September 30, 2013

Reuben Hills | [Sydney] Surry Hills

Dirty Bird - spiced grilled chicken, tomato salsa, pickles, cheese, chipotle aioli on brioche
Soft Baked Eggs with Jamon
Pulled Pork Tacos w queso fresco & pickled okra
***Super-Duper late post; came here back in August

Thanks social media i was able to add this on my 'to do list' in Sydney - Instagram is great, i love looking at food photos; it lets me add to my ever growing list of breakfast places to go to. Upon a few recommendations and just looking at food photos - this place was immediately deemed 'Day 2 in Sydney Breakfast'.

This neat place is located in Surry Hills, tucked into this narrow building which stretches out to accommodate for the crowds. This place gets fairly busy quick, it was around 10:30 and there was already a que for tables.

We ordered 3 dishes to share between the both of us. The Dirty Bird, The soft baked eggs and the pulled pork tacos. The fact that they serve tacos on a breakfast/brunch menu already had me sold. I had the soft baked eggs which was a simple but delicious dish - true to its name, as opposed to a lot of baked egg dishes, this one remained soft and runny - perfect to layer onto the bread with the ham and wilted spinach. While it's presented relatively basic, there's just something 'comforting' and deliciously tasty about having warm, soft baked eggs in cool weather! (yeh this was back in August when the weather was still cooler)

Similarly, the Dirty Bird using simple ingredients made up a very delicious burger that was served on brioche buns as opposed to regular burger buns - it had a very delicious smoky flavour and served very well with the pickles, cheese and salsa. Definitely one of the heartier choice of breakfast options on the menu! The photo for the tacos don't look 100% appealing, but they most definitely tasted better than they looked! A generous amount of pulled pork is served with okra and cheese - very very basic in terms of what is in the tacos; but also very very delicious - the taco isn't overwhelmed with flavours - instead it really highlights on the 'bulk' of the taco which is the pulled pork; in a way it's probably a goof thing the taco isn't jammed packed with different flavours - i mean having a taco that early with so much stuff will only leave you burping up taco for the rest of the day you know?

Reuben Hills really reminds me of a mixture of Cafes in Brisbane - Almost a combination of the style and type of food from Sourced Grocer, Shucked, Cirque, Gramercy & The Cross Town Eating House. What i like about Reuben Hills is that like the places i've mentioned (in Brisbane), the vibe that Reuben Hills give is just really casual and relaxed; from the design of the cafe to the interior - which is industrial like with various lighting, as well as having an open kitchen where you can see the food being prepped - nothing conventional about it. Likewise the menu is the same, it's not everyday you can order tacos or burgers for a breakfast meal. Majority of the ingredients used in each dish are simple, in that it brings out the full flavours of the main elements of the dish. Not to omit, but the coffee here was also pretty great.

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

September 1, 2013

Bills | [Sydney] Surry Hills

Scrambled eggs with avocado, wedge of lemon and toast
I didn't too much research for breakfast places in Sydney when i came here a few weeks back; but upon recommendation from a work colleague, i managed to find my way here to Bill's. She recommended the scrambled eggs and scrambled eggs is what i ordered along with a coffee.

To be completely honest - i knew/know nothing about this place and it's popularity; i only came here from word of mouth you know. But when the eggs arrived i knew that it already looked different - i mean it actually looks so creamy and likewise it tasted creamy. These scrambled eggs were pretty great. Super soft, creamy and buttery - man, these adjectives are very much almost the same eh? Honestly! I've never had eggs so buttery and soft before, it's ridiculous! This meal is super simple, but super delicious, the only thing i requested in addition was the avocado. Which turned out to be an excellent choice... eggs and avocado on toast is pretty perfect.

I came by myself, and while i knew i was short on time for this visit, i wish i also ordered the ricotta cakes - the lady next to me ordered them and they looked amazing as well. The only 'whinge' i have is, that as i've made it a rule of thumb not to talk about cost on this blog, i have to admit, out of all the breakfast places in Brisbane i've been too, nothing can compare to how much this was. I mean this dish was great in all honesty, but the price was definitely a bit steep in my opinion. Okay whinge over.

Bills on Urbanspoon

Beccofino | Teneriffe

Affettati Misti - thinly sliced cure meats with marinated olives
Patate - thinly sliced fried potatoes : excellent side snacking dish!
Pollo Arosto - Roasted chicken supreme, stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, served with a cauliflower gratin
Buddino - steamed toffee pudding with warm custard
Pannacotta - Vanilla bean pannacotta with caramel sauce and toasted pecan praline
My friend and i actually stumbled upon this place one afternoon - in search of a location where we could just eat and relax without the pressure of being ushered out. The first time we came here was late afternoon/early evening. It was only this first time around we both ordered a share plate of cured meats and fried potatoes. The cured meat platter was generous in portion for a shared plate, we both didn't expect the amount of meat, breadsticks and olives it came with. However between the both of us we did clean it up nicely. I can't recall what the types of meats were - they were enjoyable however i wouldn't say there is a 'wow' factor there; just a good dish to nibble on before meals or with a glass of wine. The 'Patate' aka Fried Potatoes on the other hand were great. Again while only a nibbly sort of dish these were just so addictive, super crispy on the outside and a nice moist wedge of potato on the inside; very much like wedges, except less potato - the ratio of crispy skin to potato is just perfect! 

The chicken main was pretty amazing. I know, it's sort of ironic that i go to an Italian restaurant and not order pizza or pasta right? But the description of this dish just couldn't escape my notice. The chicken was deliciously tender and generously stuffed with prosciutto and cheese; that combination there was just awesome. A little bit towards the salty side, understandably, but that's why it's also served on a bed of cauliflower gratin - the blander and creamy flavours (in comparison to the chicken) helped to balance it out. I enjoyed the entirety of this dish - the flavours were really strong; it's only towards the end when you're sitting there that it is then that it starts to weigh on you! This dish is flavoursome, however a little towards the heavy side, with the salty flavours of the cheese and prosciutto stuffed chicken and the creamyness of the cauliflower. The addition of a salad wouldn't be a bad idea with this dish considering how heavy it was with the flavours.

Between my friend and i, one of us had to at least order a pasta dish right? So she ended up with the Tagliatelle al Ragu di Manzo – Flat, long pasta with a beef cheek and red wine ragu; unfortunately no photos because she tucked into it straight away! Like my dish she said she thoroughly enjoyed it and the sauce itself was very flavoursome, however likewise it was also towards the 'heavier' side.

While enjoying the mains; and still with a bit of room left - we couldn't bypass the dessert. I didn't try any of the Buddino which is the steamed pudding, but just from the picture you can see that it's quite creamy and like my friend said, likewise with the main, it was a bit too rich and didn't end up finishing it. I had the pannacotta, and my opinions are the same, i couldn't stomach too much of it because i was already full, but the vanilla pannacotta was delicious and was great with the caramel - if anything it's the caramel sauce that makes this dessert amazing. I think between my friend and i, in hindsight, we should of shared considering how full we were.

Beccofino - i can only feel positive about this place; all the dishes were rich in flavour; like i said, a little towards the heavy side in my opinion, but if you're going to visit, be sure to come here with an empty stomach, especially if you're after dinner and dessert! Not to mention the service here is also great, really friendly and welcoming - overall just really nice casual place for dinner and chill time.

Beccofino on Urbanspoon

Cirque | New Farm

special omelette of the day - it's huge! 
grilled chunky cheese omelette with potato and mushroom
corn fritters = amazing.

Hi Everyone! Long time no blog. I've been a bit distracted so to say in the past month so i haven't been up to date with my blog posts... You could say with the change in status with work, going to Sydney for the weekend, the Fatty coming down for the week in Brisbane and just catching up with friends.. I've just been enjoying and absorbed with life! So a lot of these posts that will pop up today and in the next few days are places i've been to in the past month/revisited - so if you follow me on instagram a lot of these photos will be pretty familiar.

I've mentioned Cirque before a little while ago - like my first post, i still stand by the same opinions i had the first time - great food, great value. The chunky grilled omelette with potato, mushroom and cheese was divine. This was one of the omelettes form the 'special' board, so unfortunately not a regular menu item. However if you do get the chance to try the grilled omelettes, i would definitely recommend. On ordering the grilled omelette the waitress kindly did let me know that would be a longer wait - which i didn't mind - but definitely nice to be informed, because one of the worse feelings is thinking they've forgotten your order if you're left waiting for too long (which has happened to me a few times in the past)! So props to that. The omelette itself is very generous in size, almost the same size as the plate; not to mention it's not thin and flimsy either. I thought the use of potato in an omelette is a great idea - a good ingredient to 'bulk' up the dish as to say, also great in combination with cheese and mushrooms (two of my favourite food items!) - i did end up finishing the entire omelette but towards the end it somehow would of been better to just let the omelette defeat me...

The Corn fritters is one of the regular items on the menu - after contemplating and looking at a few photos from urbanspoon, i bit the bullet and ordered this. Am most definitely glad i did because it is delicious! The photo just doesn't do it justice. Corn Fritters = amazing. Super chunky, a bit crispy on the outside but the inside was soft and doughy in texture with generous amounts of corn. The relish on the side definitely gave these fritters an extra hit with flavours... only regret is not having avocado with this! After seeing more photos i just think how i didn't think to ask for it as a side! 

Cirque is usually always quite busy, even in the early hours when it opens - all the times i've been is usually just a bit past when the door opens and service has always been pleasant, despite some of the reviews on urbanspoon, my experience has always been positive!

Cirque on Urbanspoon
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