There’s really not a shortage of cafes in Surry Hills and I am always amazed that there are new ones opening every couple of months! I have missed my old hood and the cafes. Rustic Pearl can be found on the busy street of Crown Street, right next to Ampersand cafe and opposite the clock hotel.
The cafe is quite small, the menu has an interesting mediterranean twist and everything on the menu sounded lovely. I couldn’t go past the avocado smoothie – fresh avocado, yogurt, milk, honey and pistachio AUD6.50. I had it sans pistachio, the smoothie was delicious, not too sweet and it went down perfectly.
F had the mocha and he really enjoyed it.
I couldn’t go past the pan fried chicken breast salad with crispy bacon, chickpeas, char grilled zucchini with balsamic dressing AUD18. The original comes with pine nuts, agresto and spiced apricot dressing but you all know about my nut allergy. The salad was indeed healthy and exactly what I needed – how I miss a good simple salad!
O had the chicken, mushroom and cheese gozleme and I have to say, this was superb!
F couldn’t go past the sucuk bruschetta – char grilled sucuk, melted buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, rocket, pomegranate molasses and soft boiled eggs AUD17 – I had serious food envy! F demolished this, and I can see why.
The char grilled Mediterranean lam burger with red onion jam, smoky eggplant puree, fresh tomato, cos lettuce and yoghurt dressing AUD18 was pretty decent, but I am not a big fan of burgers on focaccia bread. The filing was quite tasty though.
Service was polite and friendly. The cafe was busy at lunch time. I love the rustic feel to the place, and the mural on the wall. They have some decent sandwiches also – petunia trout sandwich with avocado, rocket, artichoke, capers and tarator sauce sounds pretty good! Next time!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
415 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 406 930 083
I have heard wonderful things about this place and I am always on the hunt for a good burger in Sydney! (in fact anywhere really. Love a good burger!) Warren Turnbull is the man behind Chur Burger and this is where the Assiette used to be. Chur offers diners $10 burgers which is a steal. The menu is quite simple 6 different types of burgers and you can add extra pattie, bacon or cheese and sides – chips, sweet potatoes and coleslaw.
I quite like what they have done, open kitchen, small bar where you order the food and drinks. I have heard people waiting for an hour or so but thankfully, we can early and found a seat straight away. Came with my brother, F and friends, and we pretty much tried the whole menu.
F couldn’t go past the grilled beef, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle and extra bacon. The beef was cooked to perfection, melted cheese and who can say no to bacon and mustard mayo all served on a soft bun?
I didn’t have the fish burger but M claimed that it was potentially one of the best fish burgers she has had – crumbed fish fillet, pickled cucumber, lemon mayo and dill.
M had the grilled lamb, mint sauce, feta, red onion and aioli. I am not a huge fan of lamb so this wasn’t a hit for me, but M seemed to have enjoyed it.
I really enjoyed my pulled pork, chur bbq sauce, red slaw and fennel mayo. The pulled pork was tender and sweet, I was expecting a smokey taste to it but still really enjoyed it.
Dragon had some of the marinated grilled chicken, hot sauce, minted slaw – well just the chicken. I asked if they could separate the condiments and they did. She really enjoyed the tender chicken, and the burger itself was quite tasty.
Unfortunately they didn’t have any chicken wings and I was gutted! I really wanted to try some bbq chicken wings with blue cheese dressing.
The chips with chilli salt were tasty, especially when hot.
We couldn’t go past the milo and strawberry milk shake – seriously sweet, seriously sinful and seriously delicious.
Was it the best burger I have had? It was pretty decent and for $10 how can you say no? For me, Dan Hong’s lotus burger is still my fav and not to mention Shake Shack! But Chur burger is not too shabby at all!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
48 Albion Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9212 7979
Pretty much everyone I know has been to Devon Café – the ‘newish’ café on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills. So on my visit to Sydney, I knew I had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about! I have been deprived of the café scene in Hong Kong so was very eager to have a nice brunch here.
Seriously what’s not to love about this place! I love the vibe and the friendly staff and not to mention the menu! I really wanted to try everything but I knew that would take a while! The café is a lot uberbigger than I had thought, there is actually a back area which is uber cool and relatively big.
We started with some coffee – ‘very good’ according to my bro.
The smoothie was seriously tasty, not too sweet and even Dragon had a sip or two.
F and D couldn’t go past the breakie with the sakuma’s (23) – miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63’ egg and kewpie mayonnaise. Wow – it looked absolutely amazing, SO amazing that neither of them offered if we want some! HA! F said that the salmon was cooked to perfection, and he loved the 63’ egg. The smoked eel croquette was good but preferred the salmon.
I couldn’t resist the Devon ultimate toastie (25) – sourdough open grilled with assorted mushrooms, fontal cheese, fried egg and western Australian truffle. It was the biggest toastie I have ever seen! The assorted mushrooms and truffle were excellent, and who doesn’t like a toastie or fried gooey egg?
M ordered the citrus cured salmon and it was excellent, again the goo-ey egg and the smoked salmon was delicious.
Service was polite and friendly. We also got a couple of their banana and nutella muffin – I didn’t take a photo of it but trust me when I say that they are wickedly sinful and excellent! Can’t wait to go back and try their lunch menu. *sigh* I have truly missed the café scene in Sydney!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
76 Devonshire St
Surry Hills, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9211 8777
Queenie’s is located above the renowned Forresters Hotel which can be found on the corner of Riley and Foveaux Street in Surry Hills. They serve Jamaican food and the menu is designed by executive chef Jamie Thomas, who is also responsible for The Carrington, The Norfolk, Santa Barbara Kings Cross (part of the Drink and Dine Group).
I was catching up with the lovely S and suggested this place. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful. We started with bammies (similar to a taco) – one of each – pulled pork and pineapple and prawn, mango and ginger. No guessing which one I had, the pork deliciously tender and the pineapple complemented the pork well – it was delightful.
The prawn, mango and ginger were also delicious but I definitely preferred the pork.
S couldn’t go past the Hellshire ceviche ($16) with snapper, avocado, mango and chili which were served with corn chips. I didn’t have any of this but S said that it was fantastic – lots of flavours and refreshing. It looked absolutely fantastic!
I couldn’t go past the bbq jerk chicken with jungle slaw ($18) – oh my what a generous serving! I love the dark, sweet and sticky flavour of the chicken – it was tender and succulent and the jungle slaw a wonderful complement.
We also ordered a serve of the jungle slaw ($7) – cabbage, coriander, lime and jerk mayo.
Unfortunately we were too full for dessert, however the table next to us had the donuts and they looked tremendous! A lot better than those from Gowings! Next time!
Service was a tad slow at times but overall ok. They had some interesting items on the menu that I wouldn’t mind trying, like the smoked pork loin with crumbed mussels and mango salsa and the chicken wings looked good also. Will definitely come back on my next visit to Sydney!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Corner Foveaux and Riley St
Surry Hills, 2010
PH: +61 2 9212 3035
I really shouldn’t be surprised that another cute little café has opened up in Surry Hills! Oh how I have missed my hood! Mr Mo can be found on Campbell Street, nearest cross street Riley Street, from memory this used to be a clothing store. It is a cute little café, the name, Mr MO comes from the initial of the two business partners.
The menu is vast, they serve all day breakfast which I love, and they also have sandwiches and salads for lunch and of course daily specials.
I was catching up with B, oh how I have missed catching with you – my Mondays are just not the same anymore! It was good to see her and will see you again when I am back next.
I couldn’t go past the breakfast plate – boiled egg, ricotta, tomato, and avocado on sour dough toast ($9.50) and if you wanted either ham or smoked salmon its extra – I wanted ham! Love a good breakfast plate and this total hit the spot!
B couldn’t go past the scrambled eggs on sourdough ($8.50) and avocado ($2.50) – the eggs were deliciously creamy and ‘extremely satisfying’ she said.
The coffee wasn’t too bad either and they do make fresh juices which I love!
Service was quick and efficient, and the owners are absolutely lovely! Food was homely and delicious – will definitely be back and love the name – Mr Mo!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
168 Campbell Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9212 2258