What is it with people and crazy fad diets these days!? I’ve definitely gone on a rant about this before but seriously.. First fat made you fat, then sugar made you fat, then it was eating after 6pm, and now it’s carbs. And/or gluten. Or dairy. Or anything that doesn’t grow on a tree. Who knows what it will be next week!
When I visited this place a pair of girls walked in and sat next to me.. One claimed she was gluten intolerant (but could eat certain gluten containing foods.. Interesting), the other said she was dairy intolerant and couldn’t have milk or cream but was fine with yogurt. They both proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes quizzing the poor waitress about if anything was fried, or contained wheat, or lactose, or anything else, just to end up with a black coffee each. I just can’t understand it. You’re either intolerant or you’re not. Only 1% of the population are coeliacs (1), yet more and more people are claiming to have intolerances these days.. and when it comes to fitness accounts on social media it seems like it’s more like 1 in 100 people aren’t intolerant to gluten! It’s pretty silly, kind of disrespectful to people who actually have real allergies and most of all I can’t actually see the logic behind It. No food group makes you fat, an excess of calories does. If you’re on a diet or don’t want to eat certain foods just say it upfront, don’t blame it on some fake intolerance. And don’t make others believe they have to cut out those foods to be in good shape either! The fact that people have to blame cutting out food groups on some made-up intolerance almost highlights how silly they know they’re being! I eat everything (okay except peanuts but that’s a GENUINE allergy – God knows I’d be all over the PB if not 😛 !) and there are plenty of people I know who do the same and are perfectly fit and healthy. I’m not saying don’t cut it out, I’m just saying don’t mindlessly jump on the next gluten-free sugar-free dairy-free joy-free diet without just because everyone else is, without thinking about the logic behind it or whether it’s right for YOU.
Anyway enough of my random early morning rambles and onto Ozone coffee roasters! Like many of the other places on my list, I’d been wanting to go for ages and when the northern line was running again (yay!) it’s so convenient for us to get to as its only two stops from Kings Cross 🙂 It’s only 5 minutes walk from the big old street roundabout, and close to Lantana but it’s a little off the beaten track, off the main road with a tiny sign! Despite the small front, it’s surprisingly big inside which is a definite advantage as queueing for a place with 5 tables for weekend brunch can be pretty demoralising and it can also make me feel obliged to leave as soon as I finish eating.
The decor is rustic, with an open airy feel upstairs and more of a dark, relaxed vibe downstairs with bare brick walls and wooden tables and stools. We sat downstairs, on stools at a long wooden bench. It was quiet enough that there was a seat between us and the next couple, but I think it could’ve been a bit cramped otherwise (not that that’s anything new at any London eatery!). There are booths too for bigger groups or if you’d rather not sit at a higher table. It’s like being inside a coffee factory which I love. They roast their own beans and there’s a whole area dedicated to it. They have a few blends available (which they sell to other coffee shops), there are some cool interactive graphs (no idea what they meant though!) and huge sacks of beans.
Their menu is incredible. It’s everything I’d want from a brunch place – extensive, unique, exciting and it changes seasonally too. There were items on the menu that were so different we had to google them! They do alternative takes on classics like eggs benedict of course (which I saw people order and it did look amazing!) but with the other dishes they offer you’d be mad to go for a “classic” in my opinion, even if they do put their own twist on it!
We got a latte and a flat white to start and then ordered a feast! We got the chimichurri field mushrooms on sourdough w/ scarmorza, red onion and smoked creme fraiche, scrambled silken tofu on rye w/ chickpea masala, harrisa caponata and dark rye dukkah, corn bread with fermented chilli butter, miso butternut rosti and fried eggs.
Everything was amazing – the elements in each dish went perfectly together and the corn bread was to die for. Seriously.. Crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside and the saltiness of the cornbread with the heat of the chilli butter was heavenly!
Each dish was beautifully presented, and the portion sizes were decent too. The only thing that I wouldn’t order again was the butternut rosti. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and perhaps I was expecting more of a hashbrown-type thing but it was like a small, soft rectangular cake which fell apart when you cut it. For me it was too soft and a little bland, but I ate it with leftover smoked creme fraiche (another absolute triumph from them!) which more than made up for the lack of flavour.
I got another coffee with my food but went for an Americano instead. The blend was different, and a lot more of a fruity/sweet blend – closer to the types like caravan roast which I’m not a huge fan of. It went well with my food but I personally preferred the blend that they used for my flat white 🙂
There’s a selection of baked items on he counter upstairs – I saw a brownie, a few tray bakes and the usual signature lamington for a NZ brunch spot. To be honest they were nothing to get excited about – a little same-y and uninspiring – I’d definitely stick to ordering from the menu, which is anything but.