OneUp opened up one floor up from Tom Yum on Galle Road a couple of months ago. Our first look was glowing, and our full review is pretty luminiscent too. It's a small Aussie-themed cafe playing homage to Mario, featuring delicious (if not expensive) brunch, and good regional coffee.
Drinks & Food
Straight off the bat, the menu made us giggle with one of the options; Tony Abbot, 2015, no longer available. The rest of the menu options are also named after famous Australians, like Margot Robbie and Isla Fischer. We started with a couple of drinks, the Iced Chocolate (Rs.550) and the Apple, Strawberry & Mint Juice (Rs.600).
Both drinks were delicious. The iced chocolate was a simple concoction of milk, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and cocoa powder. I'm not sure that's worth Rs. 550, but it was still great because who doesn't want to start breakfast with dessert?
The juice was a bit more complicated, with fresh blended apple, strawberry, and mint leaves. It was refreshing, cold, and tasty, and the ingredients justified the price tag a bit.
For our mains, we opted for a Stone the Flammin Chooks, a super-sandwich of sorts. At Rs.1700, this is a meal in itself featuring fried masala chicken, avocado, slaw, cheddar, sriracha, aioli, pickles and focaccia. This is probably my favourite sandwich of all time, a veritable smorgasbord of flavours, crisp fresh ingredients, and soft, buttery bread. The chicken itself was perfectly spiced and fried, ensconsed in the thick-cut bread and schmears of rich guacamole. As for the name, we assume it's a play on "stone the flaming crows" meeting the Aussie slang for chicken, "chooks".
We also opted for an Isla Fisher, because who wouldn't. Sacha Baron Cohen would be able to attest to how well-presented this dish was, a funky little garden of crispy hash browns, rosettes of smoked salmon, and blobs of poached egg garnished with feta cheese, rocket leaves, and drizzles of olive-oil infused salsa verde. Everything on this plate was perfectly executed, and made for a very filling portion. The home-made hash browns deserve a special shout out, because we'd eat them plain for breakfast every day if we could. We'd strongly recommend this, but wish there was one defining flavour (either spice or sweetness) to offset the other flavours at play.
We also ordered an extra side of Fried Chicken (Rs.400), out of sheer greed. It was basically the same as the chicken in the sandwich.
Service & Ambience
The space itself is pretty tiny, with space for just about 5 small tables and a window bar seating. It's cute enough, with some random potted plants and funky murals.
The service is pretty friendly, given that these guys are absolutely full every time we've visited. They asked us to wait a bit but then deftly accommodated us at the window. If they're packed you may be turned away or have to wait for 20 minutes or so, so watch out for that. Our food orders did take about 25-30 minutes to arrive, but they checked up on us whenever possible, so we appreciated that.
In our experience, the food here is always good, and some of it is spectacular, like the presentation of the Margot Robbie or the sheer taste of the "flammin chooks" sandwich. However, since we're giving it a 5-star rating, disclaimers are necessary: prices are amongst the highest in the city - you're looking at about 5K for two mains and two drinks even though service charge and taxes are included in menu prices. If that price point and the potential wait doesn't faze you, head on over!
OneUp successfully breaks the unpublished "No Breakfast After 10 AM" rule. They've been operating for less than 2 weeks and judging by our First Look, they're doing it well.
Food and Coffee
Choosing from their menu wasn't too difficult as it isn't extensive, which is a good thing if you're indecisive.
We opted for a breakfast classic Mr Benny (Eggs Benedict) and an Isla Fisher (not the actress). Both items were priced at Rs 1600 each.
For the Eggs Benedict, you have the option of choosing from smoked salmon, smoked crab, or avocado. I chose smoked salmon. In orthodox Eggs Benedict style, Mr Benny arrived with a duo of buttered and toasted halved buns topped with smoked salmon and poached eggs covered in bright yellow hollandaise sauce.
The eggs were so perfectly poached that even MasterChef judges would have had nothing critical to say. Deftly piled, Mr Benny did not disappoint. The hollandaise was creamy with a zesty touch, the salmon was fresh, and you could taste the butter off the toasted buns.
Isla Fisher had a lot going on - a couple of hash browns, a poached egg, smoked salmon, corn-tomato salsa and sprinklings of feta cheese. Every element in this dish, from the tangy feta to the slightly salty smoked salmon, worked wonderfully in creating a delicate combination.
But the hash browns were the real winners. Crispy on the outside, packed with soft potato goodness on the inside, these were the best hash browns I have ever had.
After stalking their Instagram, I prepped myself for a slice of good coconut cake for dessert. Alas, there were no cakes when I popped in. So, a portion of Margot Robbie was ordered (Rs 1500) instead.
This dish comprised of french toast dusted with icing sugar and ornamented with whipped coconut cream, chopped strawberries, caramelized bananas, a blueberry compote, and violet edible flowers.
It was both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing.
The french toast wasn't painfully sweet, and went really well with the creamy coconut, the tart blueberry compote, the sour strawberries, and the caramelized bananas.
(Margot Robbie is usually served with a lemon and passion fruit curd, but we were asked if we wouldn't mind a blueberry compote instead.)
And finally, to wash everything down I got myself a cappuccino (Rs 400).
Rich in aroma and strong in the caffeine arena, this cappuccino was satisfying with little foam topping the coffee.
OneUp does mainstream coffee art well, and thanks to their rustic table setting, you and I will be witnessing masses of pics of their coffee on our Instagram and Snapchat.
Service and Ambience
Service here was very personal and cordial, as we were asked how our food was every time our forks attacked a new dish. The managers/owners make it a point to make you feel comfortable as soon as you enter.
The interior is both semi-quirky with Mario wall art and semi-sophisticated with softened hues of blue and green with pots and frames thrown around.
It's got that typical cozy cafe feel.
This is the kind of spot you'd hit for a fancy, scrumptious and Instagram-worthy meal if you woke up super late (with a heavy wallet), but still wanted an indulgent breakfast. Our first visit left us impressed and we hope they don't compromise on quality over time because although they are quite steep price-wise, they hit the spot in terms of taste.