but, based on my lunch experience, I bet the dishes are all a great kick start to the day. How about two rashers of bacon with free range eggs (poached, scrambled or fried) on sourdough toast for $8?

Or, for a bit of spice, the Spanish style breakfast wrap with chorizo sausage, eggs and warm salsa in a toasted tortilla? I keep dreaming of the sour cherry toast with orange mascarpone ($6).

When at Ona Coffee House, take a look at the display of fresh artisan bread by Brasserie Bread. The range includes olive and rosemary as well as quinoa and soy.

Ona has won multiple national and international awards, including for its latte art. It’s a happening place that is well worth a visit.

Ona Coffee House, Fyshwick, 68 Wollongong Street, 6162 3320. Open Monday to Friday, 7am-4.30pm and Saturday 8am-3pm.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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