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Weekend Cafe Hot Spot: ONA on the Lawns, Manuka

By Sophia Carlini - 18 April 2015 2

Readers were quick to respond when I recently reviewed ONA in Fyshwick, disagreeing with my thoughts on the service and portion sizes. Having previously been a regular at ONA on the Lawns in Manuka (before the renovation) I thought I would head back there and give ONA another chance.

I have to say, I love the new look. I liked it before, but now it’s bigger and easier to move around, with plenty of indoor seating. We were sat down straight away at a table for three, our coffee orders were taken and we were left with menus to review.

Quite a few dishes grabbed my attention, so when it was time to order I gave the waitress my three options and asked her to choose for me. She was honest, which I loved! She explained that the kitchen was running low on avocado and eliminated one of the dishes as an option. Mike (my boyfriend) had ordered one of the dishes I was contemplating, sautéed mushrooms on toast (around the $20 mark) so it was recommended that I go with the lamb kofta ($24).

Service was fast! Coffee was wonderful! As it should be, considering Sasa Sestic, founder of ONA Coffee, just took out the top spot at the World Barista Championships.

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The dishes hit our table before we knew it. I am so glad I ordered the kofta, what a winner! The koftas were moist and full of flavour, served on a delicious bed of couscous and rocket, with a side of pita bread, drizzled with olive oil. So delicious! I must warn you though, it is a heavy dish, particularly for breakfast, but I’m a leftovers kind of gal – so I loved it!

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Mike was very happy with his mushroom dish; I was way too busy enjoying mine to try his. We had met a friend for breakfast and I totally forgot to take photos of everything. In between talking and having a love affair with my meal, I get distracted.

My little brother had decided to roll out of bed and join us for breakfast and he ordered a bunch of sides; poached eggs, avocado, fetta and bacon (sides are between $3.50 and $4). Did he enjoy it? Well he didn’t say anything, but he demolished it in approximately five minutes, so it’s safe to say he did!

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ONA on the Lawns seems to be the place to be, not only did we run into my mum, but found some of Mike’s friends too. We decided to move over to a bigger table; the staff were very accommodating about all of the movement, getting more water glasses and cutlery and even splitting the bills without being asked.

Most of Mike’s friends ordered the egg and bacon roll. It is definitely a boy’s breakfast: a huge roll stuffed full of crispy bacon and fried eggs. I think we all ended up rolling out of there!

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So, whilst I didn’t enjoy Ona in Fyshwick as much, please don’t forget that the Cupping Room is still my favourite café, and after trying out the rejuvenated ONA on the Lawns, I can say that it too is a goody!

You can find ONA on the Lawns at Shop 4, The lawns, Manuka. It is open Monday – Friday 7am to 4:30pm and Saturday, Sunday 8am to 3pm.

What’s Your opinion?


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2 Responses to
Weekend Cafe Hot Spot: ONA on the Lawns, Manuka
Sophia Carlini 10:35 am 22 Apr 15

Dame Canberra said :

ONA on the Lawns is responsible for my favourite ever Canberra breakfast dish – the Redback (vegemite on sourdough bread, topped with tomatoes, poached eggs and red chilli jam plus a side of avo).

I don’t think the Redback is on ONA’s current menu, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you see it on the menu, it’s definitely worth a try!

It’s no longer on the menu but it sounds very interesting! My all time favourite dish of theirs was from when they had their Gangsta menu, there was dish with roast cherry tomatoes on toast (I think it was called “Fresh Prince”. Absolutely delicious!!

Dame Canberra 11:19 am 20 Apr 15

ONA on the Lawns is responsible for my favourite ever Canberra breakfast dish – the Redback (vegemite on sourdough bread, topped with tomatoes, poached eggs and red chilli jam plus a side of avo).

I don’t think the Redback is on ONA’s current menu, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you see it on the menu, it’s definitely worth a try!

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