Saturday, 21 July 2012

Toast Cafe, Surry Hills & Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst

After failing to have breakfast at Cafe Ish (now I know that its closed :( ), we walked pass this cafe and was tempted by its interior and the crowd of customers.

Toast Cafe has a garden-like decor, with twirls of plants and wooden dining tables and chairs. Service was good, but the cappuccino that I had wasn't too great. 
Spanish chorizo omelette w caramelised onion,
oven roasted tomatoes, grana padano & parsley w toast  $16.90? 
This was on their Specials Menu. A thousand apologies for forgetting what the exact price of the dish was. I thought the chorizo was on the burnt side so it was slightly tough and wasn't that pleasant to eat. But on the bright side, all the other components of the dish was good. The omelette was incredibly fluffy, with fillings in it that were tasty and well-cooked.

Sweet corn and kaffir lime fritters $16.90 
The name of this dish caught my eye from the long list of items on their menu because adding kaffir lime leaves into corn fritters is such a brilliant idea! If only the fritters had more seasoning (as I thought it tasted rather bland and had to add some salt myself), it would be the perfect corn fritter dish. It's served with a perfectly cooked poached egg with an oozing egg yolk, grilled haloumi cheese, tomato salsa, and a good handful of rocket on top of corn fritters with a hint of kaffir lime. This dish is gluten free, which explains why the fritters were more dense than the normal corn fritters. But hey, this breakfast dish would make any coeliac (and perhaps most non-coeliacs) happy!

Pistachio and Honey, apple and ginger cake Ice Cream  
After breakfast, we strolled down to Gelato Messina for a cold and melting, sweet and creamy, treat! There's nothing wrong with having an awesome ice cream like this....once (or twice) a week. I did try to share this with JC, but I think I gobbled down most of it :p The pistachio ice cream I believe is an all time favourite. Honey, apple and ginger cake ice cream was on the Specials board that day. It had real chunks of cake in it, talking about texture. My only dislike was that it was slightly too sweet for my liking. So far, Ice and Slice in Newtown and Gelato Messina are my go to places for ice cream. Tell me what's your favourite place for ice cream and I might give it a try! :)

Messina's signature wall. Where's Wally?

I Scream Heaven

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

Reuben Hills, the not-so-ordinary cafe in Surry. Forget about bacon and eggs or Eggs Benedict for breakfast or brunch, Reuben serves cafe food with a Latin American twist. While I was reading the blog reviews for Reuben which were mostly positive, I noticed that the price of some dishes had increased by a dollar or two since their opening not too long ago. I assume this means that their food should be pretty good. 

Went there on a Sunday noon, and there was a queue as expected. We had to put our names on the waiting list, but surprisingly we were seated after only 5 minutes of waiting. The place had a slight contemporary pub feel to it, with some bar stools and Kanye West's music playing in the background. The service was friendly and efficient. 
The NOT reuben $16
wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, melted manchego & horseradish cream 

A classic Reuben sandwich is a sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, Sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye bread. This, however was the NOT Reuben sandwich, because of the different ingredients used. The meat is tender, flavour well balanced, and it keeps you wanting for more! If I'm not wrong, the pickled slaw had fennel seeds in it which gives it an interesting twist to the normal old coleslaw.

Baleada $11
free range eggs,queso fresco, black beans 
The combination of spice in this Baleada is indescribable. The mashed black beans had flavours similar to a chilli con carne, and I think I tasted kaffir lime zest in it as well. Queso fresco, a type of Mexican cheese, was finely grated in the Balaeda and it was slightly melted when served.  

Skim Cappuccino $4
I'm not a coffee expert, but this is the best coffee that I've had in Sydney and I'm not exaggerating. Reuben Hills uses their very own seasonal coffee blend and Udder Farm unhomogenized pure milk for their coffee. Although it was skim, the milk was still very milky and frothy. As you may have noticed, I took a sip of the coffee before I took a photo of it. Sorry, it was too tempting :p

Reuben Hills also offers a range of desserts and other mains that cause my mouth to water just by reading the descriptions on their menu. Can't wait for our next visit. 

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