One of the many things I got from my holidaze in Sydney is more appreciation of the fact that I live in Japan.
Now, don't get me wrong on that one. My love for Australia is gold however, if you've lived in a place where service is almost at par to that of the Downton standards like it is here in Japan, it can be a bit shocking to venture outside that realm.
My naivety could be part to blame but it's just coincidental how when I finally picked out photos for this post, I recalled having slightly poor experiences at all three joints (but none of them tainted my love for Surry Hills, of course). On a couple of occasions, I was being rushed by the servers to pick something even before it was my turn. But I probably shouldn't be blaming them for both places were packed to the rafters. The other time however, I can't fault the restaurant for. It was just a bit of a throw-off when my sister and I were waiting for a table and this couple who were behind us kept going on and on, and quite loudly, too, about how the table was taking forever. They hadn't even been queuing for 10 minutes!
I have to be honest, I was a bit ticked off because it felt like they were sucking all the rainbows and butterflies of brunch into their black hole of impatience. It's just that you never witness anything like that here in Japan.
A 30 minute wait? What, an hour wait for a baumkuchen? No problemo!!!
I don't think I was ever as patient before I moved to Japan but am I glad that I am. But hey, ho let's pause there for a sec. An hour wait is a bit out of my league and I'm not that high up on my pedestal. Yet.
And those are just my two cents. As I was saying, my love for Surry Hills is untainted thanks to these joints:
BOURKE STREET BAKERY
I suppose Bourke Street Bakery really wouldn't be somewhere you should look to have a sit-down for a long brunch on a day you're feeling like a Chatty Cathy. It's a very small shop tucked in a corner with very limited seating inside and out. We went there past lunchtime on New Year's Eve and luckily, it wasn't as crowded as I have always heard. Walking towards the bakery from 20m away and you could already experience the butter playing your sense of smell silly. Mmmmm butter.
We were there to curb feeling peckish so it was an upside that we didn't have to queue for too long however, as you can see in the photo, we weren't spoilt for choice anymore as most of their goodies were already sold out. So we ended up with these in tow:
|Ginger Brulee Tart $5.00|
|Mixed Berry Muffin $4.50|
|Carrot Cake slice $4.50|
|Long Black $3.30|
The bakery's also got claim to fame over on the savoury side. Granting there'll be a next time for me, I would love to inhale their pork and fennel sausage roll and then maybe wash it down with a rhubarb and almond tart.
These are the only photos I took from the afternoon brunch with my sister the day before I left for my roadtrip up the North Coast (too excited to post photos from that one, too). We had originally planned to tread the unchartered territory of taking public transport to get to the Sydney fish market but that seemed like too much effort. What we didn't expect was that we ended up (1)taking the bus from the north shore to the city and then (2)walking from the city to Surry Hills instead. Being used to the commute here in Japan, that was nothing. However in retrospect, I admit our decision was less time and energy-efficient. Ahhhh, life decisions.
|Prosecco | Coconut poached chicken sandwich $18.50|
The place was absolutely packed on a Wednesday afternoon. In the restaurant world, especially in an area like Surry Hills where there's tight competition, it could only be a good sign. We had to queue for about 20-30mins which was alright compared to the time my friend and I tried to have brunch at Bills' Yokohama branch and the line was just ridiculous. Like I said, Japanese people live for the wait.
Bills is by the famous Aussie chef Bill Granger who shot up to fame for his take on breakfast and more specifically, scrambled eggs. Since then, brunch and Bills have been in association among the locals. I guess it was because I knew I was going to be away from the city for the next few days that made me crave for Asian flavours hence ordering the coconut chicken sandwich. It was delicious with strong hints of coconut and coriander (if my memory serves me accurate). I didn't like the bread though and set it aside as it was ginormous enough to envelope the entire dish. My sister had the prawn and chili linguine with garlic and rocket and sang praises about it. Being the foodie that she is, that's a great review!
Pardon the lame photos. To be honest, I was a bit shy about taking out my camera and going all Asian over my food. We were seated at one of the tables I'm guessing were meant for parties of 2 and we were almost literally rubbing elbows with the other tables. It wasn't my ideal brunch setting but it was entertaining just foodgawking over what others ordered. Lucky me that Bills has set up shops here in Japan. I now know where to take myself for a hungover feed in Tokyo!
GELATO MESSINAThis was one of the joints on my list of SydneyEats because it made countless appearances on my research (I'm that type) and because it was only voted Best Gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide, no biggie. Aaaand are you ready to gasp???
I'm not a huge fan of ice cream. (GASP) BUT being in Sydney, it would have been silly to not have at least a go! One evening, we purposely drove again to Surry Hills to have some Messina. I really wish I had made up my mind before queuing because I was really overwhelmed by all the flavours on offer! I heard the salted caramel gelato's one of their best sellers but I passed on that one and had this instead:
|Funky wall art inside Messina | my poorly lit photo of the Tiramisu gelato (about $4.00 single scoop?)|
I found the Tiramisu too sweet and lacking in the bitterness that I love about the classic dessert so I dumped half of it and happily enjoyed the waffle cone. It was a happy ending after all.
Just a thought: why do some people prefer their gelatos in cups when cones are in existence? Is it just me? What about you? Thoughts? Feelings? Holler.
|I wish I could stare at carbs and not see my fat thighs through them. | delicious Caramel Pecan ice cream sandwich my sister and I splitzied | NUTELLA|
I hope it won't be long until the next time I find myself in Surry Hills again. If luck turns to your favour, treat yourself to some sweets and savouries over there and I bet you'll have memories that will echo in delicious refrains for a long time!