Friday, March 12, 2010
Sydney 2010: bills 2, Surry Hills
For me, a trip to Sydney is not complete without a trip to one of Bill Granger's cafes. (See previous posts for example: bills 2 in 2005; bills 1, 2 AND 3 in 2006).
359 Crown St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9360-4762
We came here on a Saturday morning at about 11:30. It was a short but strenuous walk from Central station - Googlemaps doesn't show you just how hilly Surry Hills is! As usual, it was packed, and we had to wait 40 minutes for a table. The captain was really nice, and kept apologising that the table before us just wouldn't leave, even after they'd paid their bill! Grrr.
Anyhoo, after a wait in the nice warm Sydney weather, we got a table outside and promptly ordered. You'll have to forgive me; I've forgotten what all the prices were, and I have misplaced the receipt we got. Overall it was pretty decently priced by Sydney standards, which translates as "moderately expensive" by Melbourne standards, hehe.
I had a cappuccino, which looked great...
... but unfortunately didn't taste too good. The coffee was neither rich nor full bodied. I guess we are spoiled by the quality of coffee here in Melbourne!
By this time, they had stopped serving breakfast, but luckily for us there is a section on the menu of "bills classics", which are available all the time. The first 3 dishes are all bills classics, and for non-Sydneysiders, the recipes are all in Bill's first book, Sydney Food.
Scrambled eggs with toast and smoked salmon. (Portions seem to have gotten smaller since last time - our boy Dan reported he was still hungry afterwards).
Coconut bread - a light meal for Sandra, who wasn't up for a big lunch. She reportedly liked the bread, but I tried a bite and foud it slightly heavy for my tastes.
An's favourite: ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter. AHEM. What a plate of awesomeness!
Both myself and Di ordered a chicken club - chicken, bacon, tomatoes, rocket and avocado mayo on baguette. Sounded great, and looked pretty good too!
Unfortunately, it was one of the greasiest sandwiches I have ever eaten. When I picked it up, the bottom half of the bread was all soaked through with grease and kinda disgusting.
That was mine, but Di's was the same - soaked through with bacon/chicken grease.
It didn't help that the bread was pappy, soft and white, not the robust crunchy baguette I was hoping for. After such a long wait for our table, I didn't want to send it back. I just ate the filling and the top piece of bread with a knife and fork. I should so just have ordered a cake from the counter, or the hotcakes!
Bills 2 seems to have dropped standard slightly since our last visit, but it is still worth a visit for the echt Sydney experience. My recommendation though, is to get there early, and stick to the classics!