Wednesday, 10 February 2010

ONA Coffee

This has been popping up all over town recently, but the home site is in Belconnen, obscurely tucked into the Benjamin Offices, Aqua building level 3. It's open to the public and a walking ramp goes up there from the big carpark up the back. Ostensibly a normal Public Service lunch spot, this is actually something quite special. Great coffee! In Canberra!

They seem to have quite a big business going - apart from the cafe, there's roasting and distributing coffee complete with cafe fitout, and office lunch catering. The cafe has some flyers which are, sadly, very desperately in need of a good proof-read. Even their slogan "Pure Decadence" is spelt wrong. And who knew that a coffee company might need barristers? Their baristas have been winning awards, for espresso as well as for coffee art, but their barristers' achievements seem unsung. And don't get me started on the apostrophes and the cemicals and the ceaser salad.

Oh well, with coffee this good, what more do they need? Apparently, a curry chef! There's a curry of the day ($10) every weekday, and it's made in house from their own fresh ground spice blends. I had lunch there on Monday with infoaddict, who had a red beef curry - not a Thai red style, it was more rendang like. Thick, rich, spicy, with a nice chilli bite, it was terrific. I got her to pick me up a takeaway on Tuesday, which turned out to be a green Thai veggie curry - again rich, thick, and with enough chilli to bite back. Perfect to reheat for an instant dinner. Yum.


That Damn Monkey said...

Good GRAVY have you seen their horrific homepage? MY EYES.

Also, the Tuggeranong location is listed as "The bottom level of the Hyperdome". So helpful.

I'm a huge fan of Jindebah coffee (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe nom nom nom) and the Tuggeranong cafe is top notch, but next time I'm in the Hyper-D I might go for a coffee treasure hunt. Will report back here if it's spectacularly good or bad. Thanks for the heads up!

Karin said...

Hmmm, sounds delicious. Must go there one day ...

I'm very pedantic about spelling, grammar, etc. too, but only for restaurants and cafes where you'd expect the English to be good. In the case of ethnic restaurants, I always assume that dodgy English on signs and menus means the food will be more authentic. Speaking of which, have you tried "Kenny's Best Noodle House" in Woolley Street, Dickson? While the name sounds like - and may well be - a convenient rip-off from the Asian Noodle House a few doors down, and the decor a little reminiscent of a Singaporean kopi tiam, the food is excellent!

Cath said...

I don't usually comment on spelling, unless it's funny. I can make enough tyops of my own. This was especially egregious, though.

Kenny's seemed pretty good on the noodles I've tried there, but don't bother with their laksa.

Anonymous said...

Ona coffee is certainly okay and good by Canberra standards (particularly Belconnen which is a coffee wasteland). But Canberra is far far behind Sydney and Melbourne and they have no reason to be.
Granted you have to seek out the good coffee in Sydney and Melbourne but once you know where they are the reward is lasting. You can also look for names like Campos and Toby's Estate (which I have not found in ACT).

Best Canberra coffee can be identified by the crowds desperate for their fix. Kingston Grind in Kingston (which I believe is the same coffee as Tonic in the city bus interchange) has nice strong but smooth coffee. But on a weekend you may have to wait more than 20 minutes for a take away coffee (longer to get a seat).
My tip is Deli Marco in Dickson. Good strong coffee and a bit more comfortable than the city spots.

jael said...

wow - i stumbled across your link at IBTP, and it turns out we work in the same public circus complex. Orange represent!

coffee sometime? :)

Anonymous said...

If you think Canberra is far behind Melbourne and Sydney for coffee your very mistaken and clearly don't know where to go. in the past year a couple of spots have popped up around Canberra and the standard in general is very high. Campos have can now be found in Yarra, but don't be fooled into thinking just cause something is from Melbourne or Sydney that it's better... The guys at Ona continue to achieve on a national level in competition and they roast as good as anyone in Australia, they have the awards to prove it. Lonsdale Street Roasters are proving to be very popular, Harvest in Civic is always busy and have some alternative brews as well, Tonic still has a great following and although pricey Urbanfood in New Acton is serving great coffee. Make no mistake the standard of beans in Canberra is good and if you head to the places where baristas are serious you won't just get a good coffee you will get something special.

Nancy Jorden said...

I love it when there is a leaf design in my drink. It's so crafty and fun. I wish I was able make a design like that for myself.