I rarely venture southside for a meal. These days I can barely get out of Braddon. The hip hub has got so much going on I rarely get past Northbourne Av without finding somewhere new to eat.
But this weekend was different. I had my first blogger meet up. I’ve followed Megan (Sparke) for a while now and we always seem to be covering similar Canberra content so thought it was about time to meet face to face. She writes for her blog, aptly named The Girl Has Sparke. And spark she does have. From the minute we sat down, our bulky cameras in tow, I felt like we were friends. We bonded over our shared love for photography, geeked out over blogging courses and laughed over our poor fiancees who have to put up with being engaged to us and our cameras.
We are both doing breakfast/brunch series so naturally we chose to meet up over our favourite meal. She chose Ona On The Lawns in Manuka. I’d not even heard of it before so I was pleasantly surprised to find this hidden gem.
Unfortunately the weather was pretty glum so took shelter inside. There are a handful of seats outside which would be perfect when the weather is nice.
The decor is very similar to The Cupping Room. They’ve made use of upcylced red bricks and steel pipes to give it a trendy and industrial feel. It’s completely open so you can enjoy your breakfast overlooking the lawns.
It had a really open and friendly vibe, the place teeming with weekend brunchers and coffee efficianados.
Being an ONA venue, obviously coffee features heavily. They do have a coffee flight which included an espresso, a milk coffee and a filter coffee. Given I haven’t had the best time sleeping recently I thought I might stick to just one. Or two.
For something new, I decided to swap my soy flat white and try something different. I remember drip coffee from my time exploring Stockholm coffee houses but it’s no where near as common here.
Their’s was served chilled, in a beaker with a cup of ice.
Add a splash of sugar and it was a delicious, strong iced coffee. You can definitely appreciate the qualities of the coffee sans the milk. I could definitely down a few of these on a hot summers day.
Naturally I had to try their normal coffee too. I was really surprised by the unique flavour. It was creamy and nutty and I could taste a hint of cinnamon. I actually really really loved it. It’s the best flat white I’ve had in months.
I am kicking myself for forgetting to take a bag of beans home with me, I will have to pick one up the next time I am on the south side.
Mind you, the place isn’t just about coffee, they also have great food.
The menu is pretty standard with breakfast favourites like the smashed avo on toast and hotcakes. The drinks menu was equally appealing. Rocky road or salted caramel and popcorn milkshake? Um…. YES!
They have pressed juices but I was all drunk out having downed 2 coffees.
I ordered the house made baked beans ($17) which came in a pot topped with a poached egg and a side of smashed avo salsa and bread.
Although it was good, it wasn’t a stand out meal. The beans were perfectly cooked but lacked a bit of flavour.
Megan went for something a bit more indulgent, the blueberry hotcakes with fig ice cream ($18). It was a thick steaming hotcake topped with fresh juicy blueberries, fig ice cream, dried sultanas, dried cranberries, dried banana chips, pistachios and macadamias all lightly drizzled with maple syrup. It look reeaaaaallly good but i think the dried fruit was a bit of an overkill.
I also liked the sound of the gluten free paleo stack ($17.50) which consisted of a baked egg, zucchini, tomato, potato rosti and watercress. A perfectly healthy and fresh breakfast option.
The service was pretty good although they did forget my coffee for over 30 minutes but hey, I was so busy chatting I barely noticed.
They also serve lunch so I guess I will have to come back another time. What a shame 😉
Perfect for: Coffee lovers and for a relaxed weekend brunch. Take a blanket and book and pop over to the lawns to read/snooze off your meal.
Address: Shop 4 Palmerston Lane, Manuka ACT 2603
Open: 7am – 4:30pm Mon – Fri, 8am – 3pm Sat & Sun
Phone: (02) 6162 1500
Don’t forget to hashtag #dinewiththemacadames and #canberrawiththemacadames if you go to this restaurant, we love to see you exploring Canberra.
You might also like Ona’s other venue, The Cupping Room in Civic…
Or the vegan gem, Sweet Bones in Braddon…
Anisa – The Macadames. xx