Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

Reuben Hills

There is no shortage of quirky cafes in Sydney and Reuben Hills is one of them.

It is a coffee roastry and cafe and if you are in the hip suburb of Surry Hills,  you can get away with funky glass bottles to serve water to your diners.

Dining area, Reuben Hills

Dining area, Reuben Hills

Not a bad concept when you consider a cafe serving all-day breakfast, grilled chicken called Dirty Bird, ice-cream sandwich named Doggs Breakfast and you can also buy their coffee online.

Housed in a terrace, the dining space is long with the open kitchen in the middle of the cafe and the roastry located on the upper level.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place” Mysaucepan says.

“Such as?” I ask.

“Well, the coffee is supposed to be really good, you ought to try it even though you’re not a coffee drinker” she replies.

“If not, the salted caramel shake is also meant to be a favourite on their drinks menu. Besides, I want to show my dad the quirkier side of Sydney” she says as her dad is in Sydney for a visit.

“As long as the food is good, I can give the coffee a miss. The food in Surry Hills can be a hit and miss in my opinion” I say.

The menu, Reuben Hills

The menu, Reuben Hills

In my previous blogpost, I mentioned that a restaurant would be on a winning formula if it has a special dish that can entice its customers to return time and again. In the case of Reuben Hills, the menu is screaming out to you with the “f” word, enticing you to order certain items.

To me, an item called “Really fucking great Fried Chicken” on a menu can mean a few things:

1.  The fried chicken is really, really good.

2. It is certainly a more creative way to attract attention and to have everyone talking about it – good marketing strategy.

3. The chef is full of himself / herself to endorse their own food.

4. Other items on the menu without the “f” word are just ordinary.

Well, there is only one way to find out.

Table setting, Reuben Hills

Table setting, Reuben Hills

It is 11.30am on a weekday and this place is pretty busy. The retro style table setting with mismatched cutlery adds to the quirkiness of this cafe.

Flat white $4

Flat white $4

Although the premises is a coffee roastry, a coffee costing $4 is certainly on the high side and especially so for a non-coffee drinker.

Columbia Las Delicias / Duver Rojas $5

Columbia Las Delicias / Duver Rojas $5

Mysaucepan‘s Columbia Las Delicias / Duver Rojas is like drinking sake instead of coffee.

Pulled pork tacos with spiced pumpkin, pepitas & tender cactus $16

Pulled pork tacos with spiced pumpkin, pepitas & tender cactus $16

The pulled pork tacos are served with soft tortilla bread with a good spoonful of the spiced pumpkin and garnished with a few sprigs of coriander.

The stringy strands of pulled pork is soft but I am more curious about tender cactus in my tacos.  Not much taste to it and the texture is similar to overcooked asparagus. I wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t there in the first place.

Really fucking great Fried Chicken $16

Really fucking great Fried Chicken $16

The moment of truth has come to try the Really fucking great Fried Chicken which is finger-friendly pieces of thigh fillets deep-fried in light batter to a golden brown. It is served on a soft tortilla bread in a small plastic basket with green pickled chillies and two dipping sauces –  a hot chilli salsa and a milder chipotle aioli.

The chicken is succulent and juicy because every piece is thigh meat. It is not overly crunchy as there is only a small amount of batter. The green pickled chillies seem like a good complement and as much as I love a spicy kick in my food, I prefer the creamy aioli.

the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye $16

the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye $16

The wagyu salt brisket in the NOT reuben is tender with a bit of charred aromas.

the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye $16

the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye $16

I like the stringy texture of brisket meat and the pickled slaw and horseradish cream work really well with the beef.

If anything, we should have requested for toasted rye. Of the three item that we ordered, the tender brisket has won me over and I would order this NOT reuben if I come again.

Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

So dear readers, would you order an item on the menu if it’s called Really fucking great Fried Chicken?

Reuben Hills
61 Albion street
Surry Hills, New South Wales

Tel: +61 2 9211 5556

Opening hours: 7 days from 7am to  4pm.

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

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11 Responses to Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

  1. I didn’t realise you could request if you liked your NOT reuben sandwich toasted or not? When I made a visit, the bread was very toasted, to the point where it made cuts on the roof of my mouth.. but it did work well and it held the filling inside. It was a darn good sandwich as you said. Worth coming back for.

  2. Libby says:

    I’ll be flying into Sydney tomorrow and will be looking to suss out some nice Surry Hills cafes while I’m there. Reuben Hills has been on my list so I’m glad that this post appeared on your blog. I think they described the fried chicken in that way purely for shock value purposes more than anything, tbh…

  3. I am loving the sound of the NOT reuben wagyu brisket. Sounds delish!

  4. I’d definitely be curious about a menu item that was described that way!

  5. Glad you posted this one… Peter and I have been there for coffee on numerous occasions, as we often stay at the Sebel. (I love good coffee… I have Toby’s Estate beans delivered fresh to my door). The owner smiled for the camera when I asked if I could pop something onto my blog, but that was the last of the niceness. The coffee is expensive, as you say, especially for a tiny wee macchiato… and we had the salted caramel milkshake…. it left us feeling bloated more than anything else. I wouldn’t rant about the flavour. The food was so so… what struck me though was how seriously the staff all take themselves. Maybe it’s because I’m from a ‘small town’ in comparison (Canberra, that is) and am used to cafe people smiling and acting as though they are happy at their work, especially when serving customers… but I certainly didn’t warm to the cool response we received, as nice as they team might be. Oh, and they wouldn’t make me an affogato, they ‘don’t do them’. Frankly, the coffee might be brilliant, roasted on site and all, but to me a welcome smile means much more!

  6. msihua says:

    I do so like tacos but not overcooked asparagus.. errugh!

  7. I need to come back to check out that sandwich. I did order their fried chicken at 10.30 am that morning because of the name. I was disappointed by it though because it wasn’t anywhere near as crunchy as I had hoped. The meat was definitely juicy though.

  8. Really fucking great Fried Chicken – I love that they called a dish on their menu that way! 😀 I’m not fond of fried stuff, though, so I don’t think I’d have ordered it. 😉

  9. I fell in love with the NOT Reuben sandwich when I went there too. The flavour medley just worked together so well!

  10. mr. C says:

    They have the maddest selection of milkshakes there! You’re right, if I were back, the Not reuben is exactly what i’d order again.

  11. Amanda says:

    I need to check this place out. I really want to try the Not Reuben because wagyu beef is always good.

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