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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mysaucepan‘s Columbia Las Delicias / Duver Rojas is like drinking sake instead of coffee.
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.
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 wagyu salt brisket in the NOT reuben is tender with a bit of charred aromas.
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.
So dear readers, would you order an item on the menu if it’s called Really fucking great Fried Chicken?
61 Albion street
Surry Hills, New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 9211 5556
Opening hours: 7 days from 7am to 4pm.