Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Reuben Hills

Reuben Hills
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

Sunday morning I wait for a friend to arrive to our breakfast destination, Reuben Hills, you may have heard of it, in fact, if you follow the ‘what’s hot’ of Sydney breakfast haunts, I’m sure you have heard of it. And apparently- you are not alone.

The street scenery reveals a crowd of people, loitering around the café doors and spilling out onto the pavement, some even leaning on an unsuspecting parked car. They buzz with excitement at the prospect of upgrading to the designated ‘wait here’ bench that sits outside the café doors- that is when you know you are nearly about to be called in. But if it doubles up as a service table you've hit the jackpot. For the rest of you, a 30 minute wait and you might actually be seated.

Once seated, the pressure to order is great “ooo I heard the eggs are to DIE for” one says, “what is a baleada?” exclaims another (it’s a wheat flour tortilla originating from Hondura). Water is sipped out of ‘tinnie’ cups, unusual, but a conversation starter I suppose. The meals arrive quite speedily, and despite best efforts to stretch out the seating time through commenting on the cute sugar jugs or the funky décor, patrons are ushered out as quickly and politely as possible in order to accommodate for the many more still lingering about.

I ordered the Trifle muesli, orange blossom berries and vanilla yoghurt, my friend, the soft baked eggs with goats curd, spinach, ranchero and no rye- she’s avoiding wheat. I may have stolen the following photos off UrbanSpoon (could be illegal- I’m going to risk it- there’s $100 in my account if you really want to pursue it) I’m always in the business of eating my food before I remember to take a photo.

Trifled Muesli, Berries, Yoghurt
 Upon examining the menu every dish had to have something different about it, I’ve noticed that ‘normal’ is so untrendy these days. I’m not really complaining- I like food to be edgy sometimes. What I will note is that we were asked five times whether everything was OK; I think it was the equivalent to a ‘hurry up nudge’, but delivered waiter style.  He probably needed to tone that down a tad.

Conclusion: Look, I can’t really complain- it’s a busy café, they want to turnover their tables as quickly as possible- it is a business after all. I think it can be difficult to find the balance between relaxed, friendly service, and knowing that if you don’t hurry people along you are going to have a backlog of customers likely to cause neighbourhood complaints. 

Baked Eggs
The food was beautifully displayed and the menu certainly showcased many ‘classics with a twist’- fresh produce with a notable South American/African influence- ties in nicely with their coffee bean selection. However, for the impatient eaters out there, I wouldn’t bother, save yourself some time and as Gerry would say “walk on”. You are in the middle of Surry Hills, a foodie’s paradise where you can wander up the street to another café with a similar standard of presentation, produce and service and you won’t have to factor in the wait.

I might try hitting this place again, in a non-peak period. There's a salted caramel shake I'm eyeing off, if only it was considered 'clean eating'- but that's another topic. 

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