Seated just outside ONA, five of us. it was a comfortable morning for inland Canberra. The road was just down this parking ramp and the shops are rather light industrial, but what a difference how one well run place can make.....especially a world competitive winner in the coffee stakes - some examples are the 2016 win by barista Hugh Kelly of ONA at the Australian Barista Championships and ONA founder Sasa Sestic winning both the Australian Barista Championship and the World Barista Champion in 2015.
Pulled slow roast beef in a croquet? Wait, there was more....Salsa Verde, a Latin twist on fried egg and sprinkled with Cheddar Cheese. It is as if the son from the ranch had brought home a pretty woman with a Spanish background.
I wanted something lighter, particularly after the wholesome dinner the evening before. And there it was, saying to me, "Take me, take me!". White Anchovies on sourdough - they sound simplistic, but that morning it combined fulfilling my hopes of and my missing the garnish from Southern Europe and adopted in south-east Asia. What did it taste like, this potentially savoury saltish spread on hipster bread?
To me, it was texture on the palate. The soft cushion of poached egg, enhanced by the anchovies, rested on dough with an air and a bite. Instinctively I harked for the chilli Sambal to be part of this experience, but it was only a passing - but delightful - thought. Never mind.
Whilst most cafes have the Aussie Big Breakfast, here you can try the ONA Big Roll. A pair of fried eggs and double rashers lay the foundation, with rocket, Aioli, tomato chutney and smoky BBQ sauce adding to the outcome. We were on the cusp of lunch time but not quite - late breakky but not yet brunch! If you are there later, try the Barramundi Larb, a salad like dish with Nuoc Mam dressing, peanuts and mixed greens; or the confit Chicken leg. Nuoc Mam Cham is made from fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, cloves, chilli and lime juice).
And don't forget the cuppa. If you are feeling adventurous, do check out the Ginga Ninja, which despite the name does have high levels of cafeinne furtively waiting for you, in this combination of ginger and Cascara ( or tea from the dried skins of coffee cherry).
Ona Coffee House visited is located at the Roastery sited at 68 Wollongong Street, Fishwyck, Canberra Australian Capital Territory. Barista courses are conducted here as well.
Opening hours are from 730am to 230pm every day.
Contact +61 2 6162
Ona has other ACT outlets in the Cupping Room in New Acton and on the Lawns in Manuka.
Ona coffee is from the green bean trading company, Project Origin.