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Coffee oasis in a Green House

HerCanberra Team

For an entire year, a tantalising prospect has tempted Canberra Centre shoppers in the form of the boarded up GreenHouse Coffee Co and its promise of the “world’s best coffee”.

On Thursday the wait was over as two stellar Canberra coffee names joined forces on the top floor of the busy shopping mall and opened up their most prominent joint-venture. And we are happy to vouch that the wait was worth it.

Sasa Sestic from ONA Coffee and Michael Rose from Espresso Room are bringing the finest coffee to the masses – with a substantial menu to match.

Yes, GreenHouse faces onto the busy thoroughfare of people wandering between DJs and Zara, but once inside the glass doors, it lives up to its title.

One wall is all white curved French windows, while a surplus of green fronds dangle from hanging pots. The outside balcony is a quiet and leafy oasis from the consumerism taking place inside. You wouldn’t even know you are drinking your latte above busy Bunda Street.

It’s a little bit Hamptons in design, with blonde wood, concrete and green marble accents. And for those who can’t quite bring themselves to eat in the food court every time they shop in the Canberra Centre, this is going to be a very welcome reprieve.


But first, coffee.

GreenHouse devotes two entire pages of its menu to its coffee – all sourced locally from ONA. You can choose from single origin espresso, single origin filter, black, green and gold label filter and two aptly named blends “hitman” or “raspberry candy”.

In the interest of full scientific comparison (and not because we are greedy) we tried both versions. Raspberry candy beans do provide a hint of fruit, and a sugar-free lift to coffee for those who like sweetness, while hitman is as it sounds, strong, and direct, with chocolatey overtones. Think being punched by a velvet boxing glove.

Michael says that ultimately it is the coffee that will draw crowds to GreenHouse. Given Sasa Sestic is recognised as the World Champion Barista and ONA has a hugely strong following, Civic workers and shoppers are likely to flock there (as they did on opening day).


But GreenHouse aspires to also offer serious food out of the Canberra Centre – with a menu including mains like salmon with potato, corn and chive fritters, wilted greens and a horseradish sauce; 16-hour braised lamb shoulder toasties with tabbouleh, hummus, chilli yoghurt and a fried egg; and a jerk chicken burger with pickled Spanish onion and carrot, cucumber, coriander and yoghurt on ciabatta.

Given the place is open from 7am Monday to Friday and 7.30am on Saturday and Sundays, there is a strong focus on breakfast offerings with the ubiquitous avo on toast, field mushrooms on sourdough, ricotta and date pancakes and the like.

The boys have also thankfully done their market research to establish that many shoppers will have mini-shoppers in tow. A children’s menu includes soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers; pancakes with banana and vanilla ice-cream; and toast with spreads.


All produce is sourced as locally as possible with bread from Bread Nerds, eggs from Cuppacumbalong and meat and vegetables from Alpha Fresh Foods. The menu will change seasonally.

“We have put a lot into this venture, to make it feel special, and to set it apart from what you would normally find in a shopping mall,” said Michael.

This lofty vision is, in part, the reason for the length of time we have had to wait for opening day.


Michael said delays were mainly due to the efforts taken with the fit-out, and complex lease arrangements relating to a new high-end fashion area opening up at that end of the centre. We can’t wait to see the changes that take place.

Meanwhile, one sip of the latte sent over that marble pass and we are ready to forgive. Make ours a hitman, please.

the essentials

What: Green House,
Where: Level 1 Canberra Centre, opposite the Apple Store
When: Open seven days, Mon-Thurs 7.30-5.50 (kitchen closes at 2.30pm) Friday 7am-9pm (kitchen closes at 8.30pm). Sat-Sun 7.30am to 5pm (kitchen closes at 2pm)
Website: www.facebook.com/GreenHouseCoffeeandFood


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