Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Fri May 11 2012
Word gets around fast. Ozone started life in New Zealand, then opened in London as a coffee roaster in 1998. This café only opened in March, but by the time we left the premises after brunch on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend, it was heaving with customers and there was a long queue for takeaways.
It’s not difficult to see why. It’s an impressive place occupying two floors of a converted industrial building with a nicely grungy feel, especially in the downstairs rooms where tables have a view of the roastery. Service is friendly, and the breakfast/brunch/lunch menu covers all the bases from granola, to eggs, to proper main courses.
The food displays strong Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern influences, and it’s top-notch. A vegetable broth flavoured with soy, sesame and ginger was light yet deeply flavourful. An unorthodox approach to kedgeree, earthy-coloured instead of yellow, had a perfect poached egg replacing the hard-boiled egg of the traditional version. Toasted bread with assorted toppings is a prominent feature, and the one we had featured two rarities: properly ripe (and really tasty) avocado and roasted tomatoes.
Prices are reasonable – no main course is more than £12.50 and toast with topping ranging from £3.20 to £6. An all-Kiwi wine list has extensive offerings by the glass, and there’s a better-than-average set of soft drinks including teas and milkshakes.
Strangely enough, the coffee was the sole let-down. A flat white was fine, but the only filter coffee available (why not more variety?) was woefully weak and barely hot. They use the low-temperature Aeropress brewing method among others, and it’s possible that it's hard to employ this method successfully in a high-volume retail operation. There was also a minor snag when we went to pay, and were initially asked to join the lengthy takeaway queue. A second till would help at busy times.
These are small problems, and such a quality-conscious place can sort them out easily. Even in an area where coffee is a major draw for both residents and office workers, Ozone offers something really special.
Ozone 11 Leonard Street
- Venue phone:
020 7490 1039
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 7.30am-5pm Mon-Fri; 9am-4pm Sat, Sun.
Tube: Old Street tube/rail
Main courses £5-£11. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50
- 11 Leonard Street
- 020 7490 1039
- 11 Leonard Street