Happy New Year all! I hope everyone had a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and New Year’s break.
Thankfully, there were a few cafes and restaurants still open during the Christmas break in Canberra. I headed to Ona on the Lawns in Manuka for brunch with my friend Mr STTA. I’d been to Ona before its renovations so it was nice to see the brand new coffee house. It’s much bigger now with a lot more seating after taking over a larger space. The robot artwork is pretty funky and maybe done by the same artist that did the Cupping Room’s mural?
The menu, The Manuka Daily, provides decent all day food options. Cold drinks like the rocky road milkshake and salted caramel and popcorn milkshake were tempting. The specials menu listed two types of cold pressed juices but I’d just tried a Pressed Juices juice the day before and wanted something with caffeine in it. I noticed a Mork hot chocolate on the menu consisting of 70% cacao but ended up getting my regular soy mocha ($4). I do love Ona coffee so no surprises with the great taste. This came out very quickly too.
For brunch, I decided to try the blueberry hotcake ($18) with fig ice cream. The one hotcake came served with fresh blueberries, dried sultanas, dried cranberries, dried banana chips, pistachios and macadamias all lightly drizzled with maple syrup. I wasn’t expecting so much dried fruit but it worked well to make this a crunchy dish with sweetness from the fruit and ice cream. Two scoops of ice cream always helps. I’m glad it wasn’t swimming in maple syrup, it somehow made it slightly more healthy. I would have liked another hotcake on top rather than just the one but after my mocha, I was pretty full.
Service is great – our orders were taken promptly, water refilled, and we were regularly checked on for more coffees or anything else we needed. One minor complaint is that there were so many different wait staff that kept asking us the same questions. It would be nice to just have one person waiting on us.
Ona on the Lawns is always popular with the locals. The trendy cafe has such a friendly vibe with outdoor tables snapped up quickly, kids running around often chasing the dogs running around on the lawns. Best of all, it was open during the Christmas shut down period! I’ll need to go back and try a soft shell crab burger and the duck raviolo that’s also on the all day menu.
Ona on the Lawns is located between Bougainville St and Palmerston Lane in Manuka – look for the green lawns.
FPJ score 22/30