Ona Coffee Marrickville
Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
How to win friends and influence people? Try coffee, waffles and doughnuts
Gentrification has not yet stripped Marrickville of its industrial charms, and the somewhat incongruous mix of craft breweries and panel beaters, furniture restoration warehouses and ethical butchers, printing shops and cheese factories is what makes a trip to this dynamic pocket of the Inner West so appealing. You know a suburb is really on the up when it’s advertised on bus banners for real estate portals, not to mention being the site for Sydney’s answer to New York’s blockbuster interactive theatre production, Sleep No More.
In this context, having a mechanic on one side of Marrickville Road and what looks like a Nordic longhouse on the other isn’t as surprising as perhaps it should be. Ona is a white, bright, accessible oasis in a sea of grey and they are very, very serious about coffee here.
The long central bench is the control centre that houses seven different grinders (five filled), each introduced to us like they’re bachelors fighting for your rose. One is nutty and chocolatey; another is fruity; another features caramel notes. A monster machine pumps out rich, smooth espressi, and we’re not just getting swept up in the caffeine hoopla when we say that short is the best way to have your hit. As a ristretto it’s a finessed balance of sweetness, roasty bitterness and just enough milk foam to draw it all together. As the coffees get bigger the temperature drops off noticeably, so maybe consider ordering your flat white extra hot.
In between high pressure extractions they’re also toying with filter coffee and batch brews. If you want to really discuss your daily grind, this is the place to do it. Their excitement is palpable, and they want to share it with you. It works too, because we find ourselves leaving with a kilo bag of the Black Betty blend, plucked from the shelf of merch, appliances, books and beans that lines one wall.
Yes, this is a temple to coffee, but the experience isn’t complete without a soft rye waffle, steering well clear of overly sweet breakfast territory thanks to tart rhubarb, walnuts and an orange mascarpone that reminds you of cheesecake. Sometimes it’s a bacon toastie, and other times it’s ham, but either way it comes with pickled green tomatoes – the sharpness of the pickle balances the melted gruyère. And that intoxicating smell in the air is the garlic mushrooms cooking for the veggo toastie, which is so popular it’s sold out both times we visit.
Save room for a fancy doughnut from Shortstop. This is no ordinary round treat, but a maple, walnut and brown butter pastry ring. And we’d go back for the honey and sea salt cruller.
If you thought you knew all of Sydney’s specialty roasters by now, it’s because Ona is actually a Canberran import. At their Marrickville café they’re elevating a drink to fully fledged lifestyle and all their converts look extremely happy with their choice to follow the ones bringing coffee and doughnuts. It’s a strong sell.
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat, Sun 8am-3pm|