Ozone Coffee Roasters
The common saying goes ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, meaning someone who’s okay at doing lots of things but not very good at one thing in particular. Usually it’s used as a bit of an insult, aimed at someone’s mediocrity rather than their excellence. We’ve never really understood this. We’d rather be half decent at spelling, making eggs, and remembering what film that actor was in than an expert in tying knots. Similarly, if a restaurant is seen to be a jack of all trades it tends to mean that it’s not very good at anything. If you don’t solely specialise in Huel and moonlight fed chicken burgers, is your burger even worthwhile? Well yes it turns out, because you might be a bit like Ozone.
Ozone is known as a coffee shop at the top of Leonard St. It’s known as a coffee shop since that’s what they made their name doing but, really, this shouldn’t be the case. This is a restaurant: from the food, to the space, to the service. Make no mistake about it.
The menu at Ozone runs from 7am to 9pm and has precisely 11 sections if we’re taking into account the weekday and evening menus. In the middle of these there’s an hour gap between 4pm and 5pm. What happens then is anyone’s guess, but at the rest of the time the food ranges from an excellent kedgeree for breakfast/brunch to a crispy lamb shoulder with smoked beetroot and yoghurt in the evening - pretty out-there for a coffee shop, right? That’s because this isn’t a straightforward burgers and pasta kind of place. It’s somewhere that’s trying to be a little bit more. It’s a wagyu beef burger and rabbit ragu kind of place. It reminds us of going to a friend’s house who’s into cooking. The food is inviting and tasty, imperfect but ambitious. And that’s a good thing.
The variety found on the menu is mirrored by the space itself, which is enormous. It’s full of tastefully aged wood and around five or six varieties of seat. There are seats by the window for in and out jobs, bar stalls around the central cooking station for lone diners and couples, or booths at the back and tables downstairs for big groups - a good option if you’re moving in numbers and looking for a big and airy place to sit down and eat.
The full saying goes: “jack of all trades, master of none, but better than a master of one”. If Ozone was just a master of coffee, then we’d all be losing out. Instead we’ve got a restaurant that’s perfect for a pre-work breakfast, a beer and a bite whilst you tie up some admin, or a comfortable and tasty dinner that isn’t a pizza place. It’s a proper jack of all trades.
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photo credit: @ozonecoffeeuk
Smoked Fish Kedgeree
Kedgeree often goes wrong. Sometimes it’s too dry. Sometimes it’s too sloppy. Sometimes it doesn’t taste of anything except salty fish. This one is almost perfect.
photo credit: @ozone
Smoked Carrot Arancini
These are tasty and use a different rice to your usual risotto that gives them a nice chew.
The ragu sauce is excellent but the pasta is a little thick. But we’re difficult you know.
A Burger With Chips
We’ve had wagyu beef and fried chicken here. Both are great and the chips are on point.
Crispy Lamb Shoulder With Merguez Croquettes
This isn’t the best lamb we’ve ever had but it’s decent enough. The croquettes are cracking and can be ordered as starter (hot tip).
Roasted Cauliflower With Tahini Yoghurt
This is a very tasty and well portioned side.
Leek Hearts With Cheese Sauce And Kimchi
This is a little bit odd but if you like all three components, maybe give it a try as well.